Protecting the marketing mix through intellectual property rights
An Intellectual Property Office case study

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Page 3: Product

Forensic Pathways has high levels of knowledge in electronics and computer programming. For its new product, Forensic Pathways wanted to do far more than simply extract data from mobile phones. It wanted to be able to alert investigators to patterns in the data. Powerful analytical computer programs could reveal 'pictures' in the data that might spark new lines of enquiry and provide evidence of criminal networks.

The Forensic Phone Analyser was the first product of its type in a specialised but growing market. While the Analyser was in development, its intellectual property (the specialised combination of technical know-how and computer software) was not at risk. Only a few trusted employees knew the underpinning technology and software. All electronic information on the project was held on secure servers and networks.

However, once a product is launched on the market, it 'breaks cover'. A competitor might be able to unravel the finished product, working backwards to reveal its design and operating principles. This is known as reverse engineering. The resulting slightly different but essentially copied product might then be fast-tracked into the same market.

Forensic Pathways knew the product would add real value but it would only prove profitable if it were protected with the safeguards offered by the Intellectual Property Office.

With all these safeguards in place, Forensic Pathways was able to commit capital to the phone analyser development with confidence.

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Intellectual Property Office | Protecting the marketing mix through intellectual property rights