The importance of promoting and protecting your Intellectual Property (IP)
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept that refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce, for which exclusive rights are recognized! Divided into two categories, IP includes industrial property and copyright.
So why is it important to promote and legally protect your intellectual property, and how?
Safeguard your business against infringement, plagiarism, intangible assets theft or devaluation, loss of reputation, and loss of income, and help others to avoid scams and fake products, by means of promoting and legally protecting your IP.
Conduct an IP audit which entails identifying, monitoring, and valuing your IP assets, so as to ensure that you are making the most out of them! Also, get all of your IP documented and registered, and encourage record keeping, in order to protect your entitlement to IP rights.
Create non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which serve as legal contracts between at least two parties, and outline confidential material, know-how, or info that the parties wish to exclusively share for specific purposes, but wish to restrict access to or by third parties.
Request your independent contractors to expressly assign their rights in the IP to the company, and ensure that the assignments are in writing, and are signed by the independent contractors. Also, ask your employees, each in the course of his/her performed duties, to generate IP that will automatically be owned by the company.
Undertake the due diligence process, prior to making business decisions in such areas as corporate mergers/acquisitions or major product purchases/sales, so as to ensure that there are no hidden drawbacks or traps associated with the business action(s) under consideration!
Intellectual property, as much as physical property, holds the potential to be stolen or used improperly, and thus requires close attention and legal protection!