New Protection for Innovators: Digital Fingerprinting

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A new online digital fingerprinting service has been launched to help protect designs and innovations from copycat misuse.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s new online business platform – known as WIPO PROOF – is designed to safeguard intellectual assets by creating date and time-stamped digital fingerprints when information is uploaded.

Owners of the assets receive tamper-proof evidence of the existence of their IP, and this can safeguard every stage of the development cycle from concept through to commercialisation. The aim is to speed up any subsequent litigation over copyright, design or patent, by recording and confirming each stage.

The platform can protect any intellectual outputs that can be generated in the form of a digital file. This could protect designs and other creative ideas through to data training sets for algorithms or research results.   It enables trade secrets to be recorded, or concepts and ideas to be easily shared without concerns over misuse.

Said commercial and intellectual property law expert Rina Sond of Longmores Solicitors: “This has far reaching effects in protecting intellectual property from misuse or misappropriation, which can be particularly important where the assets themselves may not satisfy the requirements for registration or unregistrable IP rights at a point in time.”

Registrable IP rights are rights that require registration to secure protection; unregistrable rights cannot be registered and rights arise automatically through usage.

She added: “In our increasingly digital world, and with increased collaboration, there is a heightened risk that security of IP may be breached, so anything that creators can do to protect themselves is important. This development has implications for a wide range of situations. For example, a concept for a television show could be ‘fingerprinted’ before ideas are shared with a broadcaster; or in situations such as tech development or scientific research, where originators wish to open up their ideas to shared development, the original concept can be secured before doing so.”

The cost of each WIPO PROOF fingerprint token is set at 20 Swiss Francs and they can be bought in bundles. Further details of digital fingerprinting can be obtained by contacting the Company Commercial team at Longmores on 01992 300333.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.