3 ways that businesses can work to protect their intellectual property

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2024 | Intellectual Property

Intellectual property can serve as truly valuable asset for a company. A new product concept, an original work that the public enjoys or even trade secrets can provide a significant competitive advantage. Unfortunately, intellectual property is valuable and is, therefore, at risk.

People and sometimes even competing businesses may try to misuse intellectual property. They might even break the law to access it. Therefore, organizations have every reason to be proactive about defending intellectual property from such infringement. The following are some of the strategies that businesses often use to protect copyrighted works, patented concepts, trademarks and trade secrets.

Formal registration

There are different registration opportunities for different types of intellectual property. Filing paperwork with the appropriate federal entity can make it easier to protect valuable intellectual property. After registration, here is a clear record of who created the concept or purchased the rights to a work, making it easier to hold outside parties accountable for infringement.

Careful employment practices

There are two main ways in which employers can protect intellectual property from internal violations. The first is through work contracts. While non-compete agreements are no longer a useful contract inclusion, non-disclosure agreements and non-solicitation agreements can still be enforceable in some cases. Employers may want to add restrictive covenants to the contracts of any workers who have access to trade secrets or other intellectual property because of their work.

The second form of protection against employee infringement involves carefully controlling intellectual property so that no single employee has access to enough information to cause significant damage to the organization.

Consistent monitoring of competitors

Competing businesses and entrepreneurs moving into the same sector are the parties most likely to violate a company’s intellectual property rights. Therefore, businesses frequently need to monitor social media and even the websites of direct competitors to check for signs that they may have violated patent protections or found an illegal way to access trade secrets. Search tools can also help check for improper use of copyrighted materials by outside parties.

Treating intellectual property as the valuable business asset it truly is can help organizations guard against violations that could compromise their competitive advantage. Organizations and leaders at companies seeking to protect intellectual property may need help exploring all of the different options and tactics available. The right strategy mitigates risk while minimizing any disruptions to a company’s standard operating procedures.