Agency 13: Intellectual Property Agency

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The Intellectual Property (IP) Agency is the thirteenth agency in the community. The agency’s core aim is to facilitate participants to develop, process, and commercialize their innovations while ensuring that intellectual property utilization is optimized.

The community considers IP as a form of capital that businesses need to either develop or access to achieve superior productivity. The agency strives to make this the case.

The agency forms part of the Regulatory Bureau. Other agencies in the bureau are Legal Affairs (agency 14) and Audit (agency 15). The bureau plays an important role in helping the community to function as an innovative, technologically advanced economy. The bureau also works with other agencies and districts, through its regulatory operational presidencies, to help participants access the services offered by its agencies.

The Capital Bank Agency invests capital in all community agencies, including the IP Agency. The IP Agency uses the funds for its operations, including paying down payments for any loans taken from the Community Bank and delivering chargeable services to participants. From its revenues, it pays the Capital Bank a return on investment, while repaying the loans owed to the Community Bank.

How IP licensing works

All intellectual property is owned by the community, through the Commercial Bank Agency (agency 9). The IP Agency helps participants originate and process IP by creating the right conditions to encourage innovation and providing consultancy services through contractors and the agency’s automated process during the IP development process.

Once a participant has successfully processed their IP, the Risk Management and Underwriting Agency facilitates the IP’s appraisal. The appraisal process, which is performed by contractors hired by the innovators and vetted by the agency, considers the resources used to develop the IP, its novelty, and the value of potential application. The process also considers the expected time within which the IP will be competitive in the market. This process leads to the approval for a license by the agency, based on the recommendation of the appraiser. Every quarter thereafter, the IP is appraised to determine its true value at all times.

After the appraisal process, the IP Agency works with the Commercial Bank Agency to issue the innovator with a license. The Commercial Bank. By holding a license, the inventor is credited with the IP, which has their name on it. The license holder reserves the first right to use the IP in the field in which the IP was conceived. To apply it, the inventor pays the Commercial Bank a royalty fee of 1%, calculated as a percentage of the gross sales directly connected to the IP.

The IP Agency actively seeks out participants who can apply the IP in other fields. A participant who wishes to utilize the IP pays the Commercial Bank Agency a royalty of 4%. The bank retains half (2%), with the license holder receiving the remainder. This encourages people to innovate more and also ensures that IP is used optimally, instead of locking out potentially productive uses as is the case with most IPs today.

In many cases, inventors collaborate to produce an innovation. When this is the case, the team nominates a lead inventor, to share royalties. This agreement is akin to agreements that limited partners enter into when transacting business, where they clearly define who handles the entity’s financial obligations.

While IP is owned by the community through the Commercial Bank, innovators can use their right to negotiate services from the Business Operations Agency, which issues equipment and factoring services. Ownership of IP will give an innovator greater access to these services than in normal circumstances, in part because they have a form of security to guarantee these services, and additionally because, especially in their fields, they have shown great capacity to perform.

There are various types of IP. Each has unique characteristics and the term during which it is protected, as shown in the table below.

Type of IPDescriptionTerm
CopyrightProtection of material issued to originators of literary, artistic, or musical materialduration of an author’s life, plus 70 years
TrademarkA symbol or phrase that identifies a business or its products and servicesDoes not expire
Trade secretRights to protect a unique practice, process, or device that is generally not known outside the businessDoes not expire/ unless it is divulged outside the business
Utility patentIssued to protect a new or improved product, process, or device20 years after filing
Design patentIssued to protect the unique aesthetic qualities of a product15 years after filing
plant patentIssued to developers of asexually propagated plants20 years after filing

Roles of the IP Agency

With the agency’s executive presidency providing the necessary strategic direction, which is implemented by the Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidencies, the agency performs a number of duties as detailed below, with the help of its automated system and contractors. The duties include:

  • Facilitate innovation
  • Processing IP

Facilitating innovation

The IP Agency is tasked by the community to provide the necessary conditions that boost innovation among participants. The agency achieves this through a set of measures. The first is by offering consultation services during IP’s origination and processing. This consultation is typically offered through the agency’s automated system. If need be, it is offered by contractors vetted by the agency, but paid by their clients – participants. The consultation is meant to ensure that the IP follows the right processes, and is economically viable. Participants are motivated by the royalties they will receive once their IP has been filed, whether or not they will use it for their businesses.

