Your most Valuable Business Asset: Are you Protecting your IP?
One of the most valuable assets of any business is its ‘intellectual property’ (IP). IP covers patents, trademarks, designs, content, images, music, software, code, research and development findings and databases. If a competitor uses any aspect of your IP without permission, it is considered infringement, and is an offence. But it can be a costly claim to fight, which is why taking steps to protect your IP is crucial.
If someone outside your organisation publishes online or offline, broadcasts, displays, uses, copies, passes off, sells or shares your IP, it can be financially damaging for your business, especially if your good name is harmed as a result of misuse.
Ensuring measures are in place to protect your IP is something we can help you with at HCB. Having worked inside multinational organisations where IP is everything, we truly understand the importance of making sure what represents your outward profile and business collateral is sound.
Do you own your IP?
A good question. So many businesses fail to secure ownership on their copyrighted and patented material. Think:
- Do your contracts of employment contain a clause that clearly states any material created for you by your employees belongs to your company? If not, we’ll make sure they do.
- If you use third party contractors, do you have robust agreements in place that transfer ownership of copyright to your organisation once payment has been made for that work? We can craft those contracts for you in order to protect you.
- Do you have sound agreements in place that prevent consultants or contractors re-using the material they produce for you for their other clients? How do you know the material produced for you hasn’t been used elsewhere?
- Are your contractors adequately insured with a professional indemnity policy? If not, and they publish incorrect information on your behalf, or provide material they say is unique yet has been lifted from a copyrighted source, you could face a claim.
- Are you protected against employees or contractors sharing your valuable confidential data with competitors.
- Do you have robust licensing agreements in force that clearly define and restrict the use of your material when you do agree for it to be utilised by third parties?
Strict Measures to Protect IP Across the Board
The online world lends itself to copyright infringement; many people mistakenly believe they can take what they find on the internet and make use of it to their own gain. But this is simply not acceptable and at HCB we take strict measures to protect the businesses of our clients, whether online or offline:
- We’ll make sure you clearly and legally state ownership of your copyright material and patents throughout your full scope of marketing communications
- We’ll run checks as far as are reasonable to ensure your IP is not being infringed
- We will issue immediate action on any IP infringement identified and tenaciously pursue damages on your behalf
Protect the valuable assets of your business: talk to HCB solicitors today. If you’ve got a biting issue, we’ll get straight onto it. If you want to take steps to make sure a biting issue doesn’t arise, leave it to us. At HCB we’re with you long term; consider us your warning light for intellectual property infringement. Any IP issue can be extremely costly, so make sure it doesn’t become a problem.