Offshore Construction Law and Practice

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Intellectual property rights

A Introduction

9.1 Intellectual property rights are often overlooked in offshore construction contracts with most parties believing that they are simply ‘somebody else’s problem’ or that no rights exist. However, get intellectual property wrong and it can affect all parties involved in the project, from the concept design or FEED consultant that submits the original design, to the Contractor (and Subcontractor) that develops the detailed design and incorporates it into the work, to the Company (and operator) itself that uses the finished work, to the lender that has financed the project. For example, incorporating third party intellectual property into the design without the owner’s consent can result in the suspension of the project, or worse, its cancellation. Third party intellectual property issues are rarely identified at the design or construction stage. Typically they are only identified once the work is in operation in the field, by which time alterations are difficult, both physically and financially.

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