Cybercrime puts the innovations of individual citizens and corporations at risk. According to a White House report, America suffered intellectual property losses worth than $100 billion in 2016 alone. It is estimated that in 2021, losses resulting from this type of cybercrime damage will hit the $6 trillion mark. The sophisticated nature of patent theft perpetrated by cybercriminals makes it necessary for business managers to understand the nexus between cybersecurity and patent infringement.
What Are Patents?
A patent is a novel and unique creation, innovation, or invention that is recognized by a governing body, which can also extent protections internationally. Generally, patents forbid the use or exploitation of an invention without explicit authorization from the owner. Besides design
patents (industrial designs), cybersecurity solutions are also a type of intellectual property.
Patent infringement impacts the commercial value and desirability of a product as well as consumers’ choices, thus causing revenue losses.
The issue of patent infringement and intellectual property theft should of particular concern companies that create and retail cybersecurity solutions. Presently, the marketplace is awash with dozens of security solutions. If your organization is involved in the cybersecurity business,
have you ever asked yourself about the risks that your face and ways of responding to them?
Well, probably not.
Patent Infringement as a Double-Edged Sword
In today’s competitive business environment, the top risks that your organization should pay attention to include getting sued for copyright or patent infringement. Your company could be missing out on lucrative business opportunities simply because its cybersecurity solutions are
not patented. Even as you worry about other companies infringing on your patents, be wary about infringing on other companies’ patents.
In the recent past, there has been substantial growth in the number of patent infringement lawsuits involving information security organizations. This raises the question; how can organizations address the patent challenges that they face? Cybersecurity experts point out that
when it comes to safeguarding their patients from infringement, companies should be proactive.
With a solid defense strategy, you’ll be able to leverage the patent process and grow your company.
Once you obtain patents and license your inventions, you’ll be able to offer them in the mass- market without worrying about illegal replication. Besides, you can always use your patents as a line of defense, more so if your organization is facing a patent infringement action. As
infringement cases soar, it’s important for you to constantly monitor the patent scene, especially when introducing new products to your setup.
You can be sued as an accomplice to cybercrime if it’s discovered that you used a product whose ownership is contested. Before using any cybersecurity technology, you should be on the lookout to establish whether it’s covered by existing patents. Every time you use a product,
ensure that it’s patented because this will provide a sense of security and protection from lawsuits.
Using free and open-source software may seem like a money-saving hack for your organization.
Nonetheless, it exposes you to patent infringement litigation and lawsuits. End-users are equally responsible for the patent infringement that occurred in the first place and without their involvement. Therefore, sourcing your software from reliable providers helps to protect your organization.
Trends in Cyber Security and Patents
Over the past few years, there has been a remarkable growth in the number of patents granted in the cybersecurity industry. Conversely, there has been an increase in the number of patent prosecutions and litigations. This has put patents that cover information security at stake. The U.S. government has also been granting patents through enforcement actions. The signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act is one such example.
Such enforcement actions have doubled down the pressure that information security organizations face when it comes to patents. Already, the enforcement actions are bearing fruit. This is attested to by the paradigm shift from the previous first-to-invent system to the current first-to-file system. Consequently, as soon as you conceive an invention, the first thing you need to do is file for a patent, rather than putting the invention to work.
How Do Cyber Crime and Patient Infringement Relate?
In many cases, cyber-attacks act as the conduits for stealing intellectual property. With the increase in the number of security solutions in the market, cyber criminals have a wide pool of targets to choose from. Hackers are getting more sophisticated in their trade than ever before. Patent infringement isn’t any different from the theft of ideas, business secrets, technologies, methods, plans, and sensitive information.
Often, cybercriminals target the unpatented products created by information security companies so that they can sell them to competing companies or fellow cybercriminals. In the tech-savvy that we leave in, patent infringement is easier than before since cybercriminals only need to intrude on your network. When you fall victim to patent infringement, you stand to lose out on business opportunities.
Author: Jordan MacAvoy