The Effect of Patents, Licenses and Trade Marks on New Product Development
GEORGE J. PRIMAK. Manager, Patent Department, Noranda Mines Limited, Montreal, P.Q.
In the development of a new product as well as during its introduction on the market, it is very important to give due consideration to problems involving patents, licenses and trade marks. At the very beginning of the research and development program, it is obviously essential to ascertain, through a suitable patent search, that the product in question will not infringe any patents which are still in force. Then, a possibility of achieving one's own patent or proprietary position on the product or the process of its manufacture should be carefully explored. Licensing arrangements that one may reach with respect to patents and know-how covering such new product may, in the final analysis, determine its over-all success or failure. If one can count on licensing revenues or some favourable cross-licensing arrangements with respect to a newly developed product, this may go a long way to achieving profitability and success. The selection of a good trade mark is probably one of the most important acts that one has to perform once the product is developed, as customers will identify the new product by such a trade mark. In many instances, successful marketing and widespread acceptance of a product are largely due to its appealing name or trade mark, accompanied by proper promotion and advertising. Once the trade mark has been adopted, it should be registered in the Trade Marks Office to provide the protection afforded by federal statute. If the product is to be manufactured, sold or licensed in some other countries, similar considerations should be made with regard to each such country.
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