University of Limerick puts focus on Irish IP losses

University of Limerick

Irish companies are losing millions in intellectual property assets, a leading law academic has claimed.

Ray Friel of the University of Limeick law faculty said most firms are unaware of the extent of these assets.

“They simply do not know or understand the complete spectrum of tools available to protect and exploit those IP assets to the full,” said Mr Friel. 

“Accordingly, they are quite literally losing millions of euros in unseen asset potential.”

UL yesterday announced the launch of the IP Café — a 13-workshop series tackling the commercial aspects of IP assets, including patent protection and international trademark issues.

Paul Dillon, director of UL’s Technology Transfer Office, said: “The primary assets of tech intensive companies are no longer factories and machines; increasingly, the value in a company is in the innovative ideas and concepts underpinning the products and services traded by the company.

“The university is working actively to enable companies to better manage their intellectual assets through its research and innovation activities. This IP Café series is a logical step in our efforts to reach out and engage with the industry on this important topic.”

Mr Friel said that if Ireland is to truly create a 21st century economy it is going to have to effectively manage a national IP policy.

“Changes in both technology and the legal framework will create a radically new environment for which both government and industry appear unprepared,” he said.

“Within business, IP too often remains the Cinderella asset waiting for an imaginary prince. But the Irish government could be that prince.

"The impending Knowledge Development Box proposal is promising, but it will be a wasted opportunity if it is not combined with a comprehensive multi-faceted approach which supports industry, researchers and innovators to release the full potential of IP assets.

“With a huge number of advantages over other EU countries, Ireland could become a major international IP management hub, but in the face of inaction it runs the risk of losing out to other competitors like Singapore who have invested heavily in developing IP expertise through their IP Academy.”

The series, organised by the International Commercial and Economic Law Research Group at UL, will begin on September 17 and run until December 2016.


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