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EPO licensing talks breakdown

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Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering all branches of science and how science impacts upon all aspects of society and life.

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"Intellectual property" (IP) is a generic legal term for patents, copyrights, and trademarks, all of which provide legal rights to protect ideas, the expression of ideas, and the inventors of such ideas (1). Intellectual property has many of the characteristics of real property (houses, buildings, and so forth); intellectual property can be bought, sold, assigned, and licensed. Additionally, the owner of IP can prevent "trespass" on his property by others, though in IP this is referred to as infringement. A patent provides legal protection for a new invention, that is, an application of a new idea, discovery, or concept that is useful. Copyright provides legal protection from copying for any creative work (e.g., works of art, literature [fiction ornonfiction], music, lyrics, photographs), as well as business and scientific publications, computer software, and compilations of information. A trademark provides rights to use symbols, particular words, logos, or other markings that indicate the source of a product or service. A further method of benefitting from an invention is simply to keep it secret, rather than to disclose it; the most famous trade secret of all time is the formula for Coca-Cola, still a closely guarded secret to this day (2,3). Trade secrets have the advantage that they never expire, but special measures are required to ensure the continued secrecy, and should it be violated, there is little legal protection for the owner (2,3).
Article
Full-text available
Intellectual property (IP) is a generic legal term for patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which provide legal rights to protect ideas, the expression of ideas, and the inventors and creators of such ideas. A patent provides legal protection for a new invention, an application of a new idea, discovery, or concept that is useful. Copyright provides legal protection from copying for any creative work, as well as business and scientific publications, computer software, and compilations of information. A trademark provides rights to use symbols, particular words, logos, or other markings that indicate the source of a product or service. A further method of benefiting from an invention is simply to keep it secret, rather than to disclose it a trade secret. IP impinges on almost everything scientists do. As scientists are paid to come up with ideas and aspire to patent and/or publish their work, the protection of ideas and of written works especially should be of interest and concern to all.
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