As intellectual property (IP) becomes an increasingly large source of value for companies and creatives of all types, contractual agreements, documentation, and practices surrounding the rights in and ability to use, transfer, and monetize IP likewise gains in importance. The purpose of the Accord Intellectual Property Working Group is to produce specifications and open source tools to improve the production, distribution, licensing and management IP with smart legal contracts. Key to this end is digitizing and automating the process of creating and registering IP and making more widely available data in regards to IP rights and use.
Specific areas of focus include automating digital rights management through incorporation of usage data into contract terms and remedial processes, the potential to register the existence of certain IP, first use, and assignment history in a globally accessible database, incorporation of data about subject matter, scope, and usage into IP licences, automating the grant, refusal, termination, assignment, remedial actions, and sub-licensing of IP licenses, and orphaned works. The types of agreements most relevant to these areas of focus include IP licensing, acquisition, and assignment agreements as well as end user and software license agreements.
The Intellectual Property Working Group also seeks to detail specific use cases of smart legal contracts in areas such as automating licensing payment using distributed ledgers to track IP ownership and usage, DRM security and management, and micropayments for content creators.