SAFEGUARDS

Growing BusinessSAFEGUARDS

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  • Risk Management for Small Technology, Web and IT Companies

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    Innovation and Intellectual Property

    Innovation fuels the tech industry. It’s about inventing newer and better ways to accomplish tasks while keeping two steps ahead of the competition, as they feverishly work to do it even better and faster than you. Sometimes, the brilliance shines so bright it results in a whole new product category no one knew they needed, but which they now can’t live without. Steve Jobs at Apple was a master at that.

    In this super fast-paced environment, where three months between product updates may be an eternity, your business success depends on protecting constantly evolving intellectual property—both your own, and that of third-party collaborators and customers.

    Mitigation Measures

    • Identify valuable information and assets. Register original work with the U.S. Library of Congress Copyright Office. Consider registering information assets such as computer programs and databases as “literary works” which may offer more complete protection. Read how the United States Patent and Trademark Office commits to providing leadership in the area of intellectual property law and policy.
    • Reward innovative thinking. Tech products and services can have long incubation periods, and when you’re reinventing the wheel, or inventing an entirely new rolling object, there will be failed concepts and dead ends along the way. Keep your creative engineers motivated all along the development path by rewarding creative efforts, not just delivery.
    • Understand your competition. Gauge how your product development cycles might be affected by your competitor’s efforts, and be nimble enough to accelerate schedules or change direction if you spot a better opportunity.
    • Consider Intellectual Property insurance. Some insurers offer flexible coverage that can be tailored to meet the professional liability needs of software and information technology companies, including protection against intellectual property infringement.