In the current knowledge-based business world, the company intellectual property can be more valuable even than the physical assets.
But because employees develop intellectual property, what happens if the employee resigns or you terminate their contract altogether?
Does it mean that this unique workplace property is at risk of getting lost or falling in the hands of your business competitors?
This article will polish you with the necessary steps to help ensure that your intellectual property remains behind.
According to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), Intellectual property or IP are creations of the mind like artistic works, inventions, literary, and images or names used in commerce. In short, intellectual property is intangible or invisible, unlike traditional properties like goods or land.
Intellectual property rights protection fall into three distinct categories:
The first step of protecting an employer’s intellectual property is to know what needs to be protected and from whom to shield it. To do that, HR, in conjunction with other departments like sales and legal services, must lias to identify IP. After that, proceed to label the IP to demonstrate that the information is protected.
Ensure that the company’s intellectual property is registered. This will give you exclusive rights to those innovations, especially if they are commercially viable. If your business is a start-up, protect your identity and interest by registering the domain, product, or business name.
Always avoid joint ownership like the plague. One party should have full rights on IP, even in the case of a collaborative effort. However, people will need to have a sit-down and sign an employer and employee IP agreement with lawyers from both sides.
Draft policies that restrict using personal USBs and flash drives, which might facilitate the transfer of data from an organization. In other words, don’t allow employees to leave with the company’s data from the workplace. You can limit information access to websites and email accounts or even Google Drive and Dropbox.
Educating employees about IP is an intellectual property protection strategy that is mostly overlooked but very useful. In most cases, IP leaks can happen through negligence or accident. Therefore, educating employees about something that the company has invested a lot in is essential.
Intellectual property is a vital business asset, Just like any workplace property. Therefore, take the necessary steps to protect it against unauthorized access. It can be the difference between you and your closest competitors.
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