According to the US Trade Administration and the US Department of Commerce, Companies in the United States lose between 200 and 250 billion dollars from intellectual property (IP) and more broadly intangible asset (IA) theft every year. As business continues to globalize, IA leakage has become an increasing concern to all businesses. In the life sciences industry, existing and developing IP assets to create new products is often driving your bottom line. Are you doing enough to protect these assets?
Protecting IP and IA through conventional means, such as patents, is a traditional approach. However, have you performed the following:
- Identified your organization’s IP and IA,
- Determined how and where they are stored,
- Evaluated who can access them,
- Identified if and how they are being transmitted, and
- Implemented procedures to sustain protection of IP and IA?
These points are the foundation of an organization’s IP and IA protection program.
By asking the question “What Intangible Assets and Intellectual Property are driving my business?” you can take the first step in understanding what IA assets you need to safeguard against leakage. The method of storage and location will drive your strategy for securing data. For instance, these strategies will differ based on where the information is stored. Methods for securing IP/IA in a cloud environment will vary greatly from securing physical documents. Ask yourself, who can access my data? Ideally, the principles of “need to know” and “least access” should apply. Finally, how you transmit your data is an important factor to consider. Is it encrypted? Is it necessary to transmit it?
Stratification of the actions to take to secure your IA/IP is necessary. This stratification is based on an assessment of the potential impact leakage of an IA/IP asset could have to your bottom line. In an ideal world, IT and Organizational assets are unlimited and you can safe guard all of your IA/IP in the most secure manner. This is not the reality at many Life Science companies and a balanced, stratified approach to safeguarding your intellectual assets must be taken. Prioritization based on impact of potential leakage is key to driving this.
Please contact RubinBrown if you would like additional information on how we can help you assess or implement an IP and IA protection program.
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