In today’s fast-moving global business environment, organizations are constantly exposed to a wide array of risks. The rise of the internet has led to a shift in focus from traditional physical assets to intangible ones. As a result, many companies now face the risk of intellectual property theft and the risks associated with protecting their intellectual property.
This article will take a closer look at what intellectual property is, why it needs to be protected, and the various risks involved in protecting it. We’ll also consider some anti-counterfeiting mechanisms for dealing with IP theft.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property refers to works or inventions that result from human intellect and creativity, such as art, literature, symbols, names, and logos.
A critical difference between intellectual property and other types of property is that it’s intangible. As a result, unlike physical property, many individuals can take advantage of intellectual property simultaneously. It’s also easier to copy IP than to create original works.
Protecting intellectual property is essential to fostering innovation and maintaining economic growth. Intellectual property rights allow the owners of creations and ideas to reap the full benefits of their work.
Intellectual property protection methods vary depending on the nature of the intellectual property. Some creations require multiple types of protection, while others can be secured with only one method.
Standard methods of protecting IP from unauthorized use include patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Other types of intellectual property protection include industrial designs and geographical indications.
Copyright refers to the exclusive economic and moral rights that creators of literary or artistic works have, such as selling, reproducing, distributing, and modifying their work. Copyrights protect tangible creative expressions such as books, paintings, sound recordings, and pieces of software.
Patents are legally binding agreements that grant exclusive rights to an invention to its owner. Patents allow inventors to profit from their inventions for the period specified, thus encouraging innovation and inspiring further research.
A trademark is any sign such as words, symbols, numbers, and even sounds used to uniquely identify and distinguish a company’s products and services from its competitors. Trademarks are essential for building reputable brands as they enable enterprises to avoid having their reputations undermined by counterfeiters.
Intellectual Property Protection Risks
Today, businesses must contend with many aggressive threats to their intellectual property, such as copyright pirates, brand impersonators, counterfeiting, patent floaters, and trade secret thieves. As a result, neglecting intellectual property protection carries several risks, including legal costs in the case of a dispute, settlement costs, decreased revenue, and a damaged brand image.
IP-related risks can emerge from several sources, including within an organization, illegal entities, competitors, independent third parties, government entities, and entities within the organization’s ecosystem. For example, a company’s intellectual property could be stolen via direct cyber intrusions or compromised through indirect routes such as restrictive regulatory requirements and formal agreements.
How to Deal with Counterfeiting
Protecting intellectual property from counterfeiting measures can be challenging. For example, the 2018 report from the Business Software Alliance estimated that up to 37% of all personal computing software was not licensed, leading to over $46 billion in revenue loss. Nevertheless, there are anti-counterfeiting solutions that can enable you to protect your brand and products.
As we’ve already discussed, copyrights, patents, and other types of IP protection provide you with a legal basis for fighting counterfeiting. In addition, scanning SERPs (search engine result pages) with web scrapers can help you quickly identify and deal with counterfeiting hot spots on the internet. For this, you can use SERPMaster – it helps to acquire data from Google SERPs and accesses all Google products, Shopping included.
Scraping involves using automated tools to retrieve data from web pages. Scanning SERPs with web crawlers is a helpful anti-counterfeiting mechanism that works great for combating digital piracy. Once you detect counterfeit versions of your intellectual property, you can then initiate legal action or other measures to keep your content from being illegally exploited.
Other anti-counterfeiting measures that work well for digital products such as software include obfuscation, watermarking, and tamper-proofing. Also, a combination of digital anti-counterfeiting measures such as smart labels, RFID, blockchain, and physical label and seals make it more difficult for counterfeiters to create fake physical products.
Protecting intellectual property will continue to be a significant concern for organizations and businesses. However, with intelligent solutions such as scraping SERPs to detect counterfeiting, you can mitigate the risk of IP theft.