Is Your IP Safe?
3 Tips to Protect Your Important Data
Intellectual Property (IP), or creations of the mind that you use in your business, are a big deal. In fact, the Global Intellectual Property Center reports that, “America’s IP is worth $5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.” This means that as a business owner, protecting your IP is important.
“Intellectual property protection is significant for small businesses who provide services,” states author of “Start Your Own Corporation,” Garrett Sutton, Esq. “As an attorney, I’ve heard many stories from clients about malicious employers who ripped off their clients because they did not have an intellectual property protection.”
With this in mind, what are you doing to protect your IP?
Obviously, it’s essential to work with a legal professional to set up the appropriate protections via copyrights, trademarks and patents. But with information available online to a worldwide audience at any time, it’s essential to be proactive when protecting your information. To increase your IP security, try these three tips:
1. Look for Thieves Regularly.
Just because you have legal paperwork in place, this is not going to stop thieves from searching for ways to obtain and use your IP. This is why it’s important to have specific team-members monitor your data every day online, record and report potential issues and know what to do if there is a breach of information. This way, you’ll be able to stop IP problems from escalating and wasting unnecessary time, money and effort.
2. Sign a Confidentiality Statement.
Although you probably trust most of the people you work with and feel they will keep important information confidential, it’s essential to get this in writing. Work with your attorney to create a non-disclosure agreement and have everyone involved in your organization – employees, advertisers, contractors, etc. – sign it.
This way, if someone exposes private information, you have signed paperwork in place to pursue legal action. Plus, your team members will know this is serious information, and they’ll be aware of the ramifications for divulging business secrets.
3. Involve Everyone in Your Organization.
Protecting your IP involves everyone in your organization. Because of this, schedule regular meetings, send out e-mail notices or monthly newsletters, or hold special events throughout the year to inform your team members about IP and confidentiality issues.
Teach your staff members what they need to look for and what to do if they see a potential breach. By doing so, you’ll have a group of people regularly on the lookout for perpetrators and increase your chances of discovering thieves faster.
With constant advancements in technology, more people have access to information than ever before. If you want to keep your confidential, IP information private, it takes more than putting legal processes and paperwork in place. You also need to be proactive, educate your team members regularly and always be on the lookout for IP thieves.
This way, you’ll have a better chance of stopping potential perpetrators from stealing your confidential data. After all, if you don’t protect your IP, it’s not a matter of “if” it will be stolen; it’s a matter of “when”!
What are you going to do today to start protecting your IP?
For more information, please provide your comments below or reach me at www.richdad.com.