Foreground intellectual property is intellectual property that comes from a research project, while background intellectual property is a pre-existing intellectual property. Intellectual property is also known as a copyright-protected design or patentable product. All useful knowledge is included in this, including conference presentations, academic journal publications, and any treatment protocols that come from a research project. This concept allows ownership of knowledge and can be in many forms. This includes intervention materials, research data, academic journals, and transcripts. 

Owner of Intellectual Property

There needs to be an identified owner of the property. The owner can be part of a collaboration or different partner organizations, but these situations are best to avoid, as they're usually complicated. It's better to have one owner for each distinct intellectual property instead. Having an owner means identifying a certain organization who will take responsibility in case nothing is done with the intellectual property.

They will be recognized through a website, academic journal, an information sheet for patients, or training materials. Most of the research is captured by an academic journal and will be protected by copyright when it's created. The intellectual property is often set forth by a sponsor or collaborative team who agrees on the intellectual property strategy and business plan.

Adopting intellectual property means others are taking on this new knowledge to combine with their own. One example of this is a national clinical guideline that influences local policy. A trainer who's qualified can use the training materials using the intellectual property. Implementing the intellectual property requires going through the necessary steps to enable utilization, such as forming a commissioning package to support and guide a new intervention. Commercial exploitation is defined as getting a financial reward from others who are paying to use the intellectual property, but it can also mean licensing it to a third party.

What is Foreground Intellectual Property?

Foreground intellectual property is a newer property that develops over a project's duration. This can be developed by one person or multiple people, although it's normally by one party. Legal issues can come up when the foreground intellectual property is jointly developed by parties. Foreground intellectual property is intellectual property that's developed, made, or created in the performance of the original satellite contract or contract and is required for any deliverable item to be used.

Foreground intellectual property can be considered feasibility knowledge in the following situations:

  • When undertaking a trial that's in primary care
  • Savings are shown when comparing one health economic analysis of a certain intervention to another
  • Certain materials such as clinical guidance sheets, academic journal articles, and patient information

Foreground intellectual property can be more knowledge about a certain background intellectual property. As an example, if a project was created to refine an established intervention further, the intervention is considered the background intellectual property and the refinements are the foreground intellectual property. Foreground information is often defined as intellectual property that was first conceived, created, produced, and decrease to practice as part of the work under the contract. Even if the contractor owns the intellectual property and foreground information, it's necessary to keep very detailed records of the foreground information that is created and developed.

The information will need to follow all reporting requirements and is similar to if the federal government owned the intellectual property and foreground information. The government has the right to receive a license to let them exercise all their intellectual property rights in the foreground information. This means the government is entitled to do anything they could do if they were the owner of the foreground information. The exception to this is to transfer or assign ownership and exploit it.

The definition of foreground intellectual property includes all technical data, specifications, data, plans, patterns, demonstration units, inventions, applicable special purpose equipment, designs, software, drawings, reports, prototypes, and models. It also includes any other processes that produce, conceive, develop, or decrease the information to finish the project and therefore all rights, including patents, industrial designs, copyrights, trademarks, and registrations. It also includes the intellectual property rights pertaining to the subsequent agreement with the exclusion of foundry intellectual property confidential.

If you need help with foreground intellectual property, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.