The Intellectual Keystone is regularly misunderstood and underestimated. Does your organisation have information, designs or unique facilities on which it’s success relies? Is there a secret recipe or technique that needs to be kept safe. The Intellectual Keystone might be more important than you think.
You may have a logo that has been designed for your organisation or product which you don’t want misused. Perhaps your family has been mastering a food over centuries and the recipe is only known to a few people. What if you have an idea that will rock the world to its foundations, hopefully not literally! All these are Intellectual Keystone elements that need protection and maintenance. Some things are easier to protect than others and there are a wide and complex range of ways to secure them legally. Learning more about the Intellectual Keystone will help you secure Intellectual Keystone elements in your organisation which are important to its success.
For the full Keystone picture, take a look at the Gydeline Guardian.
Intellectual includes the following elements:
- Trademark – Legally registered words and graphics
- Copyright – Marked materials, permissions to use
- Analysis – Sensitive documentation and statistics
- Licences – Permissions
- Designs – Imagery, plans, design guides, registered designs
- Terms – Contracts, agreements, conditions
- Code – Programming code, applications, logic
Intellectual Keystone elements can be purchased or licenced but, more often than not, the organisation has created something which is unique and deserves protecting. An illustration, a scribble on a napkin, a name, a logo, a recipe… this list is nearly endless. People in the organisation will create Intellectual Keystone elements in their work for the company.
An Intellectual Keystone may be used in the organisations Brand Keystone. It could be something used in the activity of delivering the organisational outcomes, such as equipment, a designed product or application.
Intellectual Keystone elements may be protected by a range of mechanisms in law. These mechanisms do need to be checked and policed to ensure that your Intellectual Property is not recreated or used by others. A balance of maintenance is required in line with the value of the Keystone element. For example, the chemical formula of a groundbreaking drug may be worth millions to the organisation that creates it and therefore it would be worth investing in the proper checks and maintenance. An Intellectual Keystone element may be licenced to other organisations to formally permit them to use it for a consideration (e.g. licence payment, royalty)
Intellectual Keystone elements can expire and fall out of use, to which point destruction or deletion may be appropriate. Some of these elements retain a value and may be transferred to other organisations for a consideration (i.e. payment)