In the developing countries, technology is sometimes not yet considered as a fully negotiable item, legally owned by the entity in possession of the same, and which can be used internally or licensed, sold or transferred in any manner to other entities in need thereof.

The process of innovation has been carried out mainly by government-owned entities and the process of appropriation may be regarded as still practically non existent in said countries, in which the private enterprises have not acquired sensitivity towards the necessity of legally owning technology.

Although the above described situation has not changed very much in general, there are now some more advanced developing countries, like Mexico and others, that are starting to develop a suitable strategy of innovation and appropriation of technology, in order to cope up with the globalization existent in the world at the present time, and are also starting to develop a well defined philosophy towards considering technology as a fully negotiable item in addition to their products or services.

The innovation process mentioned above basically comprises the following stages:

1. Detection of problems and/or opportunities.
2. Preliminary feasibility analysis of the possible solutions or actions.
3. Formulation of ideas as to how the following stages should be approached.
4. Search for technical and marketing information.
5. Combination of all available elements into a research and development program and/or a technology acquisition strategy.

The carrying out of the above described stages constituting the innovation process will permit the accomplishment of the so called "domination of the technology", that is, a status in which the entity masters the technology, but still does not legally own the same. Said technology, therefore, even when properly mastered, will not be ready for safe use or transfer, unless it is subjected to the process of legal appropriation which will convert it into an intangible asset or proprietary information.

The process of appropriation, in turn, includes the following stages:

1. Legal protection of all the innovations under the industrial property system.
2. Documentation and safeguarding of the trade secrets.
3. Copyright protection of software, publicity programs, artistic forms, etc.

Only after having duly effected the above stages which constitute the appropriation process, will the entity in possession of the technology be able to sell or license the same to other entities or use the same in its own premises, without running the risk of suffering the misappropriation of the same by third parties.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that no licensing or disclosure of the technology to third parties should be commenced before having fully completed the appropriation function, since this might cause very important problems related to the theft of trade secrets, illegal misappropriation of patentable information and the like.

The content of this article is intended only to provide general guidelines related to this particular matter. For your specific circumstances, full specialist advise is recommended.