Competent Communicator Project 8-What is Intellectual Property (Visual Aids)


Dear Toastmasters and distinguished guests, have you heard about the word 'intellectual property' or 'IP' ? (wait for response) Yeah, of course.

In today's knowledge economy, intellectual property is very important. Start-up companies use IP in order to protect themselves from large industrial competitors copying their products. Large companies also use IP in order to reap the benefits of their investments. If there were no IP protection, then competitors could offer the same products or service at a lower price because they didn't invest in research and development.

So what is IP anyway? IP refers to creation of the mind. Patents, Copyright, Trademarks, Trade secrets are different forms of IP.


Today I would like to talk about the 4 major forms of IP. The first form of IP is patent. Patents are granted for technical inventions only. They must be applied for at a patent office. (Patent applications are examined in a process that may result in the refusal or grant of a patent.) Patents normally last for a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing.

Maybe some of you are familiar with Gorilla Glass, which is the best-selling product of Corning. Corning has filed many patents on gorilla glass, including the product, the process, the equipment and the use of the product. It brought billions of dollars revenue for Corning last year.

The second form of IP is copyright. Copyright does not need to be registered. It"automatically" exists when the work is created. Copyright includes, for example, literature, art, drama, music, photographs, recordings, broadcasts, etc. The duration of a copyright is roughly the life of the author plus 50 years in China, but this depends on the specific case and country.

One of the valuable copyright example is Harry Potter,The author of the original Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling, held all associated IP rights. She is reported to have earned EUR 750 million from her intellectual property rights on the Harry Potter story.

The third form of IP is trademarks. Trademarks are signs identify the brand owner of a particular product or service. (Trade marks are distinctive signs identifying and distinguishing the commercial source of goods or services.) Such signs can consist of words, logos, names and colours, as well as any other means, such as the shape of products and their packaging, and possibly even sounds or smells. Trademarks can be created simply by using them or by registering the trademark.

One of the valuable trademark example is MacDonald's trademarks. It ranked on the top 10 Most Valuable Trademarks by Forbes. It probably worth billions of dollars.

A trade secret is information that is (a) not known to the public, (b) more valuable if not
known to the public. This is an alternative to patents. However, trade secrets offer no protection once trade secret is uncovered by third parties. The protection of trade secrets can, in principle, extend indefinitely.( It therefore may provide an advantage over patent protections, which last only for about 20 years.)

Perhaps the most famous of all trade secrets is Coca-Cola secret formula. It is 128-year-old. If the Coca-Cola Company had used patent to protect its secret formula, would it have become the most popular soda in the world? Possibly not.

To reinforce my point, IP can be in different forms. And it is relevant to almost every company. There are a huge number of IP covering almost every product that we buy, so pay more attention to IP, because it is of interest to everyone.

Thank you!

PS:The PowerPoint is revised based on European Patent Office's training materials.

C8 Introduction: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aid are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards, and props. The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctly with ease and confidence.

Time: 5 – 7 minutes

? Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
? Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.


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