Singapore 15th July 2011
The issue of copy right has been around since mankind. It pops up in many shapes and forms in our design business and specifically when it comes to intellectual property rights there is sometimes a fine line between “copy right” or “copy wrong” with a pun to the chinese who have been masters in copying. 🙂
Protecting your designs is not always a straight forward issue, certainly when you step into the corporate world. If you are salaried employee the company basically owns you and any idea you produce during your employment with that company. Eventhough the creative knowledge still resides with you and once you leave possibly no-one else has the expertise to reproduce your design or concept. In our contract with clients we generally state that all copyright remains with us with the understanding that the client has the licence to use all design material for the benefit of promoting the company and the project. However some clients insist that by hiring us our designs become their property and we would have to seek permission to use our own designs in the pursuit and promotion of our own work. So this becomes at times the subject of negotiations. I guess as long as the client pays there is a trade off, but a clause about the clients properly executing due payments is a crucial component of all contracts.
Using our past experience as a reference is common practice but with the copy rights sometimes housed with previous employers or corporations proper referencing is important to avoid any legal ramifications. Protecting our own designs against exploitation by others is something we easily overlook, not everyone is creative and innovative hence putting a price on such expertise and experience is not an easy thing.
In Light Watch today LED bionic eyes for the blind! On my way back from Europe I read an article on glasses with build in LED screens in the lenses and a camera that can reproduce images of what is ahead for sufferers of near blindness. The LED technology
with its super compactness and minimal energy use compbined with the latest mobile phone and gaming technology has been combined in an application truly capable of improving life for many. Not sure who has the intellectual property rights for this invention, but it seems to have been developped by researchers from the Oxford Univerity
Light watch 123: Bionic eyes