11. Contracts and Intellectual Property

When we discuss partnering and collaborating for innovation with clients, business people, and researchers, two questions always come up: How are the contracts structured, and who owns the intellectual property (IP)? This area has real potential for conflict and even legal action. What rights come with our agreement? Who is the real inventor—me, you, or us? Can I keep using your software after the project is disbanded? Can I share what I’ve learned with your competitors? Did I just give away my competitive advantage?

On the one hand, organizations want to be open and collaborative, but on the other hand, each partner needs to protect their IP and preserve their right to freedom of action. In this chapter, ...

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