If you are an employer at a tech company, you know that your business thrives or fails based on the ability to innovate. It's not just about keeping up with the market, it's about defining it and behind ahead of the curve.
Protecting ownership of new ideas and creations will therefore be crucial. You can do this through patents, trademarks and other means of securing intellectual property. If a party attempts to use protected material, you can take legal action to secure it.
Recently, for example, Waymo (a company started by Google and owned by the same parent company, Alphabet) filed a lawsuit against Uber citing numerous intellectual property violations.
Waymo and Uber are battling over technology said to be critical to the future of self-driving cars. The Alphabet company says that it is the rightful owner of technology that makes up light detection and ranging sensor systems. These systems are the foundation on which self-driving car technology is built.
Waymo claims that Uber has infringed on three patents it owns as well as trade secrets that have not been patented. According to reports, Uber allegedly received the stolen information from former Google employees. The company has asked a judge to stop Uber