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Safeguarding Intellectual Property

Friday, December 6, 2013

Actions taken to safeguard intellectual property have become increasingly important to protect the interests of individuals and businesses engaged in intellectual disciplines, particularly those in research and development. Greater significance has been placed on protecting such assets due to the rising number of intellectual property infringements that have been reported in recent years.

The protection of intellectual property is no different than other information. There are individuals that, if given the opportunity, will steal ideas to either use it as their own or destroy such property to set competitors back. Intellectual property may be in the form of a tangible note pad or a digital document stored on a flash drive. No matter the form of information, it should be protected from unauthorized eyes. 

Types of Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property (IP) protection has been categorized into four areas: trade secrets, trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Trade secrets provide protection of confidential information, like client and customer lists, specific formulas, and related plans of an organization. Trademarks help to protect IP that helps to distinguish a business or brand, such as emblems, designs, and logos. Patents are designed to provide exclusive rights and protection over processes, business methods, and other patented innovations. Lastly, copyright protection focuses on original and creative works of authorship, such as literature, film, photography, and other artistic works.

The protection of IP should be a priority for almost any type of company, especially those organizations engaged in research and development. A great deal of time, money, and effort goes into the development of new ideas and innovations, and without proper protection set in place, companies may not be able to reap the full benefits of their inventions.

Local Prominence of IP in Peoria, Illinois

Since the industrial revolution, Peoria, IL has been home to many great inventors. In fact, patents in Peoria County have dated back as early as 1883. Many locals may be familiar with the history of the Ag Lab in Peoria, which was authorized commercial mass-production of penicillin during the 1940s. Thanks to advancements in intellectual property rights, this was one of the greatest advancements in civilization, and was life saving medicine for wounded soldiers in WWII.

Several other patents were also filed from Peoria County in the late 1800’s, and for many different applications. Some of these include patents for making beer and spirits as well as canned foods and fencing products. In fact, the number of patents filed under category of intellectual rights in Illinois alone makes up a sizeable portion of the total number cases filed throughout the United States.

Why Protect Your Intellectual Property

There are three primary reasons why you need to protect your intellectual property. These include:

1. Loss of Income – Your ideas are unique. They have the potential to make you money, or someone else. 
2. Loss of Reputation – If your property is stolen and used in inappropriate ways, or if you are somehow attached to the negative work of the imposter, you may find it difficult to defend your reputation.
3. Devalued Asset – A unique IP is worth more than a product that has a number of different versions or variations. IP that is left unprotected risks being duplicated. You may find yourself defending its value, or even worse, your ownership.

Over time, the U.S. Patent Office has offered over 8 million patents, and the U.S. Copyright Office has awarded more than 33.6 million copyrights. The scale of these figures are a clear indication that the awareness about intellectual property theft is increasing, and individuals and companies are well informed about the possible losses that can result in case of failure to take necessary precautions.

Take Action to Protect Your Assets

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 offers protection of patented and trademarked intellectual property. To better protect your assets in the event of theft, the owner must take the appropriate measures in protection himself.

AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp is a security company that specializes in protection and secure disposal of information bearing media. For nearly 30 years AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp has been Central Illinois' trusted supplier for secure disposal of documents.