Protection of intellectual property and technological innovation. Interview with Professor Davide 

Davide Russo is associate professor at the University of Bergamo, Faculty of Management, Information and Production Engineering, and is also the CEO of the company Trix srl, born in 2020 as an academic spin off, today part of Warrant Hub - Tinexta Group. 

Intellectual property is the set of all those legal rights that aim to protect the fruit of the inventiveness, creativity and technical-scientific know-how that companies, professionals or artists are able to conceive. Protecting intellectual property means protecting the idea, leading it towards its best realization and allowing its diffusion, preventing forms of unfair competition. 

It is a very broad, complex topic that directly affects those who do business, and that requires specific and in-depth knowledge.

In this article we report the content of the interview made in January 2022 with Professor Davide Russo, expert in patent culture, and some fundamental points are introduced, such as: 

  • Relationship between intellectual property and technological innovation;
  • Requirements necessary for filing a patent;
  • Duration of legal qualifications;
  • Difference between industrial law and copyright;
  • Meaning of intellectual property infringement;
  • For whom it is important to acquire intellectual property skills.

The link between intellectual property and business development with a view to technological innovation is very close and increasingly indissoluble: large companies, SMEs, as well as professionals, thanks to adequate knowledge on the subject, can seal their value and protect the future of their business. , both nationally and internationally. 

What is the relationship between intellectual property and technological innovation?

A company that wants to innovate and increase competitiveness needs to protect its ideas.

In the prototyping phase, for example, an innovative idea is shared in order to make use of specialized services useful for its realization or development, or to access financing. 

Well, if you do not have forms of protection, if you have not filed the patent application, telling that idea to third parties could damage its peculiar novelty feature. (also called "protection of innovation", Editor's note). 

But this is only the most practical reason for combining intellectual property and innovation . 

For example, in addition to being a product protection tool, the patent is a significant intangible asset in the due diligence phase, especially in the case of start-ups, and in general for all financial strategies. Therefore, in addition to the technical aspect, the forms of intellectual property protection have to do with technical-scientific reliability: a company with many patents has greater credibility on the market. 

The economic and fiscal support measures put in place to encourage the development of the entrepreneurial culture and the enhancement of research results must also be considered, where the fact of owning patents is often a necessary condition for access.

Many companies in the world have understood how close the link is between intellectual property and innovation, just think that the Patent Databases now have over 120 million documents including patents, trademarks and utility models.

How is the intellectual property of an idea demonstrated? 

First of all, the 3 patentability requirements must be respected. 

1.    Novelty : the idea must be new for everyone, no one must have ever thought of it before, at least not in public form. 

2.    Inventive step : the new idea doesn't have to be trivial for an expert in the field. This requirement is very important and also the most difficult to prove. 

3.    Industriality : the idea must be lawful and industrializable. 

Establishing whether these requirements are met is the task of an expert in charge of the Patent Office of the country where the filing takes place, - in the case of Italy it is a member of the European Patent Office - who makes a detailed analysis on each patent application. and issues a positive or negative opinion. 

In any case, even the filing deed itself, regardless of the outcome of the procedure, entitles the owner of the idea to the form of protection called patent pending , which is expressed graphically with the symbols (™) - Trade Mark, mainly used in Anglo-Saxon countries - o ®, more widespread, and also used in Italy.