A company’s intellectual property can help to make its efforts competitive and can play a major role in creating a memorable brand. Unfortunately, intellectual property violations are quite common and can damage a company’s reputation and/or profit margins.
Organizations that have valuable intellectual property, whether they have trade secrets that their staff has access to or copyright authority over original works of music, will need to take specific steps to protect those resources from the intentional or unintentional misconduct of others.
Intellectual property violations can damage a company’s branding efforts and diminish the organization’s ability to profit from its intellectual property. How can companies protect themselves against the risk of intellectual property infringement?
1. They add protections to employment contracts
One of the most common solutions for organizations worried about intellectual property infringement is to add restrictive covenants to employment contracts. Non-compete agreements have long been popular, but many organizations have started to use non-disclosure agreements for the same purpose.
Such contractual inclusions allow a company to take legal action against a worker if they share private company information either with a new employer or with members of the public after leaving their job. Companies will typically need to take workers to civil court if they want to enforce their rights as outlined in employment contracts.
2. They watch for and litigate violations
In order to enforce trademark or copyright protections, an organization will typically need to assert its rights consistently. Therefore, checking online frequently and monitoring competitors for warning signs of intellectual property infringement will be important to protect a company’s future rights.
When another business or maybe an individual on the internet violates an organization’s intellectual property rights, the responsible typically involves sending a cease-and-desist notice and possibly pursuing civil litigation. Organizations that consistently enforce their intellectual property protections will have an easier time asserting themselves if a major and potentially financially-damaging violation occurs.
Both the process of adjusting employer contracts and sending out cease and desist notices can be a challenge for executives or general business counsel to manage. Having appropriate legal guidance and assistance when acting to protect a company’s intellectual property will take much of the uncertainty and risk out of the process.