technical marketing and intellectual property

Technical Marketing Collaboration & Intellectual Property Questions

As CAPLINQ grows our base of clients for our Technical Marketing service, we continue to get some good questions regarding intellectual property of the marketing materials.

Below are three recent questions that I would like to address:

Q1. As the agreement currently stands if CAPLINQ were to create any IP (intellectual property) for us (a new client), why should we have to pay for, or allow CAPLINQ to use such property even after termination of the agreement? Is there a specific reason for this?
A1. Think specifically of artifacts that CAPLINQ would create: Datasheets, Powerpoint and sales presentations, graphics and images. Much of this will be original content created specifically for the client, but much of it will also be drawn from our library of graphics and images that we have either bought, manipulated or created. These are in fact ours. We will use this to create original content for the client, but to then prevent CAPLINQ from using our own creations (slightly different and custom-made for other clients) increases costs exponentially. If clients insist on this point, we would have to adopt a different (read much more expensive) proposal. So in fact, the reason we do this is to keep the costs down for both ourselves and our clients.

Q2. The draft as it stands allows for the creation of new products, logos, trademarks and so forth by using all of part of the client’s information. Essentially, this allows for the creation of IP with or without the client’s consent, claim it was for the client and then charge for it. In addition, CAPLINQ can produce new products or trademarks using the client’s information or products, and after two years CAPLINQ can use it for free of charge.
A2. Of course if the client refers to logos, trademarks and specific client products, this content would be created specifically for the client, and would have no value for CAPLINQ at the end of the agreement. The agreement covers more broad articles such as generic backgrounds, layouts, content, text, and essentially all other articles that are not client-specific related.

Q3. The term “creating IP for the client” is still a little broad. Legal counsel is asking for specific examples of what IP CAPLINQ believes should be paid for, or able to use for free?
A3. We agree, but this was done to prevent adding another 10-pages of legal paperwork. I think the answers above answer this question for you. Logo, trademarks and client-product specific information will belong to the client, and CAPLINQ will not want or request any recourse to these. “Non-client specific artifacts” such as those described above would either belong to CAPLINQ (and the client may use them free-of-charge), or would belong to the client (and CAPLINQ may use them free-of-charge). Either way the customer prefers is ok with us.

CAPLINQ strives to offer an affordable technical marketing service that is both fair for the clients and to CAPLINQ. We do this by creating “Creative Commons” types of licensing that offers both parties the rights to continue to use the artifacts that were creating during the time of engagement.

For more information about CAPLINQ, our technical marketing services, or our views on intellectual property, please feel free to contact us directly.

About Chris Perabo

Chris is an energetic and enthusiastic engineer and entrepreneur. He is always interested in taking highly technical subjects and distilling these to their essence so that even the layman can understand. He loves to get into the technical details of an issue and then understand how it can be useful for specific customers and applications. Chris is currently the Director of Business Development at CAPLINQ.

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