Unfortunately, intellectual property theft is growing

And Australia is not exempt. Intellectual property theft can be quite expensive for your business.  Intellectual property that can be considered as being very valuable includes:

  • customer and client lists
  • pricing lists
  • details of how prices are calculated for various important customers
  • contract lists
  • trade secrets
  • products under development in your research & development section and other similar items.

The key risk area is when an employee has indicated that they wish to leave your employment.  Unfortunately, some employees believe that they can enhance their value to a new employer or kick start their own business by stealing key intellectual property from your business.  This can be done by emailing documentation to their home email address, downloading it onto a memory stick or photocopying it and removing as a hard copy.  In considering your risk strategies it's a good idea to develop policies of limiting access to certain documentation to any employee who has resigned so as to remove the temptation to illegally obtain copies of your business' intellectual property.

If you have any concerns in relation to intellectual property being stolen from your business, we recommend that you contact your legal adviser.  If you'd like to discuss with us a risk management strategy for the protection of intellectual property within your business, please contact us on 02 6686 3000.