In a lot of industries, invention and innovation are the keys to success and prosperity – but you have to protect your intellectual property (IP) fiercely if you want to keep others from misusing it.
Failing to safeguard your intellectual property can lead to lost revenue, reputational damage and more. So, what can you do? Here are some suggestions:
Register your IP
One of the most effective steps you can take to protect your intellectual property is to register it with the appropriate government agency.
A trademark can safeguard your brand’s identity and help distinguish your products or services from that of your competitors. If you have a unique invention, a patent can help you prevent others from making, using or selling it out from under you. Copyrights can be used to protect original works of authorship, including writings, artwork, music and code.
Good agreements with your employees, independent contractors and collaborators can also help you safeguard your IP.
Nondisclosure agreements can make it safer to share your proprietary information without losing control of it, and licensing agreements can allow you to grant others limited use of your IP without disturbing your ownership rights.
Implement security measures
Coca-Cola wouldn’t have maintained its secret recipe all these years if it didn’t have security measures in place to protect it. You need to be just as protective of your IP.
Keep access to your IP as limited as possible. When you’re dealing with electronic data, make sure that you use encryption software, and educate your employees on the importance of security (online and off) when it comes to safeguarding the company’s intellectual property.
Anybody who is trying to protect their IP can benefit from experienced legal guidance.