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Energy: Driving innovation and research

Really enjoyed attending the NOF conference last week. A major theme from the conference was IP within the energy sector, and questions around how IP can help drive innovation and research. I hope my short article below will be of interest to participants in the local energy sector.

The challenge of transitioning to more sustainable energy supplies is driving innovation and research in the region. Industry leaders are clear the North East already enjoys a place at the forefront of these developments,

To maintain credibility and profitability in the world renewables market, it’s essential to implement robust policies relating to intellectual property protection and exploitation. A major issue for local companies is ensuring transactions are preceded by contracts which adequately protect rights and provide easily enforceable obligations.

An area that can present potentially catastrophic issues for businesses is sharing of know-how. It is essential that adequate written non-disclosure agreements are in place before discussing innovations with peers, collaborators and business partners.

Obtaining true commercial advantage and monetary value from research and innovation requires patent protection and exploitation on an international scale. In many jurisdictions, patent legislation imposes an absolute novelty requirement. Any disclosure of the invention anywhere in the world, even by the inventor, whether through discussion at a seminar, publication in a journal, provision of test samples or exhibiting at a trade fair, will destroy novelty in the invention and prevent you obtaining valid patent protection. Worth keeping in mind before discussing or sharing your current research.

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