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Straight talk: IP addressed

Image: Traci Lawson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Is intellectual property a minefield, shrouded in legalese, ready to explode under researchers’ feet, or a ticket to untold riches? Neither, says Phil Ward, deputy director of research services at the University of Kent and a Funding Insight columnist.

I’d not had much grounding in the subject when I decided to organise a workshop on intellectual property and copyright, but still thought I had the basics covered. For starters, I thought intellectual property rights (IPR) and copyright were interchangeable: both enable us to protect the products of our intelligence and creativity, and realise the value and worth of intangible assets. Right?

As it turned out, wrong. One of the joys of organising and running the Grants Factory sessions at the University of Kent is the understanding I gain from them. As Chris Morrison, copyright and licensing compliance officer at the university and Lucy Druesne, deputy director at Kent Innovation and Enterprise, made clear at the workshop, copyright and IPR are similar, but subtly different.

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