Protecting the assets and intellectual property (IP) of your business is crucial, even more so now that so much designed, written and branded content is available online.
In this article, we will explain how businesses can protect their assets and prevent infringements on their intellectual property rights.
The law on intellectual property
Assets protected under intellectual property laws include anything that you or your team have created in the course of their work, such as:
IP rights can be bought, sold or transferred, and have more than one owner. They are important because these rights allow you to earn money from your IP and use it however you like.
You can legally protect your IP using a trademark, copyright or patent. Copyright applies automatically, while a trademark can take 3-4 weeks to register, and you must apply for it.
You can take legal action if someone uses your intellectual property without permission. However, it’s important to keep it safe when using it in an online environment – once something is online, it’s very hard to remove it.
How to protect your intellectual property online
Be proactive with trademarks and patents
Before you launch a product or a service publicly, make sure you’ve registered its name, logo, or any unique features with the relevant IP offices.
Don’t wait for infringement to occur. This will be more costly to your business in the long run and, once a piece of content is online without being covered by copyright, it’s very difficult to have it removed.
Use monitoring technology
Digital tools can automate monitoring and alerts of potential infringements.
For example, Google Alerts can inform you when specific phrases or names associated with your business are mentioned online. This means that you can effectively act in real-time when a potential infringement occurs.
Implement robust digital security measures
Cybersecurity is all about safeguarding your data and your intellectual property by avoiding internal leaks.
Ensure you have up-to-date firewalls, secure servers, and encrypted connections. You may also consider using a digital rights management (DRM) tool, that controls how digital content is accessed, used, and distributed.
Invest in education
Your team is your first line of defence against IP infringement. Make sure they are aware of what constitutes intellectual property, how it must be handled, and the risks involved in mishandling it.
They should also be aware that they should not post work-related assets to their personal social media or email accounts.
Consulting the experts
When it comes to intellectual property, detail is everything. Any legally binding agreement, including a non-disclosure agreement or contract, needs to be reviewed to ensure that it doesn’t permit the release of your company-owned assets under any circumstances.
You should speak to an experienced intellectual property solicitor to find out how to protect your content and assets online.
For advice about protecting your assets, contact our expert team today.