Intellectual property refers to those intangible assets which are unique to your business and have arisen from your creativity. Most businesses will have some form of intellectual property. It can be as simple as your brand logo or domain name, through to more complex forms such as patents and trademarks.
But one thing is for sure, whatever type of intellectual property you have, your business will most likely derive value from it. So, you’ll want to understand how to protect your intellectual property from intellectual property disputes and infringement.
4 steps to protect your intellectual property
When it comes to how to protect your intellectual property, there are a wide range of steps you can take. In this blog we’ll look at 4 areas you may want to consider (but certainly don’t think of this as an exhaustive list!)
Have the right intellectual property protections in place
Some types of protection are automatically afforded to you such as copyright and design rights. Whereas others you must apply for such as trademarks and patents.
In order to protect your intellectual property you need to understand how to correctly register it to ensure that you have the right status in place.
You may also need to choose to have more than one type of protection in place for a single product.
Make use of non-disclosure agreements
According to the definition on the gov.uk site, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) ‘ is a legal contract. It sets out how you share information or ideas in confidence. Sometimes people call NDAs confidentiality agreements.’
According to information on the gov.uk website, non-disclosure agreements can be used if you do need to share confidential information. For example, it you need to share information with potential partners, or those who you need advice from.
You’ll likely need to work with an IP lawyer or solicitor to put one in place, but they could play an important role in protecting your intellectual property.
Consider cyber security
When stored, or existing in a digital format, intellectual property will be vulnerable to theft by cyber criminals. Suffering a cyber-attack can see you suffer theft of intellectual property.
So, it will be important to take steps to boost your cyber security defences. From using strong passwords, training staff on what a potential cyber-attack looks like through to limiting the number of people across your business who have access to more sensitive forms of intellectual property.
Take out intellectual property insurance
Intellectual property insurance is designed to provide indemnity for losses and costs incurred because of an intellectual property infringement. But cover can be wide ranging covering areas such as
- Legal defence costs
- Breach of an agreement
- Infringement pursuit
- Business interruption
- After the event cover
- Investigation costs
Keep in mind that it can also act as a deterrent to those who think that your business may not have the resources to pursue an infringement claim.
At Anthony Jones, we are passionate about protecting the rights and ideas of individuals that’s why we are also a member of IPAN (Intellectual Property Awareness Network). Our team of experts can work with you to identify if intellectual property insurance is necessary for your business and if so help tailor a policy which meets your unique requirements.