Intellectual property (IP) is an invaluable intangible asset that must be safeguarded to enhance your competitive edge in the market. It encompasses all the original ideas, designs, discoveries, inventions and creative works produced by a person or group. To make sure that your IP is seen as yours, it is essential to document your concepts and original content in detail and apply for protection in the United States. Your state bar association can recommend experienced attorneys who can help you with that. Most intellectual property patents are valid for 15 to 20 years after the date of filing.
It is important to avoid co-ownership of IP at all costs, as it can create problems in the future that could impede protection and harm all parties involved. Trademarks are names, phrases, sounds, or symbols that are used in association with services or products and often connect a brand to a level of quality upon which companies build a reputation. Brand protection lasts 10 years after registration and can be renewed indefinitely. Encrypting the IP will also reduce the risk of loss. Egress survey data shows that only 21 percent of companies require encryption when sharing sensitive data externally, and only 36 percent require it internally.
To protect trade secrets, employees often know they are valuable, and confidentiality agreements can further protect your company. The first step in protecting your intellectual property rights is to list all of your intellectual property assets and then decide which assets need to be protected. You should also consider the time and money you'll need to properly secure the rights of your creations and describe how you plan to protect your intellectual assets. Finally, set deadlines for researching, archiving, and finalizing these steps, and work to achieve them as you would with any other business objective. If you do business in any country in the European Union, you only need to apply for protection in the EU, not in every individual country. However, as an additional protection, the law encourages trademark owners to request a Section 8 statement to confirm that intellectual property is still being actively used. A chief security officer (CSO) or risk committee often serves to unify intellectual property protection efforts.
The CISO now plays an important role in protecting against cyberattacks. Additionally, check any other agreements you use in your company to make sure that they cover your intellectual property. Nowadays, publishing and referring to your IP widely is still the best way to protect it, always making sure that your company name is attributed to where it is mentioned. If you have invented a unique product, machine or equipment, or chemical composition, you can also protect this IP by applying for an online patent with the USPTO. Ultimately, protecting your intellectual property rights requires careful planning and execution. Documenting your concepts and original content in detail is essential for protecting your IP rights.
Applying for protection in the United States is also necessary for most patents. Avoiding co-ownership of IP is also important for protecting your rights. Finally, encrypting IP will reduce the risk of loss.