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 to safeguard every stage of the development cycle 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.
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 registrable 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.
In our increasingly digital world, and 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. A simple infographic from WIPO shows how the new process works.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation and is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.