Intellectual property (IP) refers to invented works, designs, models, symbols, names, images, and any asset of commercial or social value which are mostly creations of the mind and unique in nature.
IP are mostly of inestimable commercial value especially at the point of conception and that is why inventors or innovators need proper protection for their unique assets to ensure due recognition, security and financial benefits.
For a software development company such as Podtech, protection of its clients’ intellectual property is of utmost importance. At the core, IP protection should be practiced in line with the provisions of the law which includes Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks and Copyrights.
According to WIPO, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. This right includes the ability to decide how – or whether – the invention can be used by others. However, the patent owners are required to make technical information about the invention publicly available in the published patent document.
Patents provides protection for innovative ideas but not the execution of the idea in the form of software codes. This further means that, Patents often protect software architectures, models and proprietary algorithms but not the implementation phase, as computer programs are commonly excluded from patentable subject matter in many countries.
Trade secrets are Intellectual Property rights which offers protection for confidential information that are commercially valuable and provides an enterprise or business a competitive edge.
Information that are considered Trade secrets must be known only to a limited group of persons and subject to reasonable steps taken by the rightful holder of the information to keep it secret with the use of confidentiality agreements for business partners and employees.
This form of IP protection is more compatible with the tech industry especially software development companies, as it encompasses both technical information, such as information concerning operational processes, research data, software algorithms and commercial information such as distribution methods, list of suppliers and clients, and advertising strategies.
A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Business or product branding has a deep effect on the commercial strength of any product or service vendor especially with the increase in digital marketing. Hence, it is recommend that trademarks be registered as appropriate to business coverage.
You can lookup this database of about 45 million registered trademarks to reduce the possibility of having a conflicting trademark.
Also note that trademarks can be registered for only a particular country or geography and not always on a global level.
Unlike Patent, Copyright protects the expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. In a software development environment, Copyright covers the way software codes solves a certain problem. Hence, a copyright doesn’t protect the idea behind a product or service but rather the way this idea is implemented.
It is not required to pre-register IPs to hold a copyright, but registration is necessary if there is an intention to sue for copyright infringement.
Augmented IP Protection for Software Development
Podtech is bold enough to help its clients protect their intellectual property with the provision of streamlined protection schemes and practices that suit each client’s software project in a reasonable and transparent form.
Aside adhering to all signed documents such as Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Podtech provides extra or augmented protection for its clients’ Intellectual Properties (IPs) which includes data security and access management.
Podtech goes the extra mile to ensure the security of data associated with all of its projects and as such, all source code, documentation, network settings, databases and shared files are stored and secured by the company’s dedicated infrastructure and service provider.
We practice restricted logical and physical access for all project developers in Podtech with the provision of disintegrated and controlled access to a project data which includes source codes and configurations. Authentication and approvals are required to access or cross different work environments and project sections or fragments.