IP Protection

BenefitsIn order to determine the value of its assets, a company must keep detailed records identifying all property owned. Physical property naturally lends itself to this tracking because there is something tangible to make an account for. Intellectual property, though intangible, can be one of the most valuable assets a business owns. An IP audit trail is a way to provide a tracing record of this valuable property and provides several advantages, including:

AUDIT“Conception of the invention,” is a bit of a funny phrase. Yet under patent laws, it can make or break someone’s life. In disputes between companies and inventors over an invention and its patent, whoever can prove “conception of the invention” can often win.

This means having documents, drawings, and disclosures about the intellectual property (IP) or invention’s history. This isn’t just about keeping an invention safe; it’s also about creating a trail.

An “actual reduction to practice of the invention” is another phrase, and that one feels even more impermeable. This means the embodiment of an invention’s concept: a prototype or working sample. In the case of software, earlier versions can also be included.

ThinkstockPhotos-492151733It might seem like putting together an intellectual property or software escrow is about guarding against wrongdoing, but in reality, it is a great representation of trust for both sides.  It is just an extension of the trust that has already been going on for some time, and it enables everyone to breathe a little easier knowing the that the unexpected is accounted for.

Getting into business in the first place is an exercise in trust, if you think about it.  Customers have to trust your brand, you have to trust that the choices you are making in terms of product line, website design, software package and others are the right choices to make.  If you have ever had customized software, then you should know that what you are getting is the “object code” – the front piece that makes the software run.  The heart of the software is the “source code,” its guts, its essence, so to speak.  This code is a developer’s intellectual property, the bread and butter, as it were, of a developer’s profits.  They don’t want to share it, and understandably, they want to protect their investment.

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