CREATe – Stanford Op-Ed: IP Protection and Sustainable Supply Chains

July 10, 2014
Categories: Intellectual Property, News Articles and Stanford Graduate School of Business Op-Ed– “How Companies Can Protect Against Intellectual Property Risk in Their Supply Chains”

In today’s global marketplace, intellectual property theft has the potential to wreak havoc on a company’s reputation and profits, and in some cases even harm consumers and lead to expensive litigation.

Hau L. Lee, Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at Stanford Graduate School of Business and CREATe CEO Pamela Passman have addressed this issue in an opinion piece now featured on the Stanford website.

Based on the findings of a recent Stanford Graduate School of Business report, Lee and Passman recommend a proactive, business-oriented approach to intellectual property management, much like traditional approaches to other risks within supply chains.  In line with that principle, they suggest that companies do the following:

  1. Adopt a management systems approach to intellectual property management – Lee and Passman advocate for cross-divisional IP protection teams that include top executives and incorporate responsible IP practices both internally and across supply chains.
  2. Establish visibility into IP practices and potential problems – They further suggest that companies build IP risk into due diligence with their supply chain members and potential business partners, supported by continual IP monitoring.
  3. Employ preventive practices and respond to violations – Finally, Lee and Passman recommend that multinationals provide training for their suppliers and business partners, helping them identify risk factors and share best practices.  They also advise that companies encourage their suppliers to comply with incentives, such as public recognition or the promise of a long-term relationship.

In addition to these three methods, Lee and Passman advocate a strict need-to-know policy for all trade secrets and thorough investigations of all instances of IP infringement.  Best practices such as these, they say, will foster a culture of compliance and help companies to develop and prosper over time.

To access the full article, click here.

For more information on protecting your company’s intellectual property, consult CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection here.

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