How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

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One of the scariest things for an entrepreneur is the fear that someone might steal your idea.  While you can’t completely eliminate the threat of intellectual property theft, there are some basic steps you can take to protect yourself.

Patents, copyrights and trademarks are a good start, but they won’t stop thieves from stealing your IP online, and lawsuits to protect your IP can be costly.

So what other steps can you take to protect your intellectual property? For starters, make sure everyone you work with signs a non-disclose agreement (NDA), and mark all print and online content with appropriate notifications to show you own the property, says Shane Caniglia, director of technology at the Rich Dad Company.

Next, design a process for you to search for infringers on a daily or weekly basis, and make sure you have a process in place for employees to report anything amiss with your IP, content, products, image or brand. Monitor social media postings and website traffic for out of the ordinary patterns.

There’s a good chance someone will try to steal your IP at some point, so the earlier you detect it, the better your chances of controlling the damage.

Adapted from Battling Intellectual Property Thieves at Baseline Magazine.