For every individual or organization that invests their time, money, and skills creating something new – there are others who are ready to exploit their investments for their own gain. And while many creators take some basic steps to protect their valuable assets, lack of education around effective Intellectual Property (IP) Protection creates unnecessary risk.
If you are someone that is a digital creator or work for a company whose product or service is primarily digital, there are actionable steps you can take to ensure that you’re the only one monetizing on your work. While IP Protection may sound intimidating at the outset, it is a vital step to ensuring the success of your business in today’s world.
Here are five steps you can take to help protect your business:
1. KNOW YOUR BUSINESS
How well do you know your own business? Is your product or service primarily digital or physical, or a combination? Are your valuable assets copyrighted, trademarked and/or patented? You should identify what your various IP is within your organization. You also need to understand now where your IP is located and how it is utilized. Is your IP primarily used among employees? Transferred to your clients? Open for the entire world to see and/or use? You need to track the flow of usage of your IP.
2. EVALUATE YOUR IP RISK
Do you have contacts in your professional network that are experts in information technology, intellectual property law, cybersecurity, etc.? Does your company have existing resources that you can employ to provide a trusted assessment from their area of subject matter expertise? You can and should also consult independent experts and industry trade organizations to help provide more information on IP risks for your business.
3. ESTABLISH AN ACTION PLAN
What are you currently doing to address IP Risks? What actions can your business take internally or authorize externally to handle threats to your IP? Will you utilize a more proactive or reactive approach internally or externally? Will you engage vendor services to provide preventative or ameliorative solutions?
For example, Fullscreen provides rights owners with proactive, scalable and highly effective Rights Management and Anti-Piracy services. Additionally, Fullscreen has developed a proprietary tool called “Spotlight” that detects metadata that may be missed by other routine technology sweeps of social media ecosystems – allowing rights owners to maximize their potential revenue protection and generation.
4. EDUCATE YOUR WORKFORCE
Who will be working to help you? Once you have an action plan, the next step is to define the role of your workforce (departments, roles, leadership) in minimizing IP Risks. Employee training and workflow documentation will be essential. You want your business to be vigilant when considering business decisions that can impact your IP Risks.
5. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENT CHANGE
What did you learn from this experience? Your business should make IP Protection a top-line priority (either within an established department, shared among key departments or designated to its own department) and align that priority with company-wide objectives. You should establish reporting metrics and a regular review of the performance of any internal workforce or external organizations tasked with protecting your IP.
Once you have gained greater insight into IP Protection strategies, you can more effectively minimize risk, forecast revenue growth opportunities, and adjust your business practices to remain secure and competitive in an increasingly complex digital and social media ecosystem.
For more information about IP Protection and Fullscreen “Spotlight,” please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.