Telkom has revised the rules of the Open Innovation Mega Challenge to ensure that participating innovators and the company are well protected with regard to the ownership of intellectual property rights.

Initially the rules of competition were designed to mitigate against any possible litigation matters that may arise from non-winning entrants pursuing compensation for products that may already exist or in development in the company.

To accommodate for this the rule pertaining to the ceding of the IP rights was designed to prevent a situation where a person/group/organisation submits an idea that Telkom already may have thought of, claims ownership, and then expects to be paid for it.

The innovation industry has voiced concerns around this rule and Telkom has since consulted with industry experts to develop a more amenable approach to the matter.

As such clause 15 in the competition rules have been amended as follows:

15 – You acknowledge that Telkom may already have an existing or be independently working on the same technology/ idea as covered by your submission, and that your submission may not be new or novated. Under no circumstances shall the Participants acquire any right in and to Telkom’s intellectual property or goodwill thereof.
15.1 – The Participant/s agree that it/they will not at any time either during or after the term of this competition –
15.1.1 – put in issue the validity of Telkom’s intellectual property or itself/themselves claim any rights to Telkom’s intellectual property or oppose any application for the registration or extension of any registration; or
15.1.2 – do anything which in the reasonable opinion of Telkom might tend to disparage Telkom’s intellectual property or injure Telkom’s rights therein.
15.2 – The Competition platform is a non-confidential platform and therefore without any obligation and liability by Telkom, it is the responsibility of each participant to protect (if any) its own intellectual property prior, during and after the Competition.

Telkom believes that this amendment affords the required legal protection to all concerned parties and encourages innovators to put forward their submission as the competition draws to a close on 30 November 2013.