Back to the workshop – on the screen, we see the Ferrari F150 Formula One car. The Italian company found itself in a trade mark dispute over the product name with Ford (the F-150 pick-up truck) – one month before the start of the Formula One season. This sparks the interest of the young listeners. “I include storytelling to illustrate certain aspects. Real cases involving well-known companies work very well,” explains Matthias Käch. In this particular case, Ferrari clearly did not verify if the brand name already existed. Such prominent examples are a good starting point from which to discuss the mistakes made by previous YES teams.
The workshop participants learn that it’s not just about protecting the use of a product name; what's more important is ensuring that it does not come into conflict with an existing trade mark. This is also relevant if you do not protect your offering as a trade mark. This is important even if you are not going to trade mark your product or service.
When it comes to copyright, Matthias Käch is pleased to see that most young people are aware that the internet is not just a photo free-for-all. YES participants mostly search for photos on platforms that are ‘royalty-free’. However, it is important to read the licence, which defines the conditions for using the image.
The workshop also aims to increase the young entrepreneurs’ awareness of rights of use. In the past, this topic caused some problems for teams that continued their businesses after the YES programme. Matthias Käch points out that, “If I create a copyright-protected work, it belongs to me. As the author, only I have the right to use it. As a company, however, I do not want an individual employee to determine the use of the work.” He recommends drawing up a contract between the author and a team member, in which the rights to use the image are transferred to the company.
Teachers also take part in the IPI workshops and their attendance is particularly important. While the students move on, the teachers stay in school. Thanks to the experience they have gained, from the start, they can help future YES participants to avoid making the same mistakes when it comes to intellectual property.