A company intellectual property policy is paramount if you wish to safeguard your intellectual property (IP) for your business. Businesses invest in and hire workers to do the following:

  • Enhance processes
  • Foster new technologies
  • Enter new markets
  • Create new products

With such an investment, it should not be a surprise that employers own the IP created by employees during the course of employment. However, IP that’s created by employees other than during the employment period is owned by employees and not employers.

A business should be dedicated to a high level of ethical and legal standards regarding conduct. Such a commitment also includes respecting IP rights of the following groups:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Competitors
  • Business partners
  • Service organizations

No business, employee, agent or, independent contractors should misuse or steal IP rights that are owned and maintained by another party. IP is one the most valuable assets for business. IP also helps a business remain competitive, allowing them to fund future endeavors and support job positions within the company.

A business should also have a consistent policy regarding the identification of a company’s intangible assets and prioritizing them based on the following:

  • Exploiting and safeguarding them to benefit from IP when it comes to revenue and market share
  • Registration
  • A company’s business plan

A company’s IP policy must describe management and protections of IPs owned by a company, whether it’s regarding business policy or internal matters.

IP Policy Purpose

The purpose of a policy is to ensure the company’s track record as a fair competitor, and to secure the integrity of the competitive marketplace in IP, and to adhere to laws that regulate industrial espionage and IP. Such a policy is useful in providing a transparent system regarding control and ownership of an IP.

University of Arizona IP Policy

The University of Arizona Intellectual Property Policy gives explanations and implements the will of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) for the school. In the event of any inconsistencies between this policy and ABOR IP policy, the provisions of the applicable laws and ABOR IP policy would take effect.

The ABOR IP policy sets basic obligations and rights pertaining to IP created by the following groups:

  • Students
  • Employees
  • Others associated with the University

The policy explains some of the key traits of ABOR policy, and also gives additional details on IP ownership and creation, including university transfer. The policy also states that all those associated with the University are subject to the guidelines of the policy.

Covered Individuals

The University applies to covered individuals, which is a broad term that refers to anyone associated with the University in some capacity. With that, ABOR does not have claim to an IP that’s created by all of the covered individuals. One goal of defining covered individuals is to allow personnel to contact Tech Launch Arizona regarding any questions about IP rights and responsibilities, even in situations where ABOR does not own an IP.

Organizational Roles

An organization should be dedicated to protect IP in the form of:

  • Processes
  • Information
  • Technology

A business or organization must also be dedicated to safeguarding IPs from infringement by other parties. A company’s information-based tools need to be available for use due to vital investments of company funds and the time involved. If a company IP is not adequately safeguarded, it becomes readily available to those have not made such investments. This would cause a company to lose a competitive advantage and make comprises on the ability to offer important services to customers.

A company’s IP entails important information and trade secret technology in the form of software and computer systems. This also includes processes, service marks, trademarks, and copyrighted works. It is also the role of each company employee to protect a company’s IP. It is also the role of supervisors and managers to maintain and foster an awareness in protecting the IP.

A company should also be dedicated in honoring the IP rights of other parties. The rules in regards to IP, including any misuse of business information and trade secrets, calls for contacting a company attorney to address any issues arising from IP violations. In many cases, an attorney can conduct searches for patents, copyrights, or trademarks that are already in existence to prevent businesses from infringing on any IP rights. An attorney can also assess company information to prevent potential infringement in the future.

If you have any more questions on company intellectual property policy, submit your legal inquiry to our UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel’s attorneys will give you more information on your rights as an IP owner and what you can do to protect your work. Moreover, they will help in regarding any IP searches so you can avoid infringing on another company or individual’s IP.