Vi�tor Verdelho Vieira. Escola Superior de Biotecnologia da Universidade Catolica Portuguesa From: 2005 ISPIM Innovation Conference (Porto) Innovation management is a natural process in all organizations, as it is a driver of human evolution and there is a wide range of innovation levels and their impact in the activities of organizations. Even in protected or planned economies the market is the ultimate selection factor of innovation either at the activity level (related with internal processes) or the competitive arena (external processes). Most of the organizations have no conscience that innovation is the driver of their activity and that it is always present in all their functions whether they realize it or not. Innovation is in the DNA of all human organizations even if their management is not a formal or direct process. Innovation must, therefore, have a significant impact in their competitive advantage as it is part of their Intellectual Capital (IC). When innovation is recognized as a strategic issue, one of the questions in the framework of innovation management is innovation protection. This happens when companies start to play in a global environment and establish networking relationships with customers, suppliers and other relevant parts of the business. That brings in the concept of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and the possible ways of that protection. If innovation is an advantage, how to' prevent others from benefiting from that is the first concern. A full version of this document is not available for purchase or download.