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Learn How to Write an Intellectual Property Rights Protection Plan

written by: W. A. Swan•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/13/2010

When a person needs to protect intellectual property rights, they need a plan. How do you plan to protect your intellectual property? Here is the proper way to write out a simple plan to protect your intellectual property.

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    Creating a Good Plan

    Copyright Wikimedia Commons In today's world, when a person has intellectual property, they need to protect it. To do this they need a plan. How do you plan to protect your intellectual property rights? Provided here is the proper way to write out a simple plan to protect your intellectual property and entrepreneurial ideas.

    How to Structure Your Intellectual Property Rights

    The first thing you want to do when you set a structure for intellectual property rights is to ensure that all legal rights fall back to you regardless of the situation. This is why you will see many contracts, and yes you are planning a contract, where even if part of the agreement becomes invalid the remaining portions are still binding.

    The next item you need to control is the original content or research, which results in the intellectual property. Entrepreneurship is based on who owns the business, including all assets. Intellectual property is an asset, and must be addressed as such by everyone involved. It does not matter how the asset is created, but it does matter that the final product is seen legally as the property of the business owner.

    The last issue you must address is what happens when the first two items above are ignored or disregarded. There must be legal ramifications for anyone who does not follow the legal route of ownership back to you.

    What the Structure Should Look Like?

    So what does the structure for intellectual property rights resemble? The first thing you want to do is make sure all parties are named and what part they play in creating the intellectual property. You should also create an understanding that all materials used in creating the intellectual property are considered assets and are subsequently part of the business and, therefore, owned by you. You also need planning for a way to have these materials either destroyed, or returned to you at the finish of the project.

    Then, you need to create a way for whomever is working on the content to ensure the procedure is followed either by sending proof of material destruction or having a way to send materials directly to you in a set time frame. The last part should list the jurisdiction where applicable law rests and what happens should the agreement be broken. Make sure there is also a section stating that if any material or information leaves your possession you are not liable for circumstances beyond your control.

    Why The Structure is Set Up This Way

    Why is the structure set up this way? It is to ensure that both the intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship of the property are protected by law regardless of the situation or the outcome. If material is stolen or “lost", and then resurfaces again in an illegal use, if a legal plan is not set properly, the original owner of the material is liable for all damages. This is why, in cases of “work for hire" contracts, you often see that there is a liability waiver inserted where the person hired to create the intellectual property releases all liability for illegal use or misuse of information of the original owners. It is the best way to ensure avoidance of unseen legal problems at any time in the future.

    Image Credit: Copyright Wikimedia Commons