 The IP Agency engages stakeholders to come up with regulations and practices that foster innovation and reward those who innovate. The agency, besides making it easier to access support for research and development, also makes it easier for people to collaborate and supports learning institutions to have programs that are strongly aligned with innovation.

Processing IP

The processing of IP starts at the research stage, where an aspiring innovator informs the agency through its automated system of their aims, and the help they may need. The agency assesses the proposal with the help of contractors who assess requests and recommend if and how a project can be supported. This step can be skipped if the innovator can comfortably fund their endeavors, and therefore, does not need the community’s intervention.

Thereafter, the innovator works on their innovation. During the process, the innovator is helped by the agency on technical issues that revolve around optimal utilization of resources, commercial viability, and uniqueness. Both the innovator and the agency are keen to ensure that the intellectual property will be worth the effort. Once complete, the innovator files a notice with the agency through the system. The notice invites the agency to assess the claimed intellectual property. The assessment determines whether the IP is novel enough, has commercial viability, and other relevant issues.

Being satisfied that the IP measures up to the criteria, the agency files it with the Commercial Bank, which issues a license to the innovator. The agency also files the IP with relevant patent authorities and holds the rights outside the community as well. The innovator then embarks on applying their IP, having paid a royalty to the Commercial Bank. The bank also avails the IP to others in the community to use at a royalty fee. 

How the agency works

Background on presidencies

Every presidency in the community is a four-member entity whose members represent one of the four major demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D). However, a president serves the whole community in their role, rather than only their demographic. Presidents’ diversity and commitment to serve all is provided for in the community bylaws and ensures that all access services without any discrimination.

These four major demographics are evenly split in a normal society.  Each group accounts for between 23 and 27% of the population, with regular fluctuations as people’s status changes. The community appreciates that discrimination across all social categories happens based on marital status, other social categorizations notwithstanding; married men are likelier to dominate other demographics, especially single men and single women.

The community’s infrastructure promotes equal access to economic and social resources and opportunities. The composition of the community as a whole and those who serve it in the community public service is closely monitored to prevent numerical domination, which can lead to nepotism or unequal access.

Besides marital status, the recruitment to be a participant, and to serve in the public service carefully considers other social categorizations, to ensure racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual groups are well represented in the community as they are in the society in which a community operates. These considerations inform the constitution of the community public service. The diversity in community public service, which is provided by bylaws, is aimed at creating a community that is blind to all other considerations besides service to participants. The service is therefore designed to be free of discrimination.

Executive presidency, bureau board, and demographic presidencies

The IP Agency is served by an executive presidency, comprised of 4 presidents from the four major demographics,[1] which handles strategy formulation and adjustment, as well as formulating and communicating operational procedures for the agency. Additionally, the presidency also facilitates the setting up of the agency’s automated system and adjusts it as necessary to better achieve its goals.

As part of the Regulatory Bureau, the executive presidency forms a bureau board with executive presidencies serving the Legal and Audit agencies. The board acts as a check and monitoring tool for individual presidents and agencies, especially when decisions have far-reaching implications for the community.

Within the bureau board, three presidents from the same demographic form a demographic presidency. There are four such presidencies in the bureau. The demographic presidency performs an advisory role to presidencies and agencies regarding a particular demographic; it does not have operational or executive authority. that cut across the three agencies. The demographic presidency also plays an important role in the mentorship and training of new presidents.

Demographic presidency ADemographic presidency BDemographic presidency CDemographic presidency D
Executive presidency, IP (13)13A13B13C13D
Executive presidency, Legal (14)14A14B14C14D
Executive presidency, Audit (15)15A15B15C15D

 

Operational presidencies

As part of the Regulatory Bureau, the IP Agency is served by a team of 12 operational presidencies. Each operational presidency serves 2 district buildings, where they interact with executive presidencies of the agencies that have their offices in those buildings, and district, village, and branch presidencies. Since each presidency consists of four presidents, there are 48 operational presidents. Each president also belongs to a demographic presidency and a board. The operational presidencies are organized as detailed in this table:

