How is intellectual property protected in a Coworking Space?

Intellectual Property

Coworking spaces are innovative hubs. New ideas are formulated, business information is discussed in the open. We collaborate openly, sharing information and networks.

One of the things I love about coworking is the ability to ‘bounce’ ideas off others. Something that you certainly can’t do sitting alone in a home office.

This openness has the potential to expose early stage ideas and concepts (intellectual property) to plagiarism. Yet there are huge benefits in sharing, a second set of eyes can see things in different way, adding value in many ways to the ideas.

So how do we balance the concept of open sharing with the protection of ideas?

We use the concept of Chatham House Rules and we have the principles of Chatham House in our terms and conditions that every coworker agrees to when using Cowork Launceston.

The Chatham House Rules concept dates back to 1927, according to the font of all modern research, Wikipedia J. The rule is designed to create openness of discussion. It allows people to discuss opinions and concepts. Chatham House Rules mean that unless coworkers provide their explicit permission we cannot discuss outside of the space. Attribution to any individual for anything that is said is a no no.

Basically we operate on a position of trust. What happens in the cowork space, stays within the cowork space. We consider this a core value in what we offer. If we don’t have trust, we do not believe we have a viable business model. Our terms and conditions reflect this, and someone breaches the trust of the group we will be ruthless in our response.

We simply do not want people in our space who do not see a collaborative mindset as being a way of working.