How to Secure Intellectual Property from Loss or Compromise

28 data protection experts weigh in with tips on securing intellectual property in its many forms; Robin Smith shares how she protects WeGoLook's intellectual property.

Intellectual property is often among an organization's most valuable assets, yet it's also vulnerable to threat and compromise, particularly the vast amounts of intellectual property stored electronically today. Intellectual property can take many forms, from general knowledge about a company's operating processes to creative works that an individual or company creates. Protecting intellectual property is a top priority for today's organizations, because a breach that compromises IP might mean that your knowledge assets are in the hands of your biggest competitors – and in many cases, it's your intellectual property that gives you a distinct competitive edge. 

So what can today's enterprises do to protect their intellectual property from threat and compromise? To gain some insight into the latest techniques and methods for securing IP, we reached out to a panel of security professionals and intellectual property attorneys and experts, asking them to weigh in on this question: 

"What are the best ways to secure intellectual property against loss or compromise?"

Read on to discover what our experts reveal about securing intellectual property.

Robin SmithRobin Smith


Robin Smith is the co-founder and CEO of WeGoLook. Her desire to bolster confidence in purchase decisions by online consumers led her to found WeGoLook, a crowd-sourced verification platform utilized across every industry. WeGoLook features a crowdsourcing platform of over 30,000 nationwide Lookers and 100+ employees in OKC.

"Often, when people hear the term intellectual property one of the first things that come to mind is..."

Patents. Of course IP comes in many forms with some of the most basic being that of internal know-how or trade secrets. The first way to ensure valuable business know-how is held within a company is to educate employees on what constitutes IP and the importance of maintaining confidentiality. A breach of proprietary process knowledge can happen as easily as a competitor calling in and asking first line support team members questions. Basic awareness among all team members can help prevent this to a large extent. Taking this a step further, every employee in a company should be presented with and sign a confidentiality agreement as part of standard on-boarding, which is something we implemented at WeGoLook.

Intellectual property protection pertains to more formal types such as creative works, trademarks, copyrights, technical work product, and patents. There are key steps to take and often agreements to establish to ensure intellectual property is recognized and ownership appropriately assigned. The steps required for each of the aforementioned types can vary and is reason to secure an experienced IP attorney for guidance. For example, if you have a business name and trademark you do not want others to infringe upon, you need to file a trademark for protection. At WeGoLook for example, we have proprietary software code to protect, so a copyright was filed. If it is unique enough in process, you might even want to file a patent. In any scenario, seeking guidance and balancing the risk/reward of when and to what degree you protect your IP assets is something every company must carefully consider. 


SOURCE | Copyright Digital Guardian