PresidencyPresidentdemographic presidencyAgencies/ districts servedPresidencyPresidentdemographic presidencyAgencies/ districts served
11A11 and 1377A97 and 19
1B21 and 137B107 and 19
1C31 and 137C117 and 19
1D41 and 137D127 and 19
22A12 and 1488A98 and 20
2B22 and 148B108 and 20
2C32 and 148C118 and 20
2D42 and 148D128 and 20
33A13 and 1599A99 and 21
3B23 and 159B109 and 21
3C33 and 159C119 and 21
3D43 and 159D129 and 21
44A54 and 161010A1310 and 22
4B64 and 1610B1410 and 22
4C74 and 1610C1510 and 22
4D84 and 1610D1610 and 22
55A55 and 171111A1311 and 23
5B65 and 1711B1411 and 23
5C75 and 1711C1511 and 23
5D85 and 1711D1611 and 23
66A56 and 181212A1312 and 24
6B66 and 1812B1412 and 24
6C76 and 1812C1512 and 24
6D86 and 1812D1612 and 24

Operational presidents implement the strategic plans and policies that the executive presidency formulates. The presidents also interact with contractors and branch presidencies, offering them any facilitation necessary to serve participants better, collecting important information on the system’s functionality, and advising the executive presidency on how this system can be improved. They monitor the system to ensure it is meeting the participants’ expectations and needs.

Limited partners and branch presidencies

Limited partners and group council

A limited partner is the basic unit in the community. A limited person, usually above 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 16, has been admitted into the community and has invested $20,000 as partnership interest, for which they earn a return. This is regarded as one unit of partnership interest. Over time, a limited partner can add more units of partnership interest, as their business prospers. The more partnership interest units a limited partner has, the more the return they receive from the agency.

A dependent is a minor, or a person living with a disability, under the care of a limited partner. In some instances, a dependent may be a fit adult, who for various reasons is supported by community agencies, and assigned by contract to a limited partner.  Limited partners are responsible for any legal agreements that their dependents enter into, either with community agencies or other participants. Together, limited partners and dependents are referred to as participants.

Participants who are dependents, because they are still minors, can start a business when they reach 12 years of age. This allows them to save up and invest USD 20,000 into the community by their 18th birthday, and possibly as early as 16. Limited partners and their dependents reside in apartments (village buildings). Each apartment has 4 floors, with each floor containing 16 apartments.

Each floor has floor has 7 – 12 limited partners, with each limited partner having 1 – 3 dependents. Each floor therefore has around 25 residents. With four floors, each building has approximately 100 residents. An apartment building also forms a branch.

Captains and branch presidencies

Of the approximately 100 residents in a branch, around 40 of them are limited partners. The limited partners form 4 group councils of around 10 limited partners each. Each group council is diverse, containing different social groups that are reflective of the society within which a community operates. Additionally, a group contains members of the four main demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

The council meets at least quarterly and provides limited partners with a platform to interact and discuss common interest matters to their demographic within their branch. One of the members of the group council serves the group as a captain. Four captains who serve the four groups in an apartment building (branch) form a branch presidency. A branch presidency’s membership is drawn from the four main demographics, for the purposes of representation.

Captains are responsible for recruiting limited partners into the community through their council and by extension, branch. The Human Relations Agency’s automated system develops a clear definition of the sort of recruits that the community needs. It then breaks it down to the most basic social organization in the community – group.

The criteria and subsequent recruitment process carefully consider that group’s current composition, that of other groups in a branch, other branches, villages, and the district. Therefore, while the captain has the responsibility to recruit, their discretion is limited by what the system recommends. This ensures that not only does the community achieve and maintain balance in all respects, but it also eliminates any chance that a captain would recruit through discrimination or nepotism. 

A captain does not recruit limited partners only from their demographic. Instead, they work to ensure that their recruits are diverse, considering social categorizations, gender, and social status, in addition to demographic groups.

Captains work in concert with their fellow captains in the branch presidency, and other presidencies in a village and district to ensure that the district is as diverse as possible. They are guided by present data on how diverse their district, village, and branch are, and what needs to be focused on to improve. They are also guided by community bylaws, which expressly require diversity as shown by demographic data about a population from which the community intends to recruit limited partners.

The captain serves as a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, though they also act as an interface between participants and other community agencies. Captains help participants navigate the agency’s automated system and other relevant tools used by the different agencies to deliver services.

10 branches form a village. Each of the branch presidencies also belongs to a specific branch board. Branch boards provide an additional check and balance for captains and branch presidencies. Branches are numbered based on the village’s hub, in the direction of the breezeway one-way traffic direction.

