With the help of the Internet and modern technology, accessing information becomes easier by the day. This makes safeguarding your own ideas, methods, and intellectual property extremely important.
Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the original design, ideas, creative work, invention, or discovery of one person or group. Under the IP rules, protection of the ownership of these intangible services is the same as tangible property. As a creator of a unique product or concept, it is vital to secure your work against thieves, copycats, and infringers using these 5 simple ways:
1. Have a legal agreement to protect your rights
It would be wise to get the people working for you to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), PIA (proprietary information agreement), CDA (confidential disclosure agreement), and SA (secrecy agreement) to guarantee your IP rights. If you are partnering with a third party to distribute or sell your products, a licensing agreement would protect your rights. For these matters, finding a trusted and experienced law firm that offers comprehensive intellectual property services is necessary.
2. Register your creation
Getting an IP attorney to assist you in your copyright, trademark, or patent registration (whatever applies) is the next step. Intellectual Property (IP) gives you exclusive rights and protection when you launch your product or idea to the public. Securing an IP offers a massive opportunity to earn a lot and enhances the value of your creation. Your lawyer can also help you do an IP audit so you will have a well-documented IP portfolio. Make sure to record all the details of your project for an easy and fast process of registration.
3. Implement robust security protocols
If your project involves using the Internet or technology, it is susceptible to file corruption, online theft, or hack attacks. Hence, the importance of implementing security measures to protect all your data, manuscripts, and experimentations. Always have a backup in secure hardware storage and invest in software tools that offer maximum reliability. Opting for a storage system that uses two-factor authentication and adaptive authentication with risk analysis. Other methods include setting up passwords for your computer network, using VPN (virtual private network access), encrypting the data, and establishing WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2).
4. Keep all your trade secrets and major ideas a secret
Until such time that you have already secured your IP or everyone in your team has already signed their confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement, never tell key information. Avoid promoting your ideas in any public forum or social media platform. It is also crucial to document all your original content and concepts in complete detail. Using a pen and paper to record your plans, descriptions, detailed drawings, and everything is a good start. Make sure to add dates when documenting them. The date of the first use or trial is highly critical in securing an IP. You need concrete proofs and documents because they are the best validators of ownership.
5. Avoid joint ownership
As much as possible, when it comes to intellectual property matters, avoid joint ownership. A jointly owned IP has risks that can create business complications in the worst scenarios. Also, during the enforcement and legal processes, the participation of the owners is required. While inconveniences can be mitigated by outlining specific conditions in the ownership agreement, they are likely to happen in the long run when one of the parties has issues.
The best option is for one entity to be registered as an IP owner even if it is a collaborative project and have their lawyers make proper agreements to protect their rights to the product. Any breach of agreement, infringement issues, or misappropriation of the IP can be handled by your lawyer and help you curb potential liabilities.
Protecting what is rightfully yours is crucial. That said, it is wise to invest in the right technology, resources, and legal aid such as an intellectual property attorney. In this manner, you can make certain that all of your hard work is well protected against unwanted threats.