The term “intellectual property” or IP is commonly used these days that is of importance to business owners and people looking to sell a product or service. In these modern times, though, protecting your intellectual property is not so easy.
With so much information available in an instant, it can be easy to copy one’s idea or service without the original owner being aware of it. There are ways, though, to protect your intellectual property.
Be aware of the kinds of IPs
One of the first ways to protect your intellectual property is to be aware of the different kinds of IPs and the rights you have. For a rundown of the types of IP, check out NetLawman.co.uk for the informative explainers.
The jargon can be confusing around these topics, but the site breaks it down easily so that anyone can understand it and even offer legal opinion/advice. If you live in the UK, the site is also a great place to get downloadable legal documents if you plan to file for IP protection. It also offers professional review services from the legal experts for the documents.
File for proper protection
There are currently four types of intellectual property protection: copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets. Each of these types is there to help you legally protect your IP and give you the rights associated with it. Copyright protects your tangible creations such as a film, a work of literature, or music.
A trademark is your IP’s unique sign that distinguishes it from other IPs, such as a picture, logo, or group of words. A patent is for the protection of the process behind a certain business, action, or function. Trade secrets are to protect the secrets behind your business.
Have your employees sign an NDA
Another way to protect your IP is to have your employees sign a non-disclosure agreement. This is so to prevent your employees from revealing company secrets to potential rivals.
You may be working on a high-level project that needs confidentiality or use tools and processes unique to your business. So it is essential to make sure that your employees don’t openly share what they know. In this way, you can guarantee that the people whom you bring in to work for you don’t share or sell what they know while they are in the business or even if they leave.
Have strong security and protection
Your online protection is just as important as your physical protection. If you have an IP where the internet plays an important part in it, it is best to have strong security and protection to guard against hacking and other online cyber-attacks.
Ensure that you are running on a secure network so that it won’t be easy for outsiders to get in. Equip password protection on your computers and devices. Have you and your employees communicate on secure channels that aren’t easily hackable. Install reliable and protected software to prevent possible data corruption.
Make sure you own your IP
There are quite a few legal aspects you have to go through to own and protect an IP, which is why you must make sure you completely own your IP. Try to avoid joint business ownerships as those can lead to legal problems for all parties involved.
Make sure that you filed all the proper documents and that everything is under your name and business. The last thing you need is for someone to steal your idea but can’t fight back because of some legal issues relating to your IP.