IP and innovation: what future?

IP and innovation: what future?

In the automotive sector, where the technological process and innovation are fast and competitive, the problems related to the protection of intellectual property are deeply felt; in this changing market, on the one hand due to the ever increasing rate of technological and digital innovation, and on the other hand due to the fact that we are increasingly moving towards a knowledge and information society, the system of intellectual protection is subject to not a few perplexities.

The first instrument of protection to be questioned following the invasion of “intangible” technologies, which suggest new combinations between what is physical and what is virtual, is the patent: if on the one hand the patent practice keeps valid the its protective function by attributing to the inventor the exclusivity of the invention itself and giving greater credibility and prestige to the companies that own a good number of patents, on the other hand the reputation as the main tool of innovation is undermined by the air of change that reigns in the world of new technologies.

Digitization also leads automotive companies to protect inventions and products that in theory cannot fall within what is patentable: software, which is often debated about the protection of intellectual property rights, cannot be patented but is protected like literary works, as what it contains within the “source code” is considered like a poem.

We can therefore detect major discontinuities in the world of intellectual protection: the ever-diminishing holding of patents in court, the blurring of the boundaries between what is intangible and what is patentable (as in the case of software), the detachment of patents from their original role as “Defenders of the inventor”, lead to a radical rethinking of the process that generates innovation, forcing companies to review the position of strategies for the defense of intellectual property.

And it is precisely the imponderable that characterizes the innovation sector that makes us reflect on how to enhance intangible works of genius, which are destined to be our future and where economic development will have to pass through, resorting to the strange combination of patent and law. copyright, where protection must be intelligent to avoid putting in place costly, bureaucratic and ineffective mechanisms.

The digital transformation also involves a legal adjustment of the protection of intellectual property and copyright, where in the near future the interaction between humans and artificial intelligence will mark the end of traditional proprietary systems.
We are talking about NFT (Non-Fungible Token), systems that allow you to certify the digital rarity of an asset: works of art, videos, photographs, luxury items, the last frontier of Blockchain technology and online intellectual property.

La regolamentazione di questa nuova economia virtuale è molto diversa da quella fisica, tant’è che sono nati gli “smart contract”, contratti intelligenti che normano la cessione, dall’autore a terzi, dei diritti patrimoniali di un bene digitale.

The regulation of this new virtual economy is very different from the physical one, so much so that “smart contracts” were born, intelligent contracts that regulate the transfer, by the author to third parties, of the property rights of a digital asset.

The buyer of an NFT, in addition to copyright, also purchases a certificate that allows you to track and prove ownership of the digital copy purchased, while the author can economically exploit his work an infinite number of times by finding remuneration from sale of the token linked to the work itself.
Even with due caution, especially linked to scams and guarantees that the data entered are genuine, and to the most felt and immediate environmental problem (the process to create a single NFT needs an enormous amount of energy), this system will allow in the next few years, to automate the origin of intellectual property, facilitating the management of rights up to now the exclusive prerogative of responsible bodies (eg Siae).