How to Protect IP Rights While Outsourcing

Protect IP Rights While Outsourcing

Every business has its extraordinary qualities, comprising workforce size, in-house proficiency, and degree of experience with the software. If any of these aspects require a business to involve outsourcing all or part of a project, it’s necessary to have a plan to shield the intellectual property or IP.

Intellectual property is any product ranging from technology to art and inventions, a company or team builds using its intellect and reasoning that is protected by law from unofficial and illegal use. The amount of protection under any regime depends on what type of product is.

Some are roofed under patents and copyright law, while others come under the category of trademarks or trade secrets. Regardless of the kind of project and its elements, the business has to naturally share some of the IP information with the outsourcing partner, including sensitive information like software, data, apps, or other required documents.

Even after the company’s best of efforts, faulty planning can lead to theft or misappropriate usage of IP. To avoid such circumstances, it’s essential to cautiously inspect the opportunity of the project in its entirety to verify which IP protections the company will need before formally initiating the outsourcing process.

After recognizing the type of IP associated with the project, it’s time to start with the protection planning discussion and consult the team to determine the type of module, how it is protected by law, and what type of dynamics could give way to it becoming weak. A thorough analysis of the country’s Patent and Trademark Office’s guidelines may help the business handle potential intellectual property infringement in case of any queries and, if possible, hiring a technology officer or a member of the legal team to lever any trade that contains the IP.

And if you intend to partner with an offshore or nearshore partner, then first examine the International IP Index and the Country IPR Toolkits for the IP protection rulebooks and protocols that belong to their country. Classify whether the same rules apply in their region as their domestic country, or you must alter scope or contracts to retain the information safe.

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[Read: Business Outlook and Intellectual Property in Greece | 2019.]

Persistence inquiry to determine the following:

  • Will the company control all IP amended or created during the outsourcing relationship? Which procedures can keep them under the company’s proprietorship?
  • Is it likely for the outsourcing firm to own all IP, which will oblige you to take ownership through licensing agreements?
  • Will both parties have ownership of IP implemented through an official contract based on each side’s business prerequisites? Who will create this contract, and how will it be imposed?

Forge a Non-Disclosure Treaty

While the team is taking the time to figure out the solution to these questions, the authorities must concentrate on the alternatives of outsourcing partners at the same time. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) will aid in protecting any trade secrets that are shared with the partner together.

Other Methods to Protect Your IP In-House and over the Internet

  • A limited number of people on the outsourcing team should know mission-critical information.
  • Confirm to have a use safe communication network between your company and the outsourcing partner.
  • Establish firewalls, encryption, and VPN services that will support in averting online security breaches.
  • Shield source codes and assign staff to keep copies of the originals.
  • Regular checking for breaches or challenges with open-source software that the partner may be using.

Since many projects will authorize the interchange of the private company’s information, it’s crucial to filter through the concerns above and consider all possible risks critically. In case of need assistance, confirm that the IP is sheltered, and it’s considerable to seek guidance from an attorney or technology consultant.

The investment you make in recruiting external help could make the difference between fortifying the inventions and thought leadership that lets the business expand and losing the chance to keep the business distinguished in the market.

[Read: A Guide to Intellectual Property Rights in UAE 2019.]


Partner with a software team that understands IP laws, rules, and regulations in the country is not only expected to be a pro in protecting the intellectual property rights but to acknowledge the protection when working on any development project.

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