How to Protect Intellectual Property in a Contract
The Technical Expert Solution for IP Teams
One benefit of a contract in protecting intellectual property is that it can do the job better than and protect your idea more so than a patent can.
The first matter and question to address when considering how to protect intellectual property in a contract are what is intellectual property exactly. Although there are many different kinds, there are two primary ones to focus on which are copyrights and patents. Copyright has to do with works of authorship and literary works while patents cover new inventions and discoveries. Generally speaking, the owner of the intellectual property is the member or person who creates it. Being the owner of intellectual property means that you will earn recognition and possibly a financial benefit from it. A contract may become relevant when you’re considering who you want to know about it and/or use it. Contracts help to resolve emerging issues and disputes that arise over intellectual property. Before you go to or create a contract, you’ll want to double-check that your idea is unique.
One benefit of a contract in protecting intellectual property is that it can do the job better than and protect your idea more so than a patent can. It’s a good idea to start the process of formulating a contract right away once you know you have a tangible and unique idea to protect. Your entire goal when using a contract is to limit or control what another person or contact can do with your invention or idea. For instance, they won’t be able to exploit your idea in certain ways and it’ll require that the other party assigns the invention to you. You can also require that they keep your idea a secret and out of the public eye and that they limit a manufacturer’s ability to use your tooling for others.
You’d want to set up a contract to protect your intellectual property with anyone you have direct contact with such as employees, manufacturers, independent contractors, and investors. There are four basic agreements you should include and be certain are in place in your contract. They are as follows:
There are some pieces of information and facts you should know and keep in mind before you get involved with a contract to protect your intellectual property. For instance, you can find basic examples online or work with a legal firm to draw one up. However, keep in mind that there is no standard agreement that exists so you want to avoid having a false sense of assurance and protection. Pay attention to the details because each agreement or contract is different and wording can significantly change the meaning of what you’re trying to convey. With any type of contract, there are always risks involved.
You can protect intellectual property in a contract by getting a strong non-disclosure agreement in place. It’s wise to reach out and get assistance so you can form a well-written and detailed non-disclosure agreement for your idea. You should also make sure you review any other agreements you have at your business to ensure they cover your intellectual property. For example, you might want to review your sales contracts, employment agreements, and licenses, to name a few. Creating confidential, non-disclosure, or licensing contracts for employees and partners will help you feel comfortable knowing that your ideas are protected. The last situation you want is this important information leaking in public.
You must be aware of what your contract entails and your rights so you can properly protect your intellectual property. A contract will help keep it under scrutiny and give you peace of mind that the wrong person won’t get their hands on it. You want to make sure no one else is already safeguarding these ideas. It’s in your best interest to consult with an expert and someone who is a pro at handling a case that has to do with protecting intellectual property. It’s wise to keep a record of all that goes on and that you’re doing. Write down all the details that have to do with the conception of your idea, the meetings conducted for it, and everyone who was a part of these discussions. This type of evidence will work in your favor when you’re trying to get full ownership and protection of your product or idea.