It is difficult enough for an up-and-coming company to develop new products without the added challenge of protecting that intellectual property (IP). Finding the best method of safeguarding IP can be formidable in an entrepreneurial environment. Some companies seek out unconventional means of protecting their technology or innovations to account for an ever-changing competitive environment. Here are some of the unusual ways that companies attempt to safeguard their IP:
Cloistered development groups
By keeping the various components of a product or technology separate, you may be able to prevent any individual from knowing the full specifications of the product. Some companies will keep these working units physically separate, while others will keep them in a similar location but without any direct working relationships.
A developer may choose an open-source license for their product for reasons beyond their philosophical preference. Having portions of software open can make it available to more developers and reduce production time to full-scale development. A company can keep some aspects of the product proprietary while allowing other elements to be used freely.
Though patents provide basic design protections, the published plans will also make that design available to unscrupulous companies for review. Some companies may make alterations to current innovations to circumvent patent infringement.
Thinking about the future
Each company has its particular security needs. Some may rely on non-disclosure agreements, patents, trademarks and other means for maintaining their proprietary interests. These, however, don’t always account for all the contingencies that a company may encounter. New companies need to protect their trade secrets and intellectual property with careful plans of action.