• Ric Armstrong

The Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property


Intellectual property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. The ownership of intellectual property inherently creates a limited monopoly in the protected property.


If you own a company whose assets include intellectual property like copyrights, patents, or trademarks, it’s imperative to take the proper steps to safeguard that data. In the cyber age, when so many sensitive files get hacked every day by high-tech thieves, it’s worth taking the time to create a plan for safeguarding intellectual property owned by your company.


Hackers prefer two kinds of files: those that contain financial account numbers and ones that include sensitive IP facts, figures, and information. So even if your organization’s only intellectual property consists of a list of recipes or a design for a machine part, the legal issues of cybersecurity are essential, and you should never store the files online. Instead, keep them either in hard copy format and locked in a safe deposit box at a bank, or maintain them on digital thumb drives or in cold wallets, also stored in bank safe boxes.


Step one is knowing how and where to store ultra-sensitive and precious digitized files. Next, owners need to be aware that only a competent lawyer can offer relevant advice on establishing and maintaining legal ownership of intellectual property.


Other protective tactics include knowing how to keep secrets from slipping out in everyday conversation. Some corporations have suffered significant losses because one or two upper-level directors blurted out IP secrets in casual encounters with others. One of the downsides of social media is that information spreads instantly. Tweets, comments, and other forms of communication are the worst places to discuss sensitive topics that could include a breach of IP data.


Finally, get detailed advice from your lawyer about using trademarks, patents, and copyrights to shield your valuable IP from being stolen by hackers and other nefarious types.