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Unexpected ways you can protect intellectual property

These days, intellectual property can be an entrepreneur's most valuable asset, so most business owners think a lot about how they can keep their company secrets safe.

You've probably already learned some of the most common ways to go about protecting intellectual property, but have you considered these:

1. Keep innovating

If you're in the tech business, this is particularly important. There's almost nothing in tech that isn't copied by someone, so the faster you can innovate, the easier it is to stay on top of the competition.

2. Keep information on a need-to-know basis

You rarely need everyone in your company to be aware of all aspects of a project or business. If you sharply restrict who has access to critical knowledge, you reduce the risk of leaks and thefts.

3. Restrict physical access to data

You should never apologize for keeping data, documents, creations and other important information away from prying eyes. Insist that your company follow strict authentication protocols when it comes to granting physical access to any intellectual property.

4. Don't rush to file a patent

It may not be in your best interests to file a patent right away. Once you publish the means you use to create a product, others may use that information to innovate and find ways to circumvent your property rights.

5. Build your reputation for an aggressive defense

Never let the theft of your intellectual property rights go unchallenged. Some companies develop a reputation for aggressively defending their rights, which discourages people from testing them. That's not a bad position to be in.

Safeguarding your brand's intellectual property can require a lot of effort. Confidentiality agreements with your employees and partners are just part of an effective approach. For more ideas on how you can legally and practically protect your intellectual rights, talk to an experienced business litigation firm today.

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