Intellectual Property and the Cloud

February 5, 2020

Together, reliable cloud storage solutions and legal counsel from IP professionals can provide the protection businesses need to proceed with confidence in their online data storage activities.

Cloud computing is quickly becoming a technology of choice for small to medium sized businesses. And while cloud computing offers many benefits to businesses—such as greater affordability, mobility, and functionality—it also raises data security concerns.

Maintaining data security is especially crucial for businesses whose value is directly tied to the intellectual property (IP) they own, as might be found in their ongoing scientific research and development. Cyberattacks have the potential to lead to involuntary IP disclosures, which can disrupt a business’s ability to use this IP to generate value. In some cases, public disclosures can even defeat legal protections in their entirety.

Consequently, it is important for any growing business to develop a plan for protecting its IP by retaining expert counsel who understand the ins and outs of the technology sector and IP protection.

How the Cloud Protects Your Intellectual Property

Cyberattacks generally occur through one of two pathways: either by using code to exploit technical flaws in a data system or through social manipulation targeting unsuspecting users. Part of successfully addressing these risks depends on using sophisticated cloud storage services that you can trust to keep your data systems secure and which also provide for scalability of operations, automation of tasks, and adequate disaster recovery features in the event of data compromise.
Most cloud storage providers offer some level of encryption at the file level, which is key to secure cloud-based storage. Encrypting data at the file level means it is always encrypted from before it reaches the cloud to after it leaves it. This means that only you and the users you authorize will be able to decrypt the files.

Finally, it is also important to find a robust information technology support team that can address new cybersecurity challenges and threats by keeping up to date with the latest developments.

ITSM Zone’s Cloud Computing Foundation course enables you to get up to speed with issues around security and compliance and become more knowledgeable about the benefits of cloud solutions, such as encryption and identity management. Find out more

Finding the Right Kind of Legal Protection

The other piece of the puzzle in protecting your intangible assets involves retaining IP experts who can identify what type of IP protection will be most valuable for your business and how you ought to proceed if you are faced with a privacy breach and inadvertent disclosure.

For patents, timely filing of a patent application within an applicable grace period from the earliest public disclosure may be advisable to ensure that any leaked details associated with your business’s inventions do not prevent the grant of a subsequent patent application.

Visit this page for guidance on obtaining patents and the typical steps involved. In some jurisdictions, there is no grace period available as of right and any IP disclosure or publication which indirectly resulted from compromised data systems could conceivably be cited against the granting of a subsequent patent application.

For trade secrets and confidential information, IP counsel can advise how to reduce the risk of unintended disclosure and dissemination of the business’ confidential information by helping you develop best practices for the management of trade secrets and confidential information, drafting robust non-disclosure provisions and agreements, and providing policies and procedures to use with employees to protect against and report inadvertent disclosure of confidential information.

It is also important to pay attention to the terms and conditions attached to any cloud storage service. The terms and conditions establish the legal boundaries of what is and is not authorized under your cloud software service agreement and what rights and remedies you retain should there be a compromise of your data to third parties.

How IT and IP Come Together

Together, reliable cloud storage solutions and legal counsel from IP professionals can provide the protection businesses need to proceed with confidence in their online data storage activities. In devising a data security solution for your business’s IP, it is important to identify the biggest information security and commercial risks your business faces and to reach out to experts with experience in minimizing such risks.

Author Bio: Mala Milanese is an Intellectual Property Lawyer at HeerLaw who specializes in Intellectual Property Litigation and Pre-Litigation Disputes.

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