CODE on MeetUp: The importance of intellectual property protection in the development of innovative startups

26.11.2021

CODE on MeetUp: The importance of intellectual property rights protection in the development of innovative startups was organized last night on the premises of IEC Tehnopolis.

Intellectual property (IP) forms the core of a 21st-century company, signifying the driving force of innovation, competitiveness, and business growth, as well as the economy as a whole. However, most startups do not understand the power and do not know the rights of IP, and do not see IP as an asset for product validation and attracting investors.

Regardless of the sector, they come from, for entrepreneurs, the protection of intellectual property rights (IP) enables the development and protection of new technological solutions, market recognition, growth in the value of intangible assets of their company, and the possibility of expanding the company through licensing and franchising.

Nedeljko Milosavljevic, director of the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Belgrade, who in his rich professional biography especially points out that he is the founder of three startups, explained that IS is primarily important because a lot of money is in circulation. Citing several examples in which global companies received and were obliged to pay tens of millions of dollars in damages, due to infringements of intellectual property rights, he pointed out that the key moment when it is necessary to consider patenting, and that it is too late to think about it once we present it publicly.

MeetUp participants, including startups, innovators, and researchers, had the opportunity to get answers from Nedeljko on why it is important to have a confidentiality agreement, what patents are and how long they protect you, how business secrets and confidentiality are defined and more details on copyright, trademarks, and their function.

IP has three basic functions:

  • Protection of intangible assets;
  • The roles of “sword” and “shield”, depending on whether we initiate a lawsuit if we believe that someone copied our idea or defend ourselves by protecting our invention in advance;
  • It helps to monetize intangible assets.

As Milosavljevic states, the protection of intellectual property will not cost you much: “It is 5 to 10 thousand euros to make a patent, enter protection, national, and then international, and be peaceful for 30 months.” In those 30 months, you can already find an investor to help you further fund your innovation. That’s the main problem – people generally think they can protect intellectual property later. However, that must be done in the beginning. “

Since close to 25% of patent applications do not pass because such ideas have already been published, the lecturer shared with the participants various tools and platforms with which they can test their idea and then assess what stage of the patenting process they are currently at.

In the end, Milosavljevic concludes that obtaining a patent is never an end in itself, because the ultimate goal of patenting is earnings, while it should be part of the business strategy and the way we maintain a competitive advantage.

The event was organized within the 2CODE project, which is co-financed by the ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union.

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