One more time, with feeling: information is not property

“The Client will own the Report”: what does this statement mean? This golden oldie is worth a second read, if only for the excellent comments that others made below it.

IP Draughts

There is a clause in some US contracts that makes IP Draughts feel puzzled, exasperated or resigned, depending on his mood.  Well, more than one, but for today let’s focus.  The clause typically says something like:

The Client shall own the Report.

Bland and inoffensive as this statement may seem to a casual reader, it doesn’t make much sense to this English IP lawyer.  Usually it features in a contract that has other provisions that state that intellectual property in the results belongs to the Client, and that the information contained in the report should be treated as the confidential information of the Client.  IP Draughts understands both of these last provisions.  Similarly, a clause that stated that the property in the paper on which the report was printed belongs to the Client, would be logical if usually rather pointless.

Nor would IP Draughts have any conceptual problem with a…

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