How to Protect Your Business From Becoming a Victim of Intellectual Property Theft

Patent filing

Originality has become something of a commodity in the business world. To this end, copyrights have developed to protect the creativity of individuals and ensure that they receive compensation for the use of their work. Despite the protection of copyrights, there are imitators and even thieves that would use concepts and designs belongs to others for their own profits. Understanding the limitations of copyrights and what denotes property is crucial to staying informed and protected.

International Copyright Laws

According to statistics, up to 9% of the products bought and sold worldwide violate United States property rights. Although China is one of the biggest culprits of imitating protected U.S. copyrights, there are a number of interesting facts about copyright law in China that would surprise many. Despite popular belief, China has very similar copyright laws that offer intellectual property protection. The issue is not with legality but enforcement; the Chinese legal system is unable and generally unwilling to persecute so many of those who violate intellectual property laws.

Buying and Selling Intellectual Property

In the United States, intellectual property is equivalent to tangible commodities; intellectual property accounts for over half of all United States exports and helps drive 40% of U.S. economic growth. Because of the potential for profits, intellectual property theft is an all too common occurrence in the business world. The field of information technology composes 35% of intellectual property cases, banking and finances follow behind with 13% of cases, and chemical industry sectors file for 12% of intellectual property cases. While some businesses increase their security means to protect intellectual property from outside threats, in reality information leaks are often inside jobs. Trusted business partners are responsible for 17% of intellectual property attacks and former employees are responsible for 21% of intellectual property breaches.

Intellectual Property Cases

Security breaches show just how vulnerable businesses can be. Unfortunately most small businesses that suffer intellectual property theft lack the financial resources to secure their intellectual property or pursue legal action when facing losses on their own. Those who have been victims of intellectual property theft are obligated to file a case and have an investigation done on their behalf. The number of intellectual property investigations have risen drastically over the past few years; the U.S. International Trade Commission noted a 80.6% rise in investigations over the previous year in 2010 followed by a 23.2% rise in 2011. Every business should protect their intellectual property with a copyright; this helps to ensure that legal action can be taken and losses can be negated.

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