A recent WSJ article showcased the lengths taken by a Japanese battery maker to protect its intellectual property (IP): production is split among six teams, components are sourced independently and suppliers are not exposed to final adjustments. There is valid cause for concern: according to the article, only ‘half of employees at Japan-based firms leaving their company sign nondisclosure agreements.’
What systems are in place within your company and among your suppliers to protect your IP? According to research by The Conference Board, 52% of executives surveyed rate IP protection as very challenging. Additionally, they noted that trade secret theft is considered the greatest IP risk. More than 60% view emerging markets as highest risk, yet only 36% rated their company compliance program as effective.
To help companies and their supply chain partners address the challenges of IP theft, CREATe.org has developed a three-step program: CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection.
- The first step is an assessment of the systems in place to protect IP.
- Next is an independent evaluation.
- The final and ongoing step is the ‘improvement’ portion of the program.
Guide to Improving Your IP Protection Program
For the improvement plan, each company has access to CREATe.org’s 250-page ‘Guide to Improving Your IP Protection Program.’ Available in English, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese, the Guide outlines the steps necessary to improve the maturity of processes and practices to protect IP.
The Guide also features tools and resources, such as sample policies, contractor agreements, letters to employees, sample procedures, IP checklists and other information specific to a broad range of IP, from trade secrets to copyright.
To learn more about the Guide and participating in CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection, please email us: info@CREATe.org.