If business owners are not careful, they may accidentally steal the intellectual property of another business.

Each company has intellectual property that is essential to the company. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property may consist of industrial designs, trademarks and copyrights. Business owners usually need to ensure this material is unique so the company can stand out from its competitors.

Can people commit accidental infringement?

There are many ways business owners may unintentionally use another company’s intellectual property. According to Business News Daily, people might hire someone who uses the trade secrets of another company. This situation may be intellectual property theft because the company did not get permission to use these trade secrets.

Additionally, people may hire a web or a graphic designer who creates content without giving them ownership of the content. The business owners may think they own the content and use it in their marketing materials. If these designers own the content, though, they can reuse it or put the copyright in their names. These situations may cause a company to get involved in business litigation. This may be the case even though they did not intend to steal another company’s material.

Can people protect their company?

There are a few steps business owners can take to ensure their company does not accidentally steal intellectual property. If people need graphics or sounds in presentations, they should use royalty-free media. Because no one owns the copyright to this kind of media, people can use these materials without repercussions.

People may also create media that is unique to their company. If they hire a contract worker to do this, people should make sure they receive the rights to these materials so no one else can use them. Additionally, business owners may write to the copyright holder and request permission to use certain materials.