5 Pro Tips for Protecting Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) is among the most valuable and important assets, yet susceptible to compromise and threat, especially with many properties stored electronically. Intellectual property may also take different forms, ranging from creative work to general knowledge about the operation processes of a company.
Keeping your intellectual property safe should be a top priority for organizations today since a breach, which can compromise your asset, means they will be in the hands of your competitors. In most situations, it’s intellectual property that will give a unique competitive advantage.
To help you gain an insight into the latest methods and techniques for keeping your IP safe, here are asset protection tips to consider:
1. Register Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks
Patent, copyright, and trademark are three major forms of intellectual property protection. They will give you rights to your creation, particularly when it comes to business gains.
Copyright automatically protects original software, sound recordings, photography, art, web content, music, and film. This means you will not find it necessary to take steps to protect your creations.
2. Include Clauses in Every Contract
When workers create an original invention as part of the work, the copyright usually belongs to employers. It is a common practice to include a clause concerning confidentially and intellectual property in employment agreements.
If you also engage a contractor in business, ensure the contracts outline an agreement as to how you will assign copyright.
For instance, if you engage professional photographers to take pictures to use on your site, it’s vital to confirm who shall retain the copyright ownership. If the ownership remains to the contractors, they can sell the images to other individuals.
3. Take Legal Step
Determine whether taking any legal step can be worth it or not. However, get prepared to pursue offenders for any infringement.
Alternatively, get prepared to sit and negotiate some terms and licenses. At least with this, you will avoid going to court and even get paid some royalties.
4. Keep Trade and Business Ideas a Secret
Until you adequately keep your IP safe, avoid speaking of it to other people unless they signed non-disclosure agreements.
You need to be careful who to trust with that important information and avoid promoting your idea in public forums, like Kickstarter. Particularly if you work with a partner or investor, you need to talk to a lawyer, be familiar with a trust setup, and sign a personalized non-disclosure contract.
5. Label Intellectual Property
If details are confidential to your business, label or place a banner on it, which says so. If the data of your business is also proprietary, put a note on all log-in screens.
This may seem like a trivial thing, but if you end up in court, trying to prove a person took data they were not allowed to take, your claims may not mean anything.
Determining a perfect way to keep your IP safe might be complex and confusing. This is particularly true in very technical areas, like computer algorithms.
Whether you also engage in writing or marketing a new computer program, you will need to patent and copyright the algorithms/code with the help of a good intellectual property lawyer.