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How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

by Olufisayo
Intellectual Property

Intellectual property thefts cost nearly $600 billion in the US per year.

With such staggering costs, protecting your intellectual property is extremely important. And with a myriad of solutions to keep it safe, it is easier than ever to protect your property.

But a murky understanding of intellectual property itself creates many missed opportunities. Understanding intellectual property law and how it can affect you can save you from a drawn-out legal case.

Let’s dive into more information about intellectual property and how to protect yourself.

What is Intellectual Property?

Let’s start with the definition of intellectual property.

       

The short answer is a creation of the mind. Inventions, designs, and symbols used in marketing all fall under the umbrella of intellectual property. This property does not have a physical form but is invaluable for different reasons.

Trade secrets and employee knowledge are major types of intellectual property found in a variety of businesses. Protecting this valuable information is just as important as keeping patents and inventions safe.

How to Protect It

The first step in IPR protection is knowing what kind of intellectual property you have.

Take inventory of your business. Identify all types of intellectual property, such as:

  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Trade secrets
  • Copyrights your company holds

Once these items have been identified, form a plan with your executive team. Find out what steps are already in progress to keep the intellectual property safe, and identify areas where there are gaps. Form strong security with the IT department so that outsides forces will not be able to access your information.

       

Don’t underestimate other areas where information can leak. Copiers, internal and external email, and third-party systems can all lead to security breaches.

Next, rely on your employees to help keep this information safe.

How Others Can Protect It

One of the biggest reasons intellectual property is not private comes from a lack of education.

Many of your employees may not know what intellectual property actually is, and what that means within your company. You may have policies in place, but no human is perfect and can remember every company policy.

Take the time to educate your staff on what types of intellectual property your company has. Inform them regularly of company policy relating to internal and external email. Keep them up to speed as to what constitutes a breach of security.

       

Also, inform staff of what to look for in a breach of security. If suspicious activity is identified early, it will be much easier to keep your intellectual property safe and identify gaps in your safety net.

Take Steps to Remain Safe

Now that you have an overview of intellectual property, what it is, and how to keep it safe, you should have a solid plan going forward.

Interested in learning more? Keep up-to-date with our Business section to learn the latest tips, tricks, and developments in the industry. Or check out our other articles for more great content.

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