Intellectual property fraud is an extremely complex area of the law. Violations often are difficult to prove because there is no direct loss of resources incurred by the rightful owner. However, the accused must have the assistance of highly skilled and knowledgeable attorneys such as The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense team in order to professionally and properly clear their reputation of such damaging charges. For a high ranking executive or other white collar professional, the charges of intellectual property fraud can destroy your reputation and the rest of your life.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property includes any innovations that are created from a person’s brain and are not necessarily tangible items. Often these are ideas are commercial in nature and potentially very lucrative for the inventor. Examples of this include:
- Literary works
- Artistic works
Every business in existence is vulnerable to intellectual property fraud, even if the crime is unintended. For example, an employee has leaked employer information about a new product to a friend over lunch, only as a part of making conversation. That person, who is a third party, repeats the information to someone within their own company. The second company takes hold of the idea and runs with it marketing it as their own.
This is a common example of intellectual property fraud and this type of mistake whether unintentional or intentional costs companies millions of lost dollars every year.
How Can Companies Protect Themselves?
In the war against intellectual property fraud, companies must take action and protect themselves against this devastating white collar crime. The following steps may be taken:
- Conduct intellectual property audits within the company. Require the HR department to obtain signed non-disclosure agreements–which include IP ownership and non-compete provisions–from all employees, suppliers and manufacturers.
- Ensure physical security is operational and up-to-date including closed-circuit cameras and locks.
- Legal rights and IT access rights to all company files should be thoroughly examined before copies of anything are allowed to be made.
- Ensure there is detailed knowledge of all partners including background checks on all executives and employees.
If you have been charged with intellectual property fraud, you must protect your rights and your reputation. The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense attorneys are ready to help launch an aggressive defense to save your reputation. Don’t trust anyone else with your future. Please call or email the law offices of The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense team in your area today.