5. Glossary

Business angels (a.k.a angel investors)
Affluent individuals who provide capital for start-ups in exchange for equity or a convertible note.

The process of taking an innovation to market for financial profit.

An automatic legal IP protection applicable to the novel expression of ideas and information; best suited to artistic creations, using that term broadly.

Circuit layout
The three-dimensional location of active and passive elements and interconnections making up an integrated circuit.

Raising capital for a venture from a large number of small cash contributions from members of the general public, often through an online registry.

A type of legally registered IP protection applicable to the novel and distinctive features of a product’s shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation, which give a product a unique visual appearance. The owner of a registered design has exclusive rights to use, license or sell it.

Public dissemination of IP.

A new or changed entity, realizing or redistributing value.

Intellectual property (IP)
An innovation or invention – a novel creation from a single mind or a collaboration – that may be protected via a trade secret, copyright, or a legal registration.

IP assignment
Legal sale or transfer of IP rights to a new owner/s.

IP licensing
Giving contractual rights to exploit IP commercially to a non-owner/s, in exchange for regular royalty payments and (sometimes) an up-front non-royalty payment.

IP owner/s
Legally, those who have rights to use and assign the IP; also the applicant/s listed on registered IP protection.

IP protection
Means of protecting the rights of IP owners, limiting plagiarism or other unfair use of the IP by competitors; includes trade secrets, legal registrations (patents, trade marks, designs, plant breeders rights, etc) and automatic legal protections (copyright, circuit layouts).

IP transfer
Taking IP from research organisations to the wider world for the benefit of society, with or without financial profit.

An innovation that would not have been obvious previously to anyone other than the inventor, not even to those skilled in the relevant field of work.

A territory, usually a country, in which IP protection rights specific to the laws of that territory apply.

Non-disclosure agreement (a.k.a. Confidentiality Agreement)
A legal contract through which parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement, except to each other; helps to maintain an IP’s secrecy, keeping other IP protection options open.

A type of legally registered IP protection applicable only to inventions, which provides exclusive rights to exploit the IP commercially in the jurisdiction of the registration.

Patent claim/s
Precise definition of the feature/s of the invention for which the patent grant is sought; the core IP of an application for patent rights.

Patent specification
Description of the IP and the best way known to implement it; an essential part of an application for patent rights, which supports the patent claims.

The status of a patent that has been filed but not yet granted or abandoned.

Plant breeder’s rights
A type of legally registered IP protection applicable to novel varieties of plants that are distinct, uniform and stable. Registration provides exclusive rights to use, license or sell the plant variety.

Prior art
Any information that may show that the perceived novelty in potential IP does not actually exist, where that information was publicly available prior to an application for legal protection of the potential IP.

Prior disclosure
Public dissemination of IP that pre-dates either an application for legally registered IP protection, or the documentation of IP for automatic legal protection; it rules out IP protection of any type.

Priority date
Set when a patent application is first filed with a registering agency; any information disclosed afterwards is not prior art and cannot invalidate the application.

A new company, created to commercialise an innovation, which is affiliated to an established business.

A new, independent company, created to commercialise an innovation.

Technology Transfer Office / TTO (a.k.a.Business Liaison Office, Research and Innovation Office, Industry Engagement Office, etc)
A specialised unit within the university responsible for managing the university’s IP; exists to guide and assist researchers, other staff and students in IP management and commercialisation.

Trade secret
IP that is kept secret from the public long-term, as a deliberate IP protection mechanism.

Trade mark
A type of IP that distinguishes its owner’s goods and services from those of another business, e.g. a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, movement, aspect of packaging, or a combination of these. A trade mark can be protected through legal registration.

Venture capital
Private sector funding for early commercialisation, in exchange for equity.