Intellectual Property

Your idea can shape the future!

Confidentiality & Security

The Smart Cities Smart Futures Contest organizers take the issue of entry confidentiality seriously and take great steps to protect participants’ intellectual property.

 

  • Hard copies of entries will not be viewed or distributed to anyone unless necessary as part of the judging process. We take special precautions to protect electronic files.
  • While we do not require judges to sign non-disclosure agreements, these people regularly handle confidential material in the course of their business and understand the need to preserve confidentiality of your ideas. We do request that they respect the participants’ rights as a condition of their participation, but the Organizing Committee will not arbitrate any disputes over judges’ handling of entries. You are free to exclude any material you feel is truly proprietary and at risk of disclosure. Intra-team confidentiality is the sole responsibility of team members, and we will not arbitrate any disputes that arise during the competition.
  • Smart Cities Smart Futures holds the privacy and security of our site visitors and participants in the highest regard.

Originality

Entries must be the original work of entrants and may be entered by an individual or a team. Individuals or teams may submit as many original ideas as they wish.  There is no limit to the number of ideas submitted as long as each idea is both original and unique.

Intellectual Property Ownership

All intellectual property used in business ideas and/or plans must be owned or controlled by the contest entrant. For purposes of the contest, ‘controlled’ is defined as patented, patent-pending or licensed.

 

The intent in this competition is to stimulate ideas and innovation, it’s NOT to assert ownership rights to intellectual property.  Foxconn will not assert ownership rights to intellectual property contained within submissions to the Smart Cities , Smart Futures  competition. Ownership and management of intellectual property rights will be treated in accordance with institutional policy and practice, whether that be conveyed to the academic institutions, owned individually, or otherwise. Should Foxconn subsequently elect investment in competition concepts and plans, IP rights and consideration will be addressed at that time.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • Within the scope of this competition, Foxconn will not assert intellectual property rights related to any ideas, concepts, and or solutions.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the submitter(s) to secure intellectual property rights, if any, and as needed, prior to submitting ideas, concepts and solutions to this competition.
  • For those submitters who have already secured intellectual property rights, disclosure of such intellectual property through this competition will not affect those claims and rights
  • Foxconn reserves the right to use ideas, concepts and solutions subsequent and thereto the competition, for its own benefit. Where intellectual property has been previously secured, Foxconn will negotiate licensing rights prior to its use.
  • At the discretion of Foxconn, and based on the possibility of subsequent investment, intellectual property rights will be evaluated, determined and negotiated at that time.

Background on intellectual property:

  • Trade Secrets

  • Trademarks

  • Copyrights

  • Patents

  • Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, inventions, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.
  • Intellectual property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic works. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, so too does it protect the exclusive control of intangible assets.
  • IP covers everything from original plays and novels to inventions and company identification marks. The purpose of intellectual property laws are to encourage new technologies, artistic expressions and inventions while promoting economic growth.
  • Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
  • There are two types of patents:
    Utility patents: For tangible inventions, such as machines, devices, and composite materials, as well as new and useful processes.
    Design patents: For the ornamental designs on manufactured products. Plant patents: For new varieties of plants.
  • What can and cannot be patented? Under U.S. patent law, any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.” … The invention must be novel. The invention must have some utility or usefulness. The invention must not be obvious.
  • What qualifies for a patent? In order for your invention to qualify for patent eligibility, it must cover subject matter that Congress has defined as patentable. The USPTO defines patentable subject matter as any “new and useful” process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. … The invention must be “novel,” or new.
  • What rights does a patent owner have? Once a patent expires, the protection ends, and an invention enters the public domain; that is, anyone can commercially exploit the invention without infringing the patent. A patent owner has the right to decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected.
  • Copyright protects:
    – Literary works
    – Musical works, including any accompanying words
    – Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
    – Pantomimes and choreographic works
    – Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
    – Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
    – Sound recordings
    – Architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings
  • Can ideas be copyrighted? Copyrights protect expression and patents protects inventions, and neither protect ideas. In both cases the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.
  • Can you sell an idea to a company without a patent? Because of this, many companies will not purchase the rights to an idea or invention unless they know it is patent protected and no one else can sell the same invention. Obtaining a patent can be very expensive and time consuming, but there are ways that you can sell your idea or invention without a patent.

Protecting your idea

  • Avoid revealing too much. One of the best ways to secure your idea is to only reveal what is absolutely necessary
  • Use Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
  • Apply for a Provisional Patent
  • Trademark your name
  • Research the recipients
  • Follow your instincts
  • Document, document, document

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