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The recent economic upheavals in the Chinese economy have had a dramatic global effect on commodity producers. Mining corporations have been especially vulnerable to falling demand. In these economic situations, the impulse is often to look for ways to cut costs, and administrative and legal fees are often among the first to be trimmed. But mining corporations should think twice before neglecting to protect their IP, especially their background IP.

Minerals in the ground are not the only resources that can be developed and sold. Mining companies often have a wealth of unrecognized IP stored in the form of design improvements to equipment, internally developed equipment, and internally generated software. Recognizing and creating inventories of these assets is the first step. Obtaining good legal advice to develop background IP licensing agreements is the second step.

The third step is to market this IP to potential licensees.

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Take away:

  • Protecting your background IP helps to maximize the value of business assets, which is especially important in tough economic times.


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