In business, one of the main jobs of leadership is to ensure that the company’s assets are protected. Employees, material property, time and more all fit into this category. But when you’re setting up protections for your company, are you making sure that one of the most important things is secure?
Intellectual property is one of the greatest assets a company can have, and it’s crucial that you keep your company’s IP safe. It’s just one step in ensuring the protection of your company and your employees, but it’s important and relatively easy to do.
Why: Promote Creativity & Innovation
Why is protecting intellectual property so important? Well, there are a variety of reasons – some more technical than others – but one of the biggest ones that business owners, especially of online businesses need to keep in mind is this:
By protecting intellectual property, you’re protecting your company’s — and your own — creativity.
It’s true! Without protections for IP, there’s far less incentive for anyone to be creative or innovative. Why bother spending time coming up with a new idea or a new solution if someone could just snatch it away and take credit for it? Intellectual property laws are in place to help promote and encourage problem-solving, thinking outside the box and ingenuity.
By prioritizing IP – something that many new businesses and startups fail to do – you can make sure that you’re stopping a problem before it ever happens and protecting your employees, your brand and yourself from losses.
How: Institute an IP Policy & File Legal Protection
One of the first things you should do is implement a company IP policy. You can find a sample one here. This commits any employees and contractors to behaving honestly and not engaging in IP fraud.
Another important step to take is getting the appropriate legal protection. There are four kinds of IP: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. Be sure to research and find out which one fits your company’s needs (you may need more than one), and get the appropriate protections!
Protecting your company – and your company’s property – is very important. It’s at the heart ofall the decisions that business owners and leaders make. In the process of setting up safeguards for your business like insurance plans, HR policies and secure logins, don’t neglect to protect your intellectual property. Ideas and creativity are what keep businesses alive!