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Coronavirus and Small Business Law: Protecting Your Intellectual Property

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COVID 19 and intellectual property

Introducing The Coronavirus and Small Business Law Series.

This first blog post discusses Intellectual Property Law

You are confident and committed and destined to “Wow the World” with your business! You are working day and night to create something amazing. That something amazing includes Intellectual Property.

Then the Coronavirus comes to town.

Suddenly the unknown vulnerability and worry leaves you feeling a bit overwhelmed. What are your legal risks?

That’s where I come in.

This blog post series provides key legal strategies, practices, and policies to help you secure your business success during the Coronavirus pandemic.

WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE, YOU CAN RETURN TO WHAT YOU DO BEST – YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT.

Topic #1: Protecting Your IP

hands holding out intellectual property

Key Intellectual Property Strategies

You work hard to build your business, differentiating yourself in the market. You provide best-in-class new products and services for your customers. The novel and unique aspects of that differentiation is your intellectual property.

In today’s open environment, with remote and distant working recommended, it’s important to protect your business’s intellectual property.  Being proactive, in the long run you will save time and money.

Promoting a culture of intellectual property protection, for example, will set your business apart from competitors, increase your business valuation, and protect your investments.

questionWhy Worry About Protecting Your IP?

  • Business Value
  • Freedom of Action
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Competitive Positioning
  • Licensing Royalties
  • Litigation Avoidance

Now is a great time to launch an internal awareness campaign.  For example, provide employee training, communicate best practices, and share your policies.

Here’s a Catch Phrase I like to use:  “Pause to Protect IP”.

Key Intellectual Property Practices

intellectual property communications

Coronavirus “social distancing” adds a new challenge to protecting against “IP Leakage”.

With email, text messaging, telephone calls, and video conferencing, consequently, IP leakage can occur.

Specifically, Communicate best practices such as:

  • Limit messaging streams to one topic (e.g., one product, one idea, one question, etc.)
  • Practice the “WSJ” rule (e.g., imagine your message on the front page of the Wall Street Journal)
  • Do not make legally conclusive statements
  • Limit distribution of confidential messages to a controlled group
  • Mark confidential and/or privileged messages as such

 

Key Intellectual Property Policies

laptop for intellectual property

While operating your business remotely, try to ensure your confidential information is not misused.  For example, restrict confidential information to those with a “need to know.”

Remote work during this Coronavirus pandemic may leave your document and data systems vulnerable. Therefore, implement security systems to detect and stop unauthorized access.

Notably, be sure you have key policies covering confidentiality, document marking, document sharing, privacy protection, device and server security.

 

IMPLEMENT THESE STRATEGIES, PRACTICES, AND POLICIES TODAY TO SECURE YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS.

Ready to learn more?  Check out Topic #2 Bring Your Own Device Solutions.

Do you need help implementing Intellectual Property strategies, practices, and policies? Does your organization need Intellectual Property training? I can help. Contact me here.

About Sagacity Legal:
Sagacity Legal is a Florida-based firm that works with service-based small business owners, who want to minimize their legal risk so they can focus on achieving their full potential.

This article and all content herein is solely intended for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing, or communication via email or other means does not establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when a written engagement agreement is executed. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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  1. Thank you for the advice about how your documents and data systems can be extremely vulnerable during the pandemic. I think a lot of businesses need these types of legal advice. They might not realize how much danger their company could be in from hackers or lawsuits.

  2. I’m glad you talked about protecting your intellectual property and increase business valuation. My cookie delivery startup is still going during this pandemic and I am worried about protecting my intellectual property. I’ll be sure to remember these tips while also talking to a lawyer to protect my intellectual property.

  3. That’s a good idea to make sure that you don’t send too much info in a single message. I could see how that would be a good way to make sure that if a message is intercepted, that not a ton of info is stollen. I’ll have to consider getting someone to help me out if that ever does happen so I can hopefully get some compensation for the info theft of that does help.

  4. Miranda says:

    Excellent and great information. Thanks for sharing. Cheers. Miranda

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