Auditor faults state’s handling of intellectual property rights


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The state needs to do a better job protecting its intellectual property rights by creating guidelines to make sure it gets fully compensated when others use inventions, software and written materials developed by state workers, the state auditor concluded in a report released Tuesday.

Auditor Elaine Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown that leading state agencies, including the California Technology Agency, ‘generally do not provide policies or guidance to other state agencies regarding the management and protection of intellectual property because they do not believe that they are responsible for providing this type of guidance.’


The state has been registering copyrights, trademarks and patents, which can bring the state money if others use the protected intellectual property.

However, Howle said more than half of the 211 state agencies her office surveyed believe that the state should establish statewide guidance for managing and protecting intellectual property, ‘indicating that there is a need for guidance.’

-- Patrick McGreevy