Whether you provide consulting services or manufacture a product, your company’s intellectual property is among its most valuable assets. Intellectual property includes your trade secrets, copyrighted original works and business trademarks.
Other companies or even your workers could violate your intellectual property rights with potentially significant financial repercussions for your company. Misuse of your intellectual property rights could hurt your brand or cut down on your market share.
What are some of the ways that your business can protect its intellectual property rights?
Have thorough employment contracts
One of the most straightforward means of preventing the misuse of your intellectual property and trade secrets is to integrate protections into your employment contract. If an employee is subject to a non-disclosure agreement, it will be harder for them to use your intellectual property for personal gain.
Limit who has access to your intellectual property
In addition to putting restrictions on employee behaviors, your company can also benefit from limiting who has access to proprietary information. For example, you may only teach each worker on the assembly line their part of a more complex process so that the individual workers don’t know all of your secrets.
File formal protections when appropriate
One of the most frustrating things about an intellectual property rights violation is often the requirement that you wait before enforcing your rights. If you have already trademarked your company logo or copyrighted original works of writing or art, it would be much faster for your business to enforce its intellectual property rights against a violation.
Being proactive about protecting your intellectual property rights and assertive about defending them is important if you wish to remain competitive.