Do you have an invention, a symbol, a software code or even a client list that you worry might fall into the wrong hands?
Competition is fierce in the business world and if you serve or intend to serve a global clientele, you must protect your intellectual property (IP).
About property rights
The protection of property rights is nothing new. Business owners have acknowledged its need for hundreds of years. The United States Constitution authorizes the government to protect IP; hence, the creation of agencies such as the U.S. Patent Office. Intellectual property law encourages innovation so that companies continue to develop new goods and services.
The case for global standards
Property rights involve such matters as the rule of law, patent protection, control of corruption, copyright piracy and the protection of both physical and intellectual property. In terms of global IP protections, New Zealand enjoys a high ranking in these property rights sub-categories except for patent protection, where the U.S. outranks that country and many others. China, which does not abide by international trade rules, is deficient in the effort to protect IP and has a history of copyright piracy. In an age where information is instantly available anywhere in the world, the case for global standards regarding intellectual property continues to gain momentum.
Your IP protection
IP protection includes patents for inventions; copyrights for original creative works; trademarks for symbols, words or designs and trade secrets for keeping technical information and even lists of clients safe from competitors and others. With legal guidance, you can better understand how to protect your company’s intellectual property, for it may be the most important asset you have.