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Protecting IP in the aerospace industry

Aug 13, 2020 | Intellectual Property

When it comes to aerospace design, every element of a product is critical – including the actual elements that designers and engineers use.

For instance, turbine blades in a jet engine can be smaller than four inches and weigh less than an apple. And yet, their design and performance are crucial to the engine’s efficiency. And as this recent article about the element zircon explains, this one material can have a dramatic impact on the cost, weight and production of an engine.

Considering all the research and design that goes into developing intricate and complicated aerospace materials, protecting the secrecy of these components is vital.

Securing patents and copyrights

Patents can be among the most effective ways to protect design elements and inventions. Though a patent may only be in place for 20 years, it can still ensure inventors enjoy ownership and solidify a party’s leadership role in the marketplace during that time. And when other parties license patented works, the owner can pull in revenue.

Copyrights can also be valuable. Often, aerospace products involve computer software, designs and instruction manuals, all of which a business could secure with a copyright. Doing so can ensure other parties are not allowed to own or distribute expressive works.

Other considerations for aerospace IP

There are limitations on the type of products and services that are eligible for protection by patents and copyrights. For instance, legal complications can arise when parties want to patent or copyright Earth elements, natural images and chemical compositions.

However, there are still ways parties can secure products or processes that utilize proprietary information or sensitive data. Options like confidentiality clauses, non-disclosure agreements and trade secrets can also be effective in restricting parties from sharing the information with others.

Again, the aerospace industry is one of the most sophisticated and powerful industries in the world. Protecting business assets from military aircraft to turbine blade designs can be critical in both domestic and foreign landscapes.

Should any conflicts involving aerospace IP infringement, protective agreements or theft arise, taking legal action can be vital. And doing so as soon as possible can minimize the fallout of unauthorized use.

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