News

Test Your IP Exposure

March 6, 2013
Categories: Compliance, Intellectual Property

How well does your company and suppliers protect your IP? 

Does your company….

  • Have policies, procedures and records specific to IP?
  • Have an IP compliance team in place?
  • Include IP protection in your risk assessment and compliance?
  • Include IP compliance as part of your due diligence on suppliers and business partners?
  • Have systems in place to protect IP and confidential information on computers?
  • Train employees on IP protection?
  • Monitor for IP compliance?
  • A system in place to correct IP infringement issues when they arise?

If you answered ‘no’ to most of these questions, your company could be at risk for losing valuable IP – through trade secret theft, counterfeiting, piracy and other IP infringement.

Where to start?
Consider the following steps for launching your IP protection program:

  1. Strong IP policies. Is IP protection part of your corporate policies? The importance of IP should be communicated to all employees and third-party partners and included in employee handbooks, contracts and guidelines.
  2. IP Compliance Team. Is there one person responsible for overall IP protection? Is that person supported by senior management and a cross-divisional team including those who manage supply chains, compliance and risk?
  3. IP assessment. Does your company have records of all IP, including patents, trademarks and trade secrets? Once identified, you should assess the potential threats to the IP – from cyber-attacks, employees or contractors, hactivists and others – and put practices in place to safeguard your IP.

A full IP protection program also involves training, monitoring, due diligence, network security and plans for taking corrective actions.

CREATe.org offers a range of resources to help with IP protection – from model IP policies to a service that helps you measure and improve your IP protection program. Learn more by visiting CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection.