Contract & Clauses, an indispensable tool

to manage and protect the Intellectual Property within a company



By Bastien Nowak

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France




This paper aims to analyze and understand what the actions are to be undertaken for a company to control and manage their intellectual property. All companies have an intellectual property, yet few of them know how to manage it properly. Intellectual property, indispensable clause in the employment contract? How do you manage the protection of intellectual property? To answer these questions, we will focus on analyzing the different possible alternatives to protect and manage its intellectual property. To have the best possible vision we have used the root-cause-analysis, as well as other tools such as non-compensatory model, a multi-attribute decision-making grid, a matrix analysis and an additive weighting technique model. This tool aims to assess each scoring attributes and alternatives. Finally, we use the Pareto model to highlight the impact that the implementation of our best alternatives on the company will have. Finally, the solution Employment contract & clauses represents the best alternatives to protect and manage intellectual property.

Key words: Intellectual property / Laws / Impact / Contract / copyright / patent / clause


In the digital and computer age, works and creations are less and less protected. Thanks internet, we have access to a vast amount of work, documents, logos (etc.) in a free and instantaneous way. It has therefore become of paramount importance for businesses and individuals to protect their innovation, creation and work. Intellectual property rights are constantly rising in the world. “In 2016 there are more than 58 million intellectual property rights as well as more than 3 million applications for patents”[1] according to WIPO Statistics Database.

The expression of intellectual property is a concept that was born in 1967 at the same time as the creation of the “World Intellectual Property Organization”[2]. It has become common for only a few years, and this term refers to all innovations, literary and artistic works, but also names, logos, images, patents (etc.) used in the commercial sector. There are two major aspects: Industrial property and copyrights.

Industrial property[3]: “Industrial property is a right forming one of the branches of intellectual property. It refers to rights granting and protecting a temporary monopoly of exploitation over a technical process. It also protects a mark or other sign allowing the identification of an industrialist or a merchant. Patents, designs and models may be subject to industrial protection if their authors so request.” It is with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) that a company can protect its intellectual property.

Copyright[4]: “This is the exclusive right preserved to the creator for his creation. It can be a patent, trademark and trade secret. This right promotes the authors to create more innovations. Generally, the life of copyright is the entire lifespan of the creator plus another 50 or 100 years. Copyright gives the right to copy to the creator which can be used to charge for the usage of his creation.”

In general, it allows the creator, owner, owner of a patent, to be protected by copyright and prevents any third party from taking advantage of his work or his investment in a creation. These rights are set out in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Protecting your intellectual property is protecting your portfolio and these assets, and is the responsibility of project management. When you have a business, recruiting employees, working with suppliers (etc.) you will have to sign contracts. It is up to the contract management team and / or the managers to identify, analyze and take the necessary actions to protect the company and its resources. Intellectual property theft can be bad for a business so much that it has become an important issue for the proper functioning of the business. Many companies have turned to employment contracts to protect their assets. It is necessary to take into account several aspects to achieve employment contracts that will protect the company effectively. Indeed, since each employee does not have the same status, positions and responsibilities, it is necessary to succeed in managing all the contracts whatever it is. But it’s also important to manage all the assets and projects in relations to Intellectual Property in order to collect revenue and profit. That’s why companies use project, program, portfolio and asset management to issue personalized contracts to employees and control that intellectual property does not leave the company.


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director paul.gardiner@skema.edu.

How to cite this paper: Nowak, B. (2019). Contract & Clauses, an indispensable tool to manage and protect the Intellectual Property within a company, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue III (April).  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/pmwj80-Apr2019-Nowak-contract-and-clauses-to-protect-intellectual-property.pdf



About the Author

Bastien Nowak

Lille, France


Bastien Nowak is a PGE Student at SKEMA Business School currently in Msc Project & Program Management and Business Development in Lille France. He has a strong background in Business Development and Project Management. In 2016, during his Erasmus semester at the Budapest Business School, with 6 other collaborators, they worked on the promotion of students abroad. During his two-year degree in Sales at the University of Picardy Jules Verne in Amiens, he also had the opportunity to work on the organization of a basketball tournament bringing together the main clubs of Amiens, France. He integrated SKEMA Business School in September 2016, where he had the opportunity to work on many projects like Skip The Beat (House Music Festival). He is currently working on PRINCE 2 and AGILE PM certifications.

Bastien Nowak lives in France, and can be contacted at: Bastien.nowak@skema.edu  or Bastien.nowak78@gmail.com

Also available on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bastien-nowak-9a8156131/


[1] Wipo. (2017) World intellectual property indicators. Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_941_2017.pdf

[2] Qu’est-ce que la propriété intellectuelle? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/fr/

[3] Propriété industrielle (définition). (n.d.). Retrieved from : https://droit-finances.commentcamarche.com/faq/23944-propriete-industrielle-definition

[4] Zigu. (n.d.). Copyright Definition | Marketing Dictionary | MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share. Retrieved from : https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/marketing-and-strategy-terms/6863-copyright.html