Almost any business, in any industry, can be at risk for having their intellectual property stolen. At its most basic, intellectual property is the product of your mind or the minds of your employees, and as such, they are unique and valuable assets. Unfortunately, ideas can be overheard, observed and stolen: That’s why it is so important to protect them.
Though you may think that intellectual property is limited to unique documents, formulations or inventions, the truth is that any part of your operating process can be considered yours alone, especially if it is what distinguishes you from your competition. There are a number of different ways of protecting it, but having the right intellectual property attorney helping you with the process should be your first step.
When you meet with a member of our experienced Intellectual Property team, we will discuss a variety of tools and techniques available to identify the ones that are most appropriate to your situation. These may include:
- Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights
- Controlled access and selective sharing of proprietary information
- Signed proprietary information and inventions agreements by all employees and contractors
- Encryption of data and software
- Secure servers
- Non-disclosure agreements with outside parties, business partners and employees
Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights are among the most effective tools available to your organization, but they must be applied appropriately and the right actions need to be taken in order to establish your rights. Where trade secret law protects you from unlawful acts of misappropriation, it will no longer be available to you if your secret information is used after you freely or carelessly provide it to an individual or entity – you must be able to prove that you took care to protect your secret. By contrast, a trademark protects your brand before you make it public. It ensures that it is yours once it is in the public domain, and the same is true of patents and copyrights.
The protection of your intellectual property is a proactive step that you take in recognition of its value, both to you and potentially to others. By working with a knowledgeable intellectual property attorney you can ensure that your success remains your own. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.