Many companies put a lot of energy into developing valuable intellectual property they can use to maximize the success of their operations, such as trade secrets. It is also critical for such companies to give proper attention to protecting these assets once they are developed. IP can lose a lot of its value when it is stolen or copied. Today, we’ll talk about what companies can do to protect their IP.
Proactive protection steps
There are a range of ways a company’s IP could be threatened. One is through current employees, former employees, vendors or other parties stealing these assets.
There are various steps businesses can take to try to reduce the chances of such thefts occurring. These include:
- Being careful when choosing who to allow to access critical IP
- Ensuring key IP is stored in a secure matter and monitored/managed effectively
- Setting clear rules for employees regarding IP
- Fostering a workplace environment where employees feel supported, respected and that their talent is valued
- Properly using protective tools, such as non-disclosure agreements
- Having an efficient and effective offboarding process for departing employees
Responding to thefts or infringement
Sometimes, despite a business’ best efforts to prevent it, theft or infringement of its IP occurs. When this happens, what a company does next is critical. It can impact how valuable the property in question will ultimately be for the business, both now and in the future. It can also send a message as to how vigorously the company will protect its IP.
IP litigation can be a valuable tool in fighting theft and infringement. These lawsuits can get very complicated, so having quality guidance can be critical. Skilled IP attorneys can help companies with developing effective and customized response and litigation strategies when it comes to theft/infringement incidents.