According to Mark Getty, ‘intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century.’ And rightly so. Intellectual property [IPR] covers every gamut of vital and critical information. For instance, it could include a product launch plan or trade secret, a rare formula, a unique composition etc., where specific patents are licensed.
To define IPR according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, it means the creation of the mind — invention, literary and artistic creation, names, designs, symbols, and images broadly used in commerce. IPR covers a wide range of topics ranging from branding, logo, processes, services, and products. If you are an entrepreneur or lead an organization, you need to secure these concepts safely. Without secure protection, you could face massive losses if your IPR is used or stolen without your permission. There are several ways to protect your IPR. Let’s look at some common ways to safeguard your IPR security.
Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents
If you have developed a new product that is unique and unknown, a new kind of machinery equipment, chemical composition or formula and the like, you can protect your IPR by filing for a patent. Patents provide you with legal teeth that prevent others from replicating and distributing your invention unless you have provided them with a license. There are several types of patent processes, and the conditions or requirements depend on the design you’ve created. Hence, you will need to carefully determine the correct patent category that fits your IPR the best. Since IPR comes in a wide range of forms, you could use copyrights and trademarks in addition to patents that provide you with the protective right to sue the party upon infringement.
Copyrights are a type of intellectual property that safeguards your artistic expression or authorship works. Copyright could be licensed for drawings, artwork or text, or a combination of the objects you produce.
A trademark is a brand title, logo or symbol that distinctly distinguishes your products or services from the rest. For example, a trademark could be your signature, emblem, painting, words, title, text, photograph, advertising or inscription that identifies an assortment of goods, services and objects belonging to you or originating from you. Trademark restriction has several advantages that protect your brand and assure you that no one else can replicate or imitate your trademark.
It can help to take time to understand the many differences between copyrights, paintings and trademarks to allow you to make the proper choice.
Keep an eye on the market
Trade secret laws and registrations offer you legal remedies if your work has been used inaccurately or improperly. However, they do not prevent your work from being misused or stolen in the first place. For instance, some individuals may be unaware of the law, while others may not care about it and even employ brute force to steal the data. In addition, even a detailed patent, trademark and copyright could be circumvented through loopholes. Hence, monitoring your marketplace can help you keep an eye on the industry. For instance, you may want to:
- Observe new introductions of products and services from companies. Pay attention to all details closely.
- Set up search alerts on the Internet to receive notifications when specific words or phrases that match your IPR are revealed online.
- Keep a close watch on trademark dilution. If your mark is a standard term rather than a brand, you may stand the risk of losing your right on it. For instance, “zipper” was a trademark not too long ago. But eventually, down the line, it became a product category rather than a brand.
- Analyze and examine products and services that appear similar to yours. Look into patent filings to ascertain if they are infringing on your patent.
If you find an infringement instance, you need to take action immediately. Depending on the situation, you could choose to send a cease and desist letter, dispatch a Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA] takedown notice, seek a court injunction or file a lawsuit. The latter may prove costly.
Keep your IPR a secret
The best way to secure your IPR is to protect it from being known. For instance, if your creation of work is not patentable, you could limit the number of people you inform about it. In addition, you could choose to use nondisclosure agreements signed by potential investors or partners to maintain discretion. However, you need to ensure what must be classified and how long it must be kept secret. Unfortunately, such documents or information stored in plain word or PDF files can easily be hacked into or stolen. Hence, when securing your IPR within PDF files or documents, you must ensure that it is stringently protected with the only proven document security solution — Digital Rights Management [DRM].
DRM: The only proven solution to protecting IPR
Regardless of where your IPR in PDF documents lies, the right PDF DRM solution can prevent unauthorized access and eliminate its sharing or distribution, thanks to its robust and stringent US Government strength encryption and licensing controls. In addition, DRM applies complete controls on the information you want to secure and provides another layer of protection over copyright. Even if you have copyrighted your IPR, several dishonest vendors and unscrupulous agents are waiting to rip it off from you and publish it without your information and claim it as their own. PDF DRM solutions enable you to enforce access, expiry, usage and location controls regardless of where your documents are located.
PDF DRM provides you with a comprehensive and robust strategy covering all IPR security in one solution. It enforces stringent protection policies no matter where the document lies. With powerful and complete access and usage control, you can protect your IPR and keep your information confidential at all times.