Intellectual property is present in almost every business.
Customer lists, pricing information, methods of operation – all of these may provide your business with a competitive advantage. Best practice is to protect your confidential information and trade secrets by using a signed confidentiality agreement from everyone who has access to them. Failure to use agreements restricting disclosure and use of your confidential information can result in theft and misappropriation, and limit your ability to protect it from unfair competitive use by your employees and others.
Some business have additional issues to cover, such as ownership of patents and copyrights created or conceived by their workers. Written agreements assigning such intellectual property rights to the employer are essential for patents and helpful for avoiding questions about copyright ownership and obligations. These are typically handled in an invention assignment agreement covering both the IP assignment and protection of the employer’s confidential information and trade secrets. These agreements often contain restrictive covenants as well.
At McMillan Metro Faerber, P.C., our experienced attorneys can work with you to find the right kind of agreement to protect your intellectual property, and also advise you on related business processes that may be needed for such protection.