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This talk was given by Dr. MacKenna Roberts, a Legal Consultant from IP Asset Ventures Ltd.

Think about intellectual property (IP) from the beginning involving all layers of management. Identify potentially valuable IP early on (patent, trade secret, know-how, copyright, and trade mark). Which part of you IP is most valuable is not always straightforward. Consider what you may want to patent and what to protect as confidential know-how or trade secrets. Control confidentiality carefully protecting against inadvertent disclosures. Disclosing your invention will damage/destroy your IP. Documents protecting you IP (e.g. NDA/CDAs, IP clauses in contracts) are essential from the beginning. Do an IP landscaping exercise early on to identify competitors, potential collaborators and infringers. Maintain a clear paper trail from the beginning recording the IP, its proposed method of protection, and its ownership. Sorting out IP ownership retrospectively is messy and expensive.