The value of intellectual property protection cannot be understated. A recent example shows the pinnacle of the need for protection, involving federal governments and allegations of foreign espionage. It may sound like something out of a James Bond movie, but the secrets protected by patents, trademarks and similar legal tools are often extremely important.
The former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently reported that major players including China and North Korea were attempting to steal IP surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Whether looking to protect a matter of national security or an invention that helps your business thrive within a given marketplace, lessons shared by the feds can help all businesses better protect their IP and include:
- Know the chain. Review every step of development. Know exactly who comes in contact with the IP and take steps to better ensure they protect it.
- Security means more than staying quiet. Yes, you need to know that those who come into contact with the IP in question will keep it protected. However, you also need to know that the cyber security on computers within your organization is also sufficient. Phishing scams and other attempts by hackers can leave your IP vulnerable.
It is important to note that even the strictest confidentiality within the workplace is only as strong as the IP protections put in place. As such, it is wise to practice extra diligence when applying for patent protections. The language of the application can impact the strength of the protection.