When you run a business, you do not work alone. Not only do you have employees, but you might also contract the services of others for particular tasks.
The actions of any one of those people could land you in a legal dispute. As the owner or boss of a company, you do not have the claiming ignorance of the issue to defend yourself. You are expected to know what those you hire do in your name.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk that your company breaches someone else’s intellectual property rights :
Designate someone to check before using anything
While individual departments need freedom, it pays to have someone in overall command of checking intellectual property rights. This person can double-check before unleashing material into the public sphere where someone could call you out.
Train staff on what they need to do
Many people are unaware of how, where or when to seek permission to use other people’s work. They may inadvertently cross the line from fair use to infringement. Bringing in a specialist trainer so that everyone understands the rules could save a lot of money and trouble in the long run.
Check where new staff get their ideas
Getting a new staff member with industry experience can give you a boost. Yet if their fantastic idea was one they used in their previous workplace, you need to check your competitor has not already claimed it.
If someone threatens you with litigation for breaching their intellectual property rights, do not assume you will end up in court. Getting prompt legal help may allow you to rectify the situation and avoid a time-consuming situation for both parties.