Intellectual property (IP) theft is a serious problem. According to Pamela Passman, president and CEO of the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe), Frontier Economics has determined that G-20 governments and consumers experience more than $125 billion in annual losses due to counterfeiting, piracy and other IP violations.
Writing for TechRadar, David Howell recently argued that to protect themselves from IP theft, businesses should perform self-audits. This is because it is impossible for an organization to defend its IP if it does not know precisely what IP it possesses. According to Howell, most IP will fall into one of four categories: trademarks, designs, patents and copyrights. Protecting these intangible assets can be difficult, but a self-audit can help a business to identify what information it owns and what it should secure.
Additionally, Howell argued that a self-audit can help a business to identify optimal document security steps to take. Effective IP management and protection should be integrated into the business' processes. This can best be achieved with a complete understanding of the company's infrastructure and operations.