A hub is formed at the intersection of breezeways between villages. Hub buildings are used for a range of commercial activities that need to be closer to residential areas, such as daycare centers, grocery stores, and emergency centers, among others.

A branch’s number determines with whom its presidency will form a branch board. Branch presidencies 1, 2, and 3 form one branch board, as do 4, 5, and 6, and 7, 8, and 9.

Four villages make a district. The last branch presidency in each village in the community (branch presidency 10) combines with three others in their district or cluster of 3 districts to form additional branch boards. The last branch presidencies in villages 1, 2, and 3 in each district make a board. The last branch presidencies in village 4 of each of the 3 districts in a cluster also form a board.

Branch boards play an important advisory role in the recruitment process. As a captain recruits, he is advised by their board to ensure that their recruitment takes into consideration diversity, and utilizes available data to ensure balance in demographics, profession, social class, and any other relevant consideration.

Branch board formation can be illustrated as follows:

Besides belonging to a branch presidency and a board, every captain belongs to a demographic presidency of 3. A demographic presidency is made up of 3 captains within a board, and who serve the same demographic. The demographic presidency mainly serves an advisory function, safeguarding issues common to the particular demographic, and helping in mentorship and support for incoming captains.

The automated system is designed to help participants with all the help they need in matters related to various agencies. However, should they run into problems, captains assist them in navigating the system, or direct them to relevant contractors who help them at a fee.

Automated system

The IP Agency works through an automated system through which participants seek the help they need, and interact with operational presidents. It is mainly through this system that operational presidents also interact with contractors, whom the agency and participants hire to help them in processing IP. The automated system collects data that can be accessed by those wishing to use already patented IP, and other agencies. The agency constantly monitors the system to ensure it is serving users’ needs. The system is connected with other agencies’ systems as needed, to improve the completeness of information and solutions provided.

Contractors

The IP Agency works through contractors to help participants process and file their innovations. Contractors’ services are paid for by the clients they serve. In other instances, the agency may hire and pay contractors to perform operational duties. Contractors work closely with operational presidencies by providing feedback on what needs to be done to spur innovation and improving the automated system to facilitate this.

Contractors also play a vital role in the IP development process. Besides guiding inventors from the origination stage to filing their IP, contractors also collaborate with the agency and innovators to commercialize IP in the best way possible, ensuring optimal utilization, and fair reward to innovators, the community, and third parties.

Inter-agency cooperation

The 24 community agencies form three columns of 8 agencies each. There is loose collaboration between the agencies in a column. The IP Agency is part of the first column.

The IP Agency cooperates with the Health and Nutrition Agency (agency 4) as the community endeavors to provide better ways to produce, process, and consume food. Participants are encouraged to innovate new ways through which food production and consumption are healthier. During the recruitment process, the Human Relations Agency (agency 1) may specifically look for participants who are likely to focus on innovation. The IP Agency provides the technical aspects that help the Human Relations Agency recruit effectively.

Another agency that the IP Agency interacts with closely is the Business Planning Agency, which, as it helps participants draw up their business plans, encourages innovation as a key element in business planning where applicable. The agency collaborates with the Communication Agency (agency 10) to communicate to community public servants and participants on new innovations, inform ongoing efforts to originate similar IPs, and draw the attention of potential users.

Presidencies’ offices, meetings, and quarterly conferences

Offices

The IP Agency’s executive presidency has offices in District Building 13’s first floor, on the western side. Facing them on the eastern side are the offices for trustee presidency and Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidency serving the agency and District 13.

Trustees and the regulatory operational presidencies alternate their offices. Trustees have the offices in building 13 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the operational presidencies use the offices on Mondays and Wednesdays, as shown in this timetable:

Building 1/ Human Relations AgencyBuilding 13/ IP Agency
MondayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
TuesdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency
WednesdayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
ThursdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency

The first floor’s layout is as follows, including other public servants who serve District 13.

Working hours and meetings

All community public servants work from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 8:45 in the morning. The IP Agency’s executive presidency uses this time to interact with other public servants and in some instances, contractors. On Thursday, each presidency (four presidents serving A, B, C, and D) meets for a 45-minute meeting from 9:00 to 9:45 in the morning.

