Why protect innovations and innovators.

19 Jan, 2018 | OPINION | 0 comments

Innovation is a key factor for society to advance. In the same way that it is very important to innovate, it is also important to protect those who made the intellectual and economic effort to innovate. Industrial and intellectual development are protected through the mechanisms provided by industrial property: patents, trademarks, and industrial designs.

There are three agencies that are responsible for this:

  • At the Spanish level there is the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), adhere to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Patents and function models protect inventions or innovations of technical nature that are new, provide solutions, and that serve the industry.
  • At the European level, the responsibility rests with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). Its objective is the protection and registration of Community trademarks, designs, and conferring on its holder a unitary right, with full validity in all member states of the European Union.
  • At the international level, the World intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is responsible for promoting and managing international treaties on intellectual and industrial property.


¿What is Industrial Property?

There are the rights that a natural or legal person can have over an invention, an industrial design, a brand, etc.

Companies must work on the value of their industrial property and get the most out of it when using it in their commercial strategy. Therefore, these companies that dedicate resources and time to protect their products will increase their competitiveness for the reason that:

  • They will prevent their competitors from copying or imitating them.
  • They will be able to give a more adequate approach to their economic investments in R&D and commercialisation activities.
  • They will create a company identity in which their registered trademarks will be recognised.
  • They will negotiate licenses, franchises or other agreements taking into account intellectual property.
  • They will increase the commercial value of the company.
  • They can acquire venture capital and at the same time improve access to founding sources.
  • They may be introduced in new markets.


What can be protected?

Rights of inventions resulting from technological innovation and investments in R&D:

  • Patents: the state grants the title of industrial property to the creator of the invention so that it can exploit said invention, exclusively during the following 20 years. The inventor in return, must put his creation within reach of the public in order to favour technological progress. The patent refers to a new product, knowledge, device, etc. and also to the improvement of any of these.
  • Utility models: also known as “minor inventions” protect inventions with a lower innovative range that those that protect patents. That’s why the protection lasts half (10 years since the request) and it is easier to obtain it.

Creations that will be a novelty in the external form of the products:

  • Industrial models: it is the model for the manufacturing of a product, it is defended by its structure, configuration, ornamentation or representation. Through this, the new from adopted by a product or three-dimensional article is protected.
  • Drawings: it is the industrial model for two-dimensional objects.



Thus, industrial property rights are very important, because an efficient use of them can facilitate innovation success. This innovation is more likely to be successful if intellectual property is used in a strategic way.

Industrial property is a very solid tool when it comes to forging and preserving commercial alliances.

ZICLA and the protection of innovation.

In ZICLA we develop and manufacture competitive, quality solutions for cities; all of them include recycled, recyclable, reusable and competitive products elaborated with post-consumption and post-industrial waste. These products have been patented in the UE and in different countries all over the world.


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