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5 Ways the Internet Threatens Your Intellectual Property: A Dallas Business Attorney’s Perspective

Dallas business lawyer, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, weighs in on the Internet’s effects on protecting intellectual property (IP).

While the Internet certainly makes our lives easier, it also makes creators and inventors more susceptible to intellectual property theft. Let’s look at 5 common ways the Internet could make your IP more vulnerable.

1. Illegal downloading and file sharing. Almost any computer connected to the Internet can be accessed by an intruder, and files illegally downloaded or shared.

2. Social media. Many people share photos, videos and music on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other outlets, unaware that they may be using copyrighted material. If a stolen photo goes “viral,” it’s being used millions of times without the owner being compensated.

3. Cloning. Websites and apps themselves may be vulnerable to IP theft. Dishonest companies may plagiarize entire websites created by their competitors, while savvy developers might lift the code from another site to create their own version of an online app.

4. International access. International thieves frequently lift copyrighted material from the Internet, repackage and sell it, sometimes on their local streets. (China is the most notable offender.) The Trans-Pacific Partnership would have provided some protection, but the U.S. abandoned that partnership in January 2017.

5. Theft from within. Surprisingly, according to this article from the Financial Times, one of the Internet threats comes from inside companies themselves in the form of industrial espionage, as culprits can access trade secrets not even available online and transfer them via USB sticks or cloud-based systems like Dropbox.

Despite these vulnerabilities, you have legal recourse if find yourself a victim of Internet IP theft. To speak with a Dallas business attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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www.planobusinesslawyers.com

Richard L. Armstrong, Principal

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