On the last Friday of each quarter, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, each demographic presidency meets. The three-member presidency discusses common bureau matters that are of interest to the demographic they serve. On Saturday, again between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, the whole board meets, where the presidents present their input from the previous day’s demographic presidency meeting, and prepare for the quarterly conference. The aim is to have a cohesive presentation during the quarterly conference but tailored to specific demographic interests.

Quarterly conferences

Quarterly conferences are held on the last Sunday of each quarter, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. During quarterly conferences, each demographic presidency sits together in the same row.

Quarterly conferences are held in District Buildings 5 and 17. Each building has a lower and higher assembly court. The different demographic groups use the assembly courts as follows:

BuildingAssembly courtDemographic
5Lower courtMarried men (A)
5Higher courtMarried Women (B)
17Lower courtSingle women (C)
17Higher courtSingle men (D)

Branch presidencies do not attend quarterly conferences. Instead, they follow the relevant proceedings online alongside other participants.

Each of the four assembly courts has seats for 480 presidents representing the respective demographic. In the diagram below each of the 4 courts is illustrated. The ceiling of each court has an elliptical arch that enables executive presidents, who are the only ones who make a presentation during the conference, to speak without the need to amplify their voices. The 480 seats are easily rotatable to enable presidents to face whoever is speaking.

Each of the four courts has an identical arrangement and number of seats. The exact arrangement of each court can therefore be illustrated using one court, in this case, building 5’s lower court that is used by married men (A).

Within an assembly court, the 480 presidents are arranged in terms of demographic presidencies of 3. The Regulatory Bureau’s demographic presidency for married men (13A, 14A, and 15A) sits in the highlighted seats. Various district demographic presidencies also sit on the same row as indicated.


[1] These demographic groups are married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

Representations of hierarchical- and matrix-type organizations.
The structure of a hierarchical-type organization is shown on the left, and that of a matrix-type organization is shown on the right.

Some additional notes/definitions from an earlier version of this page:

Intellectual property should by new, useful and non-obvious. With these qualities, an entity can gain a competitive advantage over other competing entities. The community will own all patents. It uses them to generate maximum value, economically or otherwise, for the originators and the community as a whole. (Singleton, A. Using Intellectual Property to Gain a Competitive Advantage in the Marketplace. Internal. Champaign: Singleton Law Firm, 2019. Electronic.) Patents and other forms of IP exist to encourage innovation and creativity. They are strictly appraised to establish whether they are really worth protection, and to protect an innovator’s hard work that undoubtedly goes into producing it. (Tidwell, J. and L Liotta. “Inventions and patents: a practical tutorial.” Methods in molecular biology 823.2012 (2012): 391-408.)

IP makes economies more competitive. Developed countries, as well as India, China, and emerging Asian economies have all prioritized research and development, which creates IP, and new knowledge that can be used for business and social advantage. (Braga, C., C. Fink and C. Sepulveda. Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development. Washington: World Bank, 2000. Print.)

The IP development process in many cases involves collaboration between different people. As of 2016, 20% of patents filed in the US involved at least four participants. It is important to give due credit to all those involved, and the extent of their participation. This makes the process fair and transparent, inspires confidence in the inventors/innovators. (Rice, JPreparing for IP Diligence: Ensuring Proper Inventorship and Ownership of Patents. 15 March 2019. electronic. 12 May 2019)

Currently, countries such as the United States accept electronic filing of patents, which are then appraised electronically as well as by experts. The community will have such a model, though a greater degree of appraisal will be done through an automated system. By granting the applied for rights, the agency will make it illegal to use such rights, without the express permission of the agency. Beyond the community, the agency will secure such rights on behalf of the community and constantly liaise with relevant authorities to ensure the protection of its property. (USCO. U.S. Copyright Office. 22 July 2016. 12 May 2019)

Current figures show that for various reasons, private entities are unable to support R&D, without which innovation is extremely difficult. The government gives such support. The government has strong tools to encourage R&D, including offering tax breaks, financial muscle, and the ability to enforce IP. The IP Agency will approach R&D from such a perspective, whereby profit is not the sole motivation. It will also be able to encourage cooperation between participants working towards similar goals (Taylor, T. Principles of Economics. Houston: Rice University, 2017. Electronic).

It is important for the parties involved in IP preparation and prosecution – the IP agency and participants – to be well acquainted with legal aspects of IP rights. This will prevent infringements and better familiarity with the rights of claimants. (Harms, L. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. WIPO, 2012. Print.)