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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.