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Mining Services Contracts – The Importance Of IP Clauses

Author:Mr Cody Mcfarlane
Profession:Harris Gomez Group
 
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Harris Gomez Group has been working with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses in Latin America for 16 years. We have experienced it first hand over the years, the mining industry is going through a transformation, and the solutions and technology being commercialized are increasingly more complex than they were in the past.

Digital technologies, data analytics, automation, robotics, process re-engineering, modular and mobile equipment/infrastructure, and sensors are all examples. METS companies are investing large amounts of money and know-how into helping miners become more efficient and target more elusive deposits.

These same companies are often exporting their technology to Latin America and knowing how to protect these investments are critical. When drafting and/or reviewing a mining services contract, the focus will mainly be the goods or services, their price, and the commercial schedules. It is common to find that IP is merely a secondary consideration, though it should be an essential part of the contract.

Many of the foreign companies that invest or wish to set up in Chile are mining providers whose main services relate to mining technology improvements which involve methods, information, and inventions that are within the realm of Intellectual property.

What can we understand to be within the realm of Intellectual property?

Intellectual property, in general, is often defined in a contract to include a broad range of rights, whether registered or not, such as designs, patents, innovation patents, copyright, and trademarks. This definition commonly expands to include matters such as confidential information, trade secrets, know-how, business names, and domain names.

In relation to mining services and contracts, this should include data, software, inventions, reports, guidelines, procedures, business methods, know-how and designs that have been developed for or are part of computer software, business, and operational methods, specialized know-how, geological information, proprietary tools.

Protecting your Intellectual property

In Chile, it is very important to protect your Intellectual property and to do it correctly since common-law rights do not apply. Consequently, it is of great importance the methods used to protect your IP rights when entering into agreements.

It is highly recommendable to put in place security systems and procedures, but also it is of utmost importance proceeding with registrations, contractual mechanisms,...

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