As an intellectual property owner, you must understand how to enforce your rights. Although some individuals would intentionally steal someone else’s intellectual property and claim it as their own, in many situations, abuse can be attributed to a lack of communication. It is best practice to employ official documentation, such as intellectual property contracts and notifications, to reduce the possibility of IP infringement. Here are some helpful hints for putting things in writing and protecting your rights.
Check that the contract covers all of the bases.
Whenever you sign a contract involving your intellectual property, make sure you explain the conditions of usage clearly and explicitly. If you are licensing your work to someone else, explicitly describe the degree to which your intellectual property may be utilized, that you maintain full rights, and the process if the license conditions are violated. The more comprehensive the intellectual property contract, particularly when intellectual property ownership is being transferred, the better. In certain circumstances, you may want to ensure that the transfer is related to a specific action by the other party, such as making payment, to avoid an abrupt change of ownership.
Incorporate Intellectual Property Notifications Whenever Appropriate
Although it may seem apparent to you that your works are legally protected, it never hurts to be certain. Add a clear notice declaring that you own and have the rights to the intellectual property. The notice, like any intellectual property contract, should be written in a straightforward manner that informs the reader of who owns the IP. This is particularly crucial for websites with readily copied and reused information. A precise Copyright Notice may go a long way toward avoiding and addressing communication issues.
More IP contracts may be found in our intellectual property hub.