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IP Creation /Protection made crystal clear

Remove the barrier to innovation by making the rules for IP creation and ownership really clear from the outset.

Photo of Rupert Whiting
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I think that, even in an altruistic community such as this, the money that goes with a great idea can stifle real collaboration.  Fear of losing out comes into play.  How then can there be clear, universally understood rules of engagement that say basically "here is how we create IP in this community."

One way would be to say that in an open forum like this no IP can be made as discussions are held in public.  That is simple but has its (hopefully obvious) drawbacks.

This, I think is the single biggest mill around OpenIdeo's neck in terms of attracting talent from within corporations to the table.  Hopefully I am wrong but I think that it needs clearing up - assuming that hasn't already been done and I just missed the memo.

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Rupert Whiting

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Rupert, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

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Photo of Alina Wernick
Team

Generally, ideas once made public cannot be owned, as copyright only protects their expression. Attributions to ideas is more of form of respectful social practice. I am new to OpenIDEO, I cannot address practices here. But generally, I understand that this platform represents a form of crowdsourcing of ideas.  In some forms of crowdsourcing a private company indeed uses the contributed ideas directly for its proprietary products. On the other hand, a private company may engage in open innovation activities, also with a community without such appropriation, when it can maintain some private sources of revenue to openly innovated and distributed ideas, such as complementary products and services (Von Hippel & von Krogh). But it is a dilemma,  on other hand not crowding out contributors while on the other hand finding and maintaining the company's own incentives/extra funding to engage in open innovation activity. 

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Photo of Rupert Whiting
Team

Yes, it is a challenge.  I do not subscribe to any particular solution as there is probably only a least worst option and that which is the least worst will depend on where you are standing.  My main objective about raising the subject is to gain clarity that we can all use.  Maybe someone already has that covered and I have not read it yet.  If not, it's an important discussion to have.

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Photo of Alina Wernick
Team

As a practical solution, perhaps some clear explanation with helpful visualizations of expected norms attribution, reuse of ideas and possible IP could bring more more clarity and trust? The visualization could also indicate how the contributions feed to the business model of the platform host.