Risk Management - Articles

Intellectual Property: 5 tips to protect it

Accessing and distributing information is becoming easier every day, making it also simpler to steal ideas or use them without permission. As a private, a startup or a multinational company, protecting your Intellectual Property is necessary to earn the recognition or financial benefit from your ideas.

From the definition generated by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Intellectual Property refers “to the creations of the mind such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce”. Depending on the nature of the invention, there are different ways to protect its IP, which can include: utility patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets.

There are 5 steps that can help businesses to safeguard their Intellectual Property.

1. Keep Ideas Secret
As trivial as it sounds, you should not spread information about your idea to others, which means also not promoting that invention in public forums of any type.

2. Sign Nondisclosure Agreements
When working with partners, avoid leakage of information by signing nondisclosure agreements. This type of document can force the parties to share data only by respecting the terms of the agreement.

3. Use Strong Security Protocols
If you are sharing information with other partners, make sure you are paying attention to the cyber security of your system. Use strong credentials to limit access to important information, separate teams, train your employees and update passwords frequently.

4. Keep Track of your Discoveries
To prove the ownership of your idea, document each step of its development. Just adding dates to records can be a strategy to prove the legitimacy of your property.

5. Register your Trademark and all the Assets
The best way to protect IP is to register it with the government. Applying for a trademark is the first step, which should be followed by the registration of all the assets included in the mark. This passage is mandatory to also distinguish your idea from other that might be similar.

Following these steps can help you safeguard the interests linked to your idea, but you could also speak with an Intellectual Property attorney in order to protect your business in the best way possible.