With the majority of business transactions and information being conducted and transmitted online, security issues for intellectual property (IP) will continue to be a major problem here in the United States. But intellectual property theft isn't always conducted online. It may sound like "Hollywood spy-stuff," but there's the potential for IP snoops who might work outside the Internet to try to get your trade secrets through face-to-face contact. Take a look at some methods where this could happen.
Being too public with your business methods
It may seem impossible to keep everything a secret in today's time. Regardless, you should be careful about how much information you reveal about your business when at trade shows or other public forums. You may place your products on display at trade shows where an intellectual property snoop can scope out some of your trade secrets. Even patent filings can sometimes get mentioned in the media through your publicity department.
Be careful about how much of your business you reveal in physical locations or in the media. It may also help to remove any public information online that reveals too much about your intellectual property.
Honing in on trade shows and conventions
You should be aware of the topics your staff talk about when in public places, like trade shows and conventions, to promote your product. IP snoops can frequently listen in or spy on certain discussions taking place in airports or restaurants. They can even go incognito and glean information about your product at the demonstration booth by asking detailed questions with one of your employees.
Yes, it may become a difficult task to discuss intellectual property secrets at these public events without worries. The best course of action is to be aware of those around you and make an effort to not discuss some of your most sensitive secrets (and of course, be sure you have identified and secured your IP with Traklight). Yes, our shameless plug.
Be aware of phone calls snooping for information
This is another typical tactic where competitors may hire spies to gain valuable IP information. A spy might pose as a research company on the phone and ask for product information from one of your employees. If the company isn't readily identifiable, employees should be trained for a particular course of action (record the information, hang up, etc.).
In fact, Monat Technologies Owner, Ian Monat, recently guest blogged about his story (aka, IP nightmare) of how his competitor stole his IP. Read his story here.
In addition to taking the practical precautions above, any documentation about your intellectual property should be under lock and key. Traklight provides our IP Vault that uses the cloud to protect your intellectual property documents 24/7. We guarantee our service is secure using end-to-end encryption and integrity checking on files for proof of change, or no change. Each document is also date and time-stamped for third-party verification.
Become a Traklight member today and start using the IP Vault to protect your IP documentation.