Your business most likely has intellectual property that you want to protect. You will also most likely at one point or another find that someone is using your property as their own. It is important to know your rights and know what you can and cannot do. If you are not informed and do not have a lawyer to advise you, you can easily make mistakes that can cost you. Look out for these common errors when it comes to your intellectual property rights.
1. Making yourself guilty of infringement – Whether it is deliberate or accidental, you should take precautions and be very careful to not make yourself guilty of using other people’s intellectual property. You will be fined for such actions.
2. You don’t specify ownership – Sometimes intellectual property belongs to a group or different parties. This is usually when they all had some contribution to the production of the property. It is very important to clearly decide and state who the intellectual property belongs to. This will make things easier when it comes to your rights and infringement issues.
3. You don’t use non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements – If you are inventing, creating, or improving any type of intellectual property, you should make sure that everyone involved agrees to and signs non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. It is quite easy to bribe someone to share information. If you are protected, you should have fewer problems or at least be able to prosecute the guilty parties when something like that happens.
4. Late applications for patents – There are rules involved when you apply for patents. Make sure you know these rules and adhere to them to make sure you can protect your intellectual property. If don’t adhere to the rules, you can lose out on the edge your company has.
These are only a few mistakes that are commonly made. People also forget to secure their software and copyrights or they make the scope of their claim to broad or too narrow. We said it before, but we’ll say it again: get yourself an intellectual property legal expert.