Future FinTech, a leading blockchain e-commerce company, has received ten intellectual property software copyrights to protect its e-commerce platform’s anti-counterfeiting and consumer reward points system. It’s an example that all software businesses should follow. Intellectual property (IP) is an asset your company owns, and gives it a competitive edge in the marketplace. While many businesses acknowledge the importance of their software’s IP, not all make strides to protect or improve it. Without the right protection, someone else could profit off the back of your software idea. To avoid this happening, you need to take steps to protect the intellectual property of your software and ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
File A Copyright And Patent
Intellectual property for software is software or computer code protected by law under a software patent or copyright. Failing to protect your software’s IP could result in people using it without permission, and you will lose out on the opportunity to get paid. You may even lose the right to use the software yourself in extreme situations, despite being its creator. Copyright registered with the US Copyright Office will protect your concept or other information associated with it. If anyone should infringe on your copyright, you will have the right to sue them. A patent is also useful in granting property rights of the software to its inventor. If your software has a particular feature that separates it from the rest of the market, you’ll need a patent to protect your competitive advantage.
Have Your Developers Sign An IP Agreement
Anyone working on software development should sign an IP assignment agreement confirming that all work developed within the business belongs to the business. This should discourage anyone from disclosing or selling your intellectual information to a competitor or utilizing it for their gain. You will also need to protect your software IP during any prototyping phase. Rapid prototyping is a fast and iterative process in website design and app development that offers many advantages, but before outsourcing this process, you should ensure you have a robust confidentially agreement and suitable software IP protection in place.
Educate Staff On IP Protection
Installing firewalls and applying for copyrights will not mean much if employees are unaware of potential IP issues. Awareness training is an effective way to prevent potential IP leaks. In many cases, IP leaks happen through negligence or accident. Therefore, make sure your employees are aware of how they may unintentionally expose your business’s IP. However, all too often, a leak is deliberate. 65% of employees are caught stealing files after accepting a job offer from a business rival. Protect your property by using a system that monitors and logs emails sent to suspicious addresses. You can also introduce security policies that will limit access to files and even the use of removable storage. It makes sense to get all employees to sign non-disclosure agreements highlighting the tough financial penalties an employee could face if they are caught leaking your business’s IPs.
Protecting your IP should be one of your key business priorities. Without putting in place the proper protection, you could find someone else profiting from your great idea. To avoid this happening, make sure you take measures to keep your IP from falling into the wrong hands. But if the worst does happen, you will be protected under the law to claim back what is rightfully yours.