Yasmin Hussain, a trainee at RCA lawyers Stephenson Harwood, reports back on our Exploring Intellectual Property event on 24 February, where specialist IP lawyers gave students and alumni advice on how to protect their creative ideas
For artists, designers and innovators, entering the world of business and investment can be daunting to say the least. To provide some insight into this world, FuelRCA invited Rob Jacob and Mark Kramer, intellectual property specialists from the college's lawyers Stephenson Harwood, to give a talk on intellectual property's role in protecting new ideas and products. The talk, on 24 February 2012, was to a packed senior common room full of students from both the RCA and Imperial College and was an interactive and illuminating session filled with questions regarding the development and commercialisation of products and ideas and Stephenson Harwood's top tips for now and the future.
Attendees learned that their creations may be covered by a variety of intellectual property rights including copyright and design right and that applying for other protection such as patents can be useful (for more information please see here).
The key messages from Mark and Rob were always be alive to the type and scope of protection available, keep your ideas confidential until you are confident that you have IP protection in place and make sure everyone involved is on the same page by documenting your understandings and agreements.
From where I was sitting, the audience clearly picked up a lot of tips about protecting and exploiting their IP. There were certainly a lot of questions and Rob and Mark's anecdotes and war stories added fun and flavour to the evening. However, if you still have some questions or if you were unable to attend, Stephenson Harwood holds a one-to-one IP clinic every term which is open to students and alumni from the RCA. Please look out for this event where students can come along with questions, and their products, for some free and confidential advice.