It is important to understand the different types of intellectual property to properly protect it.
Protecting your company’s intellectual property is an essential job function of CIOs. Not being able to protect the intellectual property of your company can result in many consequences like loss revenue, lengthy and expensive legal battles, and even the loss of employment.
When it comes to intellectual property theft, many companies believe they know what is the most vulnerable, but many are wrong. It can be difficult for business leaders to articulate what information is most valuable in running their day-to-day business and this makes it hard for a company to properly guard this information.
The best way to obtain this information from the business leaders in your business is to ask questions like what information would let our competitors get ahead in the market? What information would help a counterpart in a foreign company achieve personal gain? Your business intelligence department can use this information to properly secure vital data from theft. Keeping intellectual property crime away from your business is all about how much money you’re willing to spend to protect your data and how much information you obtain from your company leaders regarding the information that is essential to them.
Intellectual Property Theft Examples
This is where others use or sell a patented invention without the consent of the owner. This type of theft is a matter of civil law and the scope of the patent is an issue in civil litigation cases.
This is when an identical or similar trademark is used by a party that does not own the trademark. There are common law rights that protect trademark owners, but registering a trademark gives owners distinct legal benefits when it comes to enforcing these laws.
This is when a party displays, reproduces or distributes copyrighted work without the permission of the original owner. This can also include a party performing or making copyrighted materials without consent or selling movies or music which is referred to as piracy.
Intellectual Property Theft Cases
Back in 2005, the makers of Barbie, Mattel, and the makers of Bratz Dolls, MGA Entertainment, had a dispute over intellectual property rights. This dispute happened because a designer who worked at Mattel was simultaneously working as a consultant for MGA and helped design Bratz Dolls. Mattel sued both the designer and MGA demanding intellectual property theft consequences. This dispute lasted eight years and $700 million and, in the end, the only parties involved that benefitted were the lawyers.
Intellectual Property Theft Statistics
- The U.S. Copyright Office has issued more than 33.6 million copyrights.
- The calculated worth of intellectual property in the U.S. is between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion.
- Intellectual property in the U.S. accounts for half of all exports.
- Counterfeiting and Piracy cost the U.S. economy $250 billion and 750,000 jobs every year.
- Counterfeit auto parts have cost citizens 250,000 jobs in the automotive sector.
- The U.S. economy loses $58 billion each year to copyright infringement. This includes $16 billion in lost revenue to copyright owners and $3 billion in tax revenue.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates the value of fake products (auto parts, software, electronics, etc.) to be 5-7% of world trade.
Many people view intellectual property theft as a victimless crime, but it is far from it. Many people are injured or fall ill every year thanks to fake parts and prescription drugs. As a CIO in your company, it is necessary to understand the different ways your company’s intellectual property can be stolen and the different ways to protect it. The best way to protect the intellectual property of your company is to know what data in your company is the most vulnerable and to not skimp on protection. It may cost your company a pretty penny to protect its data, but it could cost much more in the long run if this data is kept in a vulnerable position and not secure from theft.