IP for Creative Ecosystem Stakeholders and Creative Industries

The innovation process in creative industries can often be described as a collective process that can involve many different actors whose objectives and needs may differ.

It also involves informal knowledge communities that have very specific Intellectual Property (IP) needs. Those actors often combine different types of IP rights, including copyright, patents and trademarks. Infringement of IP in the creative industries is a challenge, particularly since copying is easy and cheap in the digital era. Firms in creative industries also use more traditional IP strategies, open source and other creative commons types of licenses.

The creativity, skill, and talent of literary and artistic creators is their main means of creating wealth and jobs. By creating the optimal framework conditions in which there is compensation and reward for creators’ effort and creativity, IP can act as an incentive for further creation and creative collaboration, as well as supporting economic growth in an amplified manner.

This work contributes to the European Added Value:

  • Enhanced understanding of what approaches, mechanisms and actions lead to improved ecosystems, which are complex and multifaceted – including new data.
  • Supported networking among innovation actors across local ecosystems, notably building on EU-level initiatives.
  • Guided bottom-up, place-based approaches of smart specialisation and investments and initiatives for reinforcing innovation ecosystems.
  • Fostered synergies between different EU, as well as national and regional programmes.
  • Enhanced local innovation networks and connectivity within Europe.

On November 28, 2023, the online Workshop on «IP strategies for creative entrepreneurs» was organized and hosted by Creative Business Network and Western Development Commission.

The goal of the event was to examine different approaches towards frameworks for Creative IP. By creating optimal framework conditions in which there is compensation and reward for creators’ effort and creativity, IP can act as an incentive for further creation and creative collaboration, as well as supporting economic growth in an amplified manner.

Topics and Speakers:
1. Overall understanding of Creative IP.
Speaker: Kati Repo, COO, Business Development & Legal in KREAM Helsinki. Kati Repo works as COO, Business Development & Legal at KREAM in Helsinki. Highly creative company specializing in intellectual property commercialization. Master of Laws –degree from Helsinki University and MBA degree from Henley Business School.

2. IP as a commercialization tool that can be used in business models.
Speaker: Mustafa Cakir, Co-Founder, PATENT EFFECT. Mustafa Cakir is an industrial engineer with 13-year experience in patent portfolio management, patent data analytics, patent valuation, patent commercialization (+22 deals so far), incubation program management and startup/spinoff development. He mainly leads patent data analytics services, patent portfolio management, patent licensing, patent valuation, deep-tech startup acceleration programs and commercialization services for IP-based spinoff companies. He is also acting as the President of LES (Licensing Executives Society) Turkey and co-director of Founder Institute Turkey. Mr. Cakir is recognized as one of The World’s Leading 300 IP Strategists by IAM in 2022 and 2023.

3. Innovations in IP: what considerations should creatives and their legal support bear in mind when working with emerging digital technologies?
Speaker: Dr. Eric K. Clemons. Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A pioneer in the systematic study of the transformational impacts of information on the strategy and practice of business, his research and teaching interests include strategic uses of information systems, information economics, the changes enabled by information technology, and innovations in IP that can shape the future protection for innovative and creative solutions.

4. Special guest of the Workshop – Jesper Moseholm, CEO of “Anna Black” Design brand.
Jesper has established and managed a business together with designer Anne Black where they manufacture and sell her ceramic designs. The business started in 2002. As part of this, Jesper has managed a lawsuit on IP infringement and brand damage, towards a Danish grocery retailer, in three consecutive courts, ending after 7 years, with a Danish supreme court verdict. The trial has delivered a lot of insight into the various challenges on defending brand and IP.

Main Takeaways provided by the Experts

IPR protection, the main principles for creators:

  • Create-Protect-Utilize: understanding the basis of protecting IP, recognizing its value and business potential.
  • Ideas cannot be protected and thus cannot be stolen, but protecting trade secrets with strict enough NDAs might be an important tool.
  • For proper IPR utilization, it is crucial to consider and take into account competitors, market trends (such as digitalization), the level of risk the creator is prepared to take, commercialization opportunities while utilizing the IP, creative team mindset and IP strategy.

IP as a commercialization tool – what to consider:

  • IP is a working investment tool. IP commercialization can be achieved through various means, including IP ownership, IP assignments, and business partnerships (including licensing).
  • Patent strategy and an IP policy are crucial elements for effective IP management within all creative businesses.
  • Licensing should be considered as a practical tool, even for smaller players; it can aid in international expansion and brand recognition.
  • To minimize risks, a well-structured licensing agreement is crucial for creative companies and individuals. This agreement should encompass, but not be limited to, license restrictions, territory specifications, terms, and definitions.
  • IP commercialization opportunities and conditions vary across different categories, with examples such as the “invent for royalties” scheme for private inventors and international market access for businesses.

Innovations in IP: a helicopter view of challenges and opportunities in the Digital Age:

  • IP law balances between two stakeholders: society and creators, determining the level of public access and creators’ compensation. Overprotection may restrict access, while under-protection may result in financial losses for creators.
  • Technological advancements are challenging this balance, simplifying the processes of copying and modifications to a significant extent. As these technologies evolve, the landscape of Creative IP faces transformative shifts, impacting the balance between creators’ rights, public access, and the ease of replicability and modification.
  • Considering value-added copying as a source of further creative product development, various models of revenue sharing between the original creator and those interacting with the work can be explored.
  • Understanding IP laws is crucial. However, one of the important aspects is identifying what has changed. If there’s a shift in a way that has not been explored yet, that is where creatives can make the most valuable contribution. When creative individuals stop sticking to the usual ways of doing things, they pave the way for making the biggest difference.

IP in practice – Anne Black’s case:
Anne Black case highlights the gap between theoretical IP laws and their practical implementation, emphasizing the importance of accurate and provable figures, resource considerations, and the strategic protection of brand reputation in the face of legal challenges.

  • The practical application of IP laws often diverges from legal provisions, making it challenging to secure compensation in real cases. There is a need to navigate the nuances between legal statutes and actual implementation.
  • In Anne Black’s trial, figures presented were not considered objective by the supreme court. It underscores the importance of ensuring that material losses, such as financial figures, are not only provable but also accurate to bolster the case.
  • The ability and resources required to pursue IP cases, especially for smaller entities, pose a significant challenge. It is advised not to solely rely on legal professionals; creatives should actively engage with the subject matter to effectively manage the trial.
  • While safeguarding designs can be challenging, protecting reputation should be less arduous. The suggestion to consider damage to the brand, such as trademark infringement, emphasizes the impact on sales and reputation due to the violation.

More detail from learning on IP for creative industries can be found on the resources page, in the published deliverable.