Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. The most well-known types of intellectual property are copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. The main purpose of such law is to encourage the creation of a wide variety of intellectual goods. This law was passed in the 19th century and became popular in the early ’20s.
These are a set of intangible things that are owned and protected by a company from outside use. These are intangible creations of the human intellect.
Intellectual property rights are the legal rights of the people over their creations. These rights ensure that the exclusive rights of the ideas rest with the owner for a specified period of time. These products also include marks on products to indicate that they are different from the similar ones sold by competitors.
It can be broadly divided into the following terms:
Copyright protects and safeguards the rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs, and films) from piracy or plagiarism, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
Copyright ensures that the work created by an artist remains under his exclusive right and cannot be used by other people until their approval.
The main social purpose of the protection of copyright and related rights is to encourage and reward creative work. It helps them have the confidence to put their work out in public without the fear of getting stolen.
Patents protect industrial designs and trade secrets of intellectual property.
A patent is the granting of a property right by an authority to an inventor. This grant provides the inventor exclusive rights to the patented process, design, or invention for a particle period in exchange for a legal document.
A trademark is a symbol that helps in distinguishing a product from other similar products. Trademarks ensure fair competition in the market and that customers have options while buying the product and make the best choice.
The protection may last indefinitely, provided what is said in the legal document. They also help the products in making geographical distinctions as well, indicating the origin of the product.
How To Protect Your Rights Digitally?
While you have the right to your intellectual property, it is your responsibility to protect your property digitally. Since everything is digitally available today, your digital security should also be made and should be kept in check. There are multiple ways to protect your rights digitally. Some of them are:
Educate Your Employees
IP can be safeguarded quite successfully if the employees that are working on the particular project are educated about the fragility of the information.
In most cases, IP leaves an organization by accident or through the carelessness of the employees. Make sure your employees are aware of how they might unintentionally expose IP. And that if so happens, they know how to bring the situation back to normalcy without loss of data or information. Ensure they are also aware of the legal consequences of data and information leaks if done deliberately.
These employees can also be separated into different teams so that the authenticity of the work also remains. And that, for them to steal or forge data of the IP, strong coordination between all of them is required.
Don’t File Patents
The safety of your IP can also be maintained if you back out from filing patents. Filing patents provides the recipe for how a product or service can be created. Your competitor companies or other people can use those details to make a similar product.
If your patents are not filed legally, others can’t be blocked from creating items on a similar idea.
Avoid Joint Ownership
Make sure to avoid joint ownership of ideas and creations as much as possible, if you are collaborating with someone, ensure to sign an agreement.
Joint ownership can create problems for both parties. As a partner, the other party will also need access to all the IP information. This can also lead to piracy or leakage of data from the other end without your knowledge, hampering intellectual rights.
Cases of discontentment among the parties are also possible, which affects the functioning and the security of the intellectual property. All these things will somehow affect the digital safety of the IP.
Make Sure Your Non-Disclosure Agreements Are Strong
When you are in a company with multiple employees, make sure that the non-disclosure agreement you make them sign is strong. Also, make sure that all the agreements that you make your members sign safeguards the interests of your company’s data and info.
A strong non-disclosure agreement will make sure that the members do not foul play with the intellectual rights. These could include employment agreements, licenses, and sales contracts. This will protect the digital intellectual rights of the company to a very large extent.
Take Professional Help
Another way of protecting intellectual property rights is to have strong control over access to these files. Manuscripts, creations, ideas, plans relating to a company should be kept in a very safe location with identity authentication passwords that can be accessed only by a limited and selected number of people.
Seek professional help from experts who are working in the field safeguarding the rights of individuals and organizations alike.
Safeguarding your IP with just passwords is no more an effective way because it has become very easy to hack passwords. A two-step authentication process is the least requirement that will ensure the digital safety of your IP.
To safeguard intellectual property rights digitally, companies should strategize the complete process and take professional help. They should have effective means of protecting their IP and should have all their members in confidence.
Ensure that things like copyright, trademarks, trade circuits, or patents are not ignored, and they should be renewed every time their time expires. Protected IP ensures that the company is kept safe from competitors and that their ideas or innovations are not cheated and used under unfair means.
Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.