Almost all businesses rely on intellectual property (IP) assets to stay competitive in the marketplace. It is therefore essential to protect against theft and illegal use of your IP. Your business probably already has some level of protection through trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks or patents, but sometimes you need more.
How do you protect software intellectual property? A variation of a simple software escrow agreement – known as an “information escrow agreement” or “IP escrow agreement” – can be an important, inexpensive, and convenient tool for protecting property. intellectual software.
How do you protect software intellectual property?
A software escrow agreement is a simple and effective way to protect software intellectual property. A software escrow agreement with mutually agreed terms between the software customer, software vendor, and an escrow agent, such as NCC Group, is specifically designed to mitigate risk and protect the interests of all parties involved in software development and licensing.
When technology is placed in escrow, the service provider or developer can retain the intellectual property rights and the user has the assurance that software source code or other technology will be available if needed.
The independent third-party escrow agent makes this possible by providing a secure repository and creating an agreement that specifies the terms of release, detailing under what circumstances the technology would be shared with the end user.
Specifically, with information escrow agreements (also known as IP escrow agreements), companies can protect critical information such as product designs, industrial formulas or manufacturing processes – in fact, any type business-critical information can be covered.
What are the benefits of software intellectual property protection?
- Protect intellectual property rights in software development contracts.
- Third-party archiving of intellectual property and dispute resolution know-how.
- Compare the contribution of intellectual property in joint ventures to establish each party’s contribution.
- Reinforce exit interview for key developers and notify competitors.
- Provide the “irrefutable gun” if your IP address is stolen or hacked.
Here’s how it works. You document your IP development with an audit trail that is kept securely by a neutral third party, such as NCC Group. We date and time stamp each instance of software source code or other proprietary information that you submit. When each new deposit is made, it is kept with previous deposits in a secure vault so that the integrity of older versions already in escrow is maintained. The incremental development of your intellectual property is supported and documented by a methodical audit trail. In this way, a genealogy of the product is registered with the escrow provider, who can then confirm its legitimacy.
Companies using Software Escrow to protect software intellectual property
Forward-thinking companies like BrightSource Energy understand how they can protect their valuable intellectual property assets through an IP escrow agreement. A pioneer in the solar energy industry, BrightSource provides a wide range of services ranging from project design to installation control based on complex algorithms. BrightSource’s key asset is its groundbreaking intellectual property, including innovative software and algorithms, solar field design and know-how acquired over years in the business.
Documenting construction and technical know-how through IP escrow and verification added a level of security for BrightSource at every step. Through this hands-on approach, IP escrow enables companies to gain additional protection for their intellectual property assets through a verifiable audit trail of intellectual property development.