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Idea Theft Has Never Been So Devastating

Idea Theft Has Never Been So Devastating

Intellectual Property is intended to protect your ideas.

In particular, it is intended to protect those ideas from which you can make money. Think of, for example, Thomas Edison and the light bulb. His idea for a glass bulb that was capable of converting electricity into light would revolutionize the world. Now, think about what would have happened had there been no way for him to protect this idea as his own. If there had not been patents in place to prove that the light bulb was, indeed, the creation of Thomas Edison, what was to keep someone else from claiming that it was their idea first and stealing the idea, the infamy and the glory of such a life-altering invention?

Intellectual Property and Intangible Things

Films, written materials and video games are probably the items most people think of that are connected with IP. With these things, it is a little bit easier to tell when something was published or printed or filmed. This, however, does not stop people from stealing these things. China is one of the most notorious countries for idea theft. Typically this comes in the form of illegally downloaded and distributed video games. However there are many cases where a business has had their ideas stolen when they were brought to China for manufacturing.

Intellectual Property Theft: How Do I Protect Myself?

We are no longer talking about medicines or financial and political documents, we are talking about luxury items that hardly fit into a “Robin Hood” mentality. At times this theft can be blatant. If you bring a concept over and broker a deal to have it manufactured in China and someone working in the manufacturing plant takes that idea to a different company – then that company starts producing the exact same item, this is a form of identity theft you’ll commonly see. Information and data leaks are rampant.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your business is covered when it comes to Intellectual Property is to make sure that there is a clear patent on file for any invention or product improvement. Make sure that the people who are working for you, whether they are simply a man on the floor, or a CEO, have non-compete clauses built in to any and all job contracts, particularly if you’re working with a firm in Asia that does a good bit of American business. Make sure these contracts operate both on US rules of business as well as the country you’re dealing with. Regardless of where you do your business, it is always a good idea to keep your ideas your own.

This post is based on an article on New Asia Innovation. For the full article, click here: