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How Tech Companies Can Protect Their Intellectual Property: 5 Effective Ways

Nowadays, the intellectual property of a company holds its value, and the IT industry is probably the one that has to suffer most from the attraction to their intellectual property. The projects and creations of tech companies all operate using technology, which is why the industry has to pay special attention to the way they keep their data.

What Is Considered Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) concerns all creations and inventions of a mind, such as name of the product, unique code of the website, design etc. Intellectual property is protected by law from being stolen by other individuals or businesses.

The data leaks can lead to competitors using your code to copy it or inspect how you do things. That is why it is important to protect your idea or creation.

5 Main Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

There are many ways now that can help in protecting your intellectual property from competitor companies: copyright, trademark and trade secrets, patents, and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA).

Trade secrets

You might have two types of data that you would be able to protect by the law as intellectual property. First is the original creations that you would want to claim only for yourself. Second – trade secret assets you want to protect from digital leaks.

When analyzing the assets that your company possesses, you should evaluate the information based on the following criteria:

  1. Do you have any information that can be commercially valuable to your competitors?
  2. Does this information have to be available only for a small group of people?
  3. Does this information contain any fragile parts of confidentiality agreements?

The creation of this type doesn’t have to be published and known to the public, but it is still protected as the IP of the company until any other company discovers the same invention on its terms.

Copyright

Regarding tech companies, copyright protects the innovative solution that the company developed to solve some problems their target audience faced. As the tech company’s invention’s core is most often the source code that makes up the software, copyright has to be applied to the code.

  • The first thing to do is to make sure that the company owns the source code, not the developer who wrote it. Only if it belongs to the company, would it be able to set protection.
  • The company also has to be sure that all the development stages remain confidential.
  • To secure your code from unauthorized use, you can refer to the copyright office in your country.

Trademark

You can trademark a name, symbol, or phrase that identifies with your product or services. With trademarks, you have to be extra careful and check if the name isn’t already in use. There is a list of things that can be trademarked:

  • Product names and nicknames
  • Logos and images
  • Music and sounds
  • Phrases, like those used for slogans
  • Colour combinations or schemes

When you receive the trademark, you create a public record of ownership over your company’s creative solutions.

Patents

Whereas copyright and trademark can be used to protect the code or names and logos, the patent is what will protect the creative idea behind it. If you think of an innovative idea that you want to belong to you, you can apply for receiving a patent. You should only keep in mind that this process can be very costly and time consuming.

Non-Disclosure And Confidentiality Agreements

It is also advised to protect not only the product of your work but also the process while it is created. Many companies prefer to sign agreements with specialists involved in the creation of the code specifying the confidential information that cannot be shared.

A well-drafted NDA has to include:

  1. A clear list of information that cannot be shared with third parties, especially competitors.
  2. The date of the agreement, meaning when it stops being effective.
  3. Responsibility for not following the NDA.

Having an NDA in place is a common practice for tech companies, helping them to feel confident in the security of their sensitive information.

Conclusion

Even in a competitive and busy industry such as IT, you can make sure your information is safe using trademarks, copyrights, and NDAs. The process of IP protection can seem difficult, and we suggest entrusting it to professionals. AVITAR helps companies with data protection, so you only have to contact us and to book a time for a consultation. One of our specialists will help you with the next steps. 

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Authors:
2.28.2023 18:50
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