IP Risk Management
IP risk management requires a holistic approach across a business’ value-chain.
Protect valuable IP by means of Patent, trademark and copyright may be expensive, but the cost to the business of not doing so, may be worse!
Risk of employees disclosing third party IP of previous employer or business partners – how does a business manage its exposure?
Risk of disclosure or trade secret theft by employees; IP assignment of inventions by employees – are you managing these in your business?
Ring fencing: If you are safeguarding intellectual property of a third party (e.g. you have licensed IP from a third party) ensure that your employees are trained and aware as to how this IP must be protected, and limit access to only employees that need to know.
IP warrantee and indemnity risks in agreements – should limit your responsibility for damages, what should your indemnity undertaking be? Which obligations and rights should I include in the various types of agreements my business concludes?
Risk of lawsuits: Who manages, who pays? Do I have to defend my business and how?
Risk of ownership of IP: Have you dealt with the ownership of IP in your agreements with your clients. Establish up front who owns the IP created and what rights you have with respect to this IP.
Risk of IP enforcement: Proactively monitor others in the marketplace and assess if they are infringing on your IP. Acting early puts you in a stronger position to enforce what is yours.