At our last Entrepreneurship 101 lecture, we discussed IP management. In the Q&A session, someone asked about “copyright in data.”

Speaker Arshia Tabrizi of Tabrizi Law Offices answered that there is no copyright in “raw data” per se. If it’s a direct, mechanical input and aggregation of data (e.g. recording outside temperatures) then copyright does not apply.

However, he wanted to clarify his answer. “I realized that my answer may have been misleading. In certain circumstances, one can own rights in a ‘compilation of data’ if there is some level of ingenuity (originality) applied to the compilation. As I mentioned to the questioner later, that data may be protected as a trade secret.”

Question of the week
Arshia Tabrizi talked about how various forms of intellectual property are business tools. But in a world of open source and Web 2.0 is IP that important any more? Most investors are still looking for a “sustainable advantage” — how many of you think that IP gives you that?

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Tony Redpath

Tony Redpath mentored entrepreneurs at MaRS, with a particular emphasis on environmental, advanced materials and manufacturing markets. His primary role was to ensure that MaRS has the right programs in place to help companies take their ideas to market and that these programs are working together. See more…