In human history, the greatest of all inventions, social and political advancements, and maximum profit-generating endeavors have undoubtedly originated in the minds of people. They all begin at the same place, i.e., as an intangible idea. Intellectual Property (IP) is a valuable resource and asset in all aspects. From trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets to patents, industrial designs, and geographical indications, IP is a significant distinguishing factor and a prime driver of revenue for an organization or business firm.
As a general term, IP refers to the set of intangible assets owned and legally protected by an individual or company. The IP holders can prevent unauthorized use or implementation of their unique creations. Furthermore, they can also sell or license their IP to others. In our day to day lives, IP is traded between nations, industries, and people, which further helps in the growth of the global economy. Therefore, every effort must be put in to protect the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of the owners while advancing their shared accessibility simultaneously.
PROTECTING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OVERSEAS
For the ventures that include significant risk, like protecting the IP in foreign markets, the organizations need to craft effective strategies to reduce or transfer such risks. Below are some ways of doing business overseas and protecting your IP.
1- REGISTER TRADEMARKS/COPYRIGHTS AND APPLY FOR PATENTS
Organizations and business firms must register their relevant trademarks or copyrights and apply for patents in their target markets. However, they must familiarize themselves with the fact that every market will have different Intellectual Property Laws and procedures. For more information on the same, organizations can hire a patent or trademark attorney or get in touch with the IP Office of that particular region or market.
2- ESTABLISH CONTRACTUAL SECURITY
Organizations and companies can seek to protect their IP by using legal contracts constructed carefully. The legal contracts for Intellectual Property Protection include the following features:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Sales Contracts
- Employment Agreements
- Technology Transfer Agreements
- IP Ownership Clauses
After forming such contracts, the organizations should engage with their business partners regularly to emphasize the crucial importance of the specified clauses and ensure that they understand what those obligations mean for both the parties.
3- IMPLEMENT SECURITY MEASURES
While getting involved in a new international venture, organizations need to boost and strengthen their security procedures, which can help to identify malicious and unauthorized activities by internal and external parties. The organizations can do so by:
- Performing background checks on their partners
- Restricting the access to IP to only essential contractors, parties, and supply chain partners
- Encrypting all forms of IP transmitted electronically or digitally
- Prohibiting unauthorized copies of IP on shared network drives or USB devices
- Physically locking the areas of IP storage
- ACQUIRE INSURANCE
For transferring some of their IP risks, the organizations may consider acquiring insurance. Insurance of IP protects against the enormous legal costs that an organization needs to pay if it pursues its IP claim through the court system. It can include the enforcing claims, i.e., against the infringers who violate the organization’s IP and defending claims, i.e., against the organization by another individual or organization.