As youngsters we are taught to share, but with age and experience we begin to determine what we should and shouldn’t give away to others.
Sharing Intellectual Property is still something that regularly causes confusion, so it is vital to always remember that IP is your work, not a gift.
Many cases of IP infringements are due to a misunderstanding caused by a lack of clarification on how the IP is to be used. Unless the information is communicated in a clear and accessible manner, then people may not realise they are doing anything wrong.
However, pleading ignorance is not a defence, so if you’re IP is misused the perpetrator can be held liable despite not knowing the law.
If you are not protected then people may believe they can do whatever they wish with your work.
Understandably most companies would rather prevent tantrums and toys being thrown out the pram, and the best way to do this is by protecting your IP before anything bad happens.
Due to the increasing number of, court cases, The Intellectual Property Act 2014 came into force in earlier this year to try and tackle the problem.
Previously the law regarding IP was complex and often resulted in expensive, messy battles.
However, in October, the act was introduced to simplify and make the law clearer in order to help smaller businesses.
Intellectual Property is your hard earned work and is often the real value in the business – a very good reason for not sharing your IP with just anyone.
A contract will allow you to communicate with your clients so they understand exactly what is expected of them when using your IP.
It will allow you to protect your business, but at the same time establish a healthy relationship with your clients.
Your contract will act as a reference point on how your IP is to be used and what others can and cannot do.
Whether you have a patent, trademark, design or copyright, a bespoke contract will help to protect your hard work.