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In a Digital World, Protect your Most Valuable Asset: Ideas

These days, data has become more valuable in our economy than oil. There have been many discussions about the individual value of your personal data, how to protect it and even who owns it. But what about your intellectual property as an entrepreneur or business leader within an organization? How do you protect something digital?

Time and again throughout American history, ideas have been stolen or borrowed, whether it be the historic squabble between Apple founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates and if Gates stole the idea of the Graphical User Interface from Jobs, or the more recent founding of social media giant Facebook where a savvy coder named Mark Zuckerberg borrowed the idea of Facebook from two brothers trying to get his help on a contract-to-hire basis for their similar idea. As the rate of technological innovation increases exponentially, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are developing innovative processes, services and products. When you create and drive growth on a global basis, it’s imperative that you capture and protect your intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Is Priceless So why do so many entrepreneurs fail to adequately protect their intellectual property? The answer is that intellectual property is considered to be intangible whereas a product or service we provide is something tangible. We forget to protect the intangible because we are so busy producing the tangible—the products or services we provide. This categorization is grossly incorrect in the digital era we find ourselves in today. It’s not just a bracelet!