Protecting Your IP

Every business owns intellectual property. Put simply, it is your intellectual property which gives you the edge over your competitors. It may be something as simple as your client database, the way you work your business, your logo, or something as complex as a revolutionary new method for manufacturing products. Something so valuable needs protection. But how? Read on.

  • How to stop social networking sites killing your restraint of trade clauses
    Dave knew that he had a problem when he came into the office one morning to see a LinkedIn update saying that one of his former employee’s had taken a senior position with his major competitor. But it wasn’t the fact that Mandy had moved to his competitor that started the alarm bells ringing, but that he had received a notification of the move in his inbox – he knew that 70% of his client base would have received the same email and may flock towards her. - read more
  • How to structure your business to protect your intellectual property
    It was only after Dean signed one half of the shares over to his General Manager that he realised what he had done. The intention when he sold those shares was to give away half of his Auckland business. However, what Dean had inadvertently done was give away half of his dreams and aspirations for the brand which he had spent five years building up from scratch. A simple step taken before the share sale could have avoided this problem, but Dean was now looking at buying back the shares from someone who didn’t want to sell. - read more
  • How to search an employee’s computer and email (legally)
    You begin to notice that your employee has more meetings outside the office than normal. You don’t know who these meetings are with. Are you suspicious? You then notice that the same employee always leaves the office to take calls on his mobile phone. Does this make you more suspicious? And then, whenever you approach this employee’s desk, you notice that he switches screen from his web browser to word before you get close. Now are you suspicious? Whilst we would all like to have explicit trust in all our employees, there are some behaviours that just arouse suspicions and the answers to these questions will often lie somewhere in your employee’s hard drive. - read more
  • How to stop your business partner ripping you off
    Subscriber Only Laura thought she had all the bases covered by having a comprehensive suite of Intellectual Property and Restraint clauses in her employment agreements. What she didn’t expect was that her own business partner would leave the business and set up in direct competition to her utilising the company’s IP. - read more
  • Three important checks every business owner should make before choosing their trading name
    Subscriber Only Judith nearly choked on her coffee when she saw the ad in the paper. Judith had never had a problem with competition, but the name and logo of this new business looked remarkably like hers. There were differences of course, but she feared her customers would get confused. Her fears were confirmed when one customer complimented her on "her advertising campaign". - read more
  • Are your employees spending too much time on Twitter and Facebook?
    When the internet was introduced to offices over a decade ago, employers were worried that employees would spend more time surfing the internet than they did working. The expression "cyber slacking" was born. In 2009, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have taken the internet to a whole new level. No longer is the internet just used for reading content, now people can interact with their friends in real time whilst sitting at their desks. To further promote interaction, developers have come up with a vast array of applications where users can play games, send virtual gifts or compare themselves to a celebrity. Hey, you can even run your own virtual farm from the comfort of your office cubicle. Therefore, it is not surprising that employers are worried that no work will get done. - read more
  • How to protect your IP being stolen by your employees
    Subscriber Only How would you feel if someone broke into your house and stole your TV, stereo, DVD player, furniture, CD collection and some very personal items of jewellery? Initially you would feel shock…then once that had passed, rage and an immense desire to bring the perpetrators to justice... and then regret that you didn’t install a burglar alarm.You get exactly the same feelings when an employee steals your intellectual property and sets up in competition down the road. - read more