Protect and promote your games IP– Abertay University announces conference

- Speakers include Aardman, Google, Sony and Universal Music -

Computer games companies must protect their intellectual property (IP) to have the greatest chance of future success, a legal expert at the University of Abertay Dundee has warned.

Dr Margaret Hartnett, who is bringing world-leading experts to a Scottish conference on 29-30 June, is deeply concerned that games companies“are putting at risk all their hard work”.

The Digital Spark 2011 conference at Abertay University will feature world-leading experts from companies like Aardman, Google, Sony and Universal Music giving invaluable advice about successfully managing the complex business risks and opportunities associated with IP.

Dr Hartnett said:“Computer games businesses across Scotland and the UK are putting at risk all their hard work if they do not take serious steps to manage and protect their intellectual property. They must protect their intellectual property to survive.

“Companies must establish an intellectual property strategy to protect their core products and mitigate the risk of litigation and unauthorised copying. This can also provide a substantial source of revenue through licensing and other transactions.

“However, this can seem complex and intimidating, particularly to small businesses. By bringing international experts to Abertay University for Digital Spark, we’re aiming to break apart those myths and give people really practical advice they can take away and immediately apply to their business.”

The first Digital Spark conference was a great success last year, and the popular format of introductory workshops on the basics of IP, interactive masterclasses and expert panel discussions will continue this year.

Dr Hartnett added:“For the games industry, and other knowledge-based businesses, intangible assets can account as much as 70% of a company’s value.

“How can anyone afford to put at risk 70% of their business? They simply can’t, particularly if they run a small firm. A clear understanding of managing intellectual property is crucial to business success.”

The conference keynote address will be given by Paul Smernicki, Director of Digital at Universal Music UK.

Other notable speakers include Sean Clark, Head of Aardman Rights; Trevor Callaghan, Senior Product Counsel at Google Europe; and Hogarth Andall, Director of IP and Technology at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Digital Spark 2011 is being organised by Abertay University and will be hosted in the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.

For more information, and to register, please visit


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