In this Ask an Expert VP of Business Development and Operations, Jennifer Gumpert responds to the question: How does MCX protect IP?
One of the questions that we get a lot is how is it that Material ConneXion works with its clients but still protects their IP or intellectual property?
This is something that is particularly interesting and important to startup organizations, those that are maybe in their infancy, they have a new idea, and they’re trying to move the idea forward, without putting themselves in a situation where they have to worry that their intellectual property will be compromised.
What Material ConneXion will do is in the very start of our conversations, we’re going to understand information that would be typically available to the public domain – information that isn’t scary or concerning to share. But the next step of the process, whether you’re a startup company, or a large company, is to work with us to sign a mutual NDA.
In some cases, that might be an NDA that we provide that protects both parties. In other cases, that might be an NDA that’s provided by an organization and has been approved through through their legal department, and make sure that everyone’s interests are protected.
We’re extremely accustomed to working with organizations where intellectual property rights are a very big importance, we have to be very careful about making sure that we’re not sharing too much information. The other part that this becomes really, really a very important component is when we start the process of research.
When we’re in conversation with manufacturers, or with other organizations that may be able to help bring these components and products to life, how do we have those conversations without divesting too much and we will take into consideration what the client’s interests and tolerances are?
Many of our clients will choose not to have their name associated with the research, perhaps they say that they want this conducted anonymously, that will ensure that the manufacturers are working with Material ConneXion or the suppliers or working with Material ConneXion to understand the part or the component, and how their technology or their chemistry may be utilized in that end product without ultimately divulging who the product is for. That’s to mask and secure any intellectual property but also so that we’re able to ask a lot of questions without the manufacturer or the supplier giving us answers based on your brand or your brand size.
So those are two ways that Material ConneXion will work with our clients and with our supplier partners, to begin to move the product through to market in a way that protects all parties.
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