Today, CREATe.org announced the following news in a press release:
The results are in, and as one would expect in dynamic global marketplace, there is room for improvement. The final report from the pilot program of CREATe Leading Practices — which included more than 60 companies from around the globe in a wide range of industries — reveals gaps in businesses’ efforts to safeguard intellectual property and prevent corruption. In a fiercely competitive and rapidly changing global marketplace, these gaps expose companies to risk—putting profits, reputation and even survival on the line.
The good news? Companies in the pilot project gained access to CREATe’s practical, three-step process for assessing their risk to IP theft and corruption; and detailed insights for improving on existing management systems to mitigate that risk. And, with the successful completion of the pilot programs — we are launching our CREATe Leading Practices programs for broad participation.
CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection and CREATe Leading Practices for Anti-Corruption are based on best practices from global companies, international guidelines, academics, think tanks and other experts. The services adapt a ‘management systems’ approach to the twin challenges of IP protection and preventing corruption.
This approach — similar to others that address issues such as quality control and health and safety—is designed to be practical and cost-effective, building on management systems that are already in place. It also emphasizes the importance of passing on improvements to partners throughout the supply chain, especially those that traverse countries where laws and enforcement lag.
Each of the CREATe services — available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese—begins with a 90-minute self-assessment of policies, procedures and practices in the focus area, IP or anti-corruption. The second step is discussion and an Independent Evaluation by a CREATe.org expert. Third, each company receives an individualized Summary Report featuring detailed recommendations to build a robust program of safeguards and compliance.
In addition, companies gain access to the 200+ page CREATe Leading Practices guide outlining specific steps for maturing their IP protection or anti-corruption program, along with sample resources, such as policy guidelines, executive communications, guidance on due diligence and risk assessment, and other tools.
Areas for growth
The companies in the pilot projects spanned sectors — aviation, IT, consumer goods, telecommunications — and regions, including Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. Their assessments suggested some trends in the broader marketplace, including:
- Confusion between IT security and IP protection: A majority of companies have physical and IT security systems in place however they do not have other processes in place to protect IP more broadly and to mitigate other IP infringement such as trade secret theft, counterfeiting and piracy.
- Policies in place, yet no systems to ensure strong implementation: Many companies have policies in place for IP protection and anti-corruption, however the majority of companies do not have any specific procedures in place to ensure that the policies are implemented, nor sufficient training so employees know how to follow those policies.
- Supply chain vulnerabilities: For both IP protection and anti-corruption, companies are weak when it comes to pre-contract risk assessment and due diligence and post-contract monitoring and corrective actions. There is a general lack of understanding of the systems needed to proactively prevent IP theft and corruption among supply chain and business partners.
Feedback from participants in CREATe’s pilot programs reinforces the value they gained from its comprehensive view, allowing them to identify their individual areas for improvement.
“The summary report was very helpful for identifying top priorities for areas requiring attention to improve IP protection,” according to feedback from Taiwan-based global electronics business Transcend. “For our company, training was identified as a high priority. As a result, we are providing more extensive training to all business units for better IP protection.”
Participation in the pilot provided an introduction to global best practices for IP protection, according feedback from BYD, an alternative energy and auto company in China. BYD is engaged in industries that are going through explosive growth and innovation, where proprietary ideas are the key to competition.
“The (summary) report and Guide have been very helpful in showing us how to take steps to improve our IP protection program,” the company said.
A European company that took part in the IP pilot program reported that it was now working to “better define and address trade secrets in our policies. We are also rolling out an improved monitoring program because we agree with the report that it was a weaker area for us.”
“I learned a lot from your program as how to build a strong anti-corruption compliance program,” according to a global investment firm. “As a private equity firm, I also appreciate you helping us evaluate our existing and potential investments.”
“The interaction with the CREATe team was really engaging and interesting,” said Indian IT giant Infosys. “The Summary Report is useful and indeed provides a very good holistic perspective. We enjoyed participating.”
What would your company see if it took a holistic look at its internal approach to protecting intellectual property and preventing corruption? Where are the risks and vulnerable points in your internal operations or in your supply network?
To learn more about CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection and CREATe Leading Practices for Anti-Corruption, please email: info@CREATe.org.