The race to protect intellectual property in the age of ‘the cloud’

Depending on the type of business that you run, intellectual property may be integral to everything you do. Unfortunately, protecting intellectual property has become very difficult in recent years, and experts believe things are going to get a lot worse.

An article in the New York Times discusses the idea that since the Industrial Revolution began, it has been fairly easy to mass produce goods and disseminate ideas while protecting copyrights, patents and trademarks. But because of the internet and cloud computing, technology is evolving so rapidly that some companies are not even bothering with patents anymore. Integration of complex technology and software into existing products is also making it difficult to sort out who owns what.

Smartphones and other mobile devices are perhaps the best examples of squabbles over intellectual property. Apple and Samsung Electronics have been locked in legal battles for years over smartphone tech patents. And as smartphones and tablets become more integrated with automobiles and other products, complexity grows exponentially.

The president of an intellectual property trade group interviewed by the Times noted that “there is a huge amount of complexity in software-driven converged devices, with I.P. at the center of the development. You add in wireless and globalization, and that just adds more complexity.”

It should go without saying that “complex” does not mean “impossible.” If anything, the break-neck pace of technological development means that it is even more important to protect intellectual property developed by and for your business. Working with an experienced business law attorney can help to ensure that your most important ideas are kept safe and remain profitable.

Source: The New York Times, “Cloud Computing Is Forcing a Reconsideration of Intellectual Property,” Quentin Hardy, Oct. 11, 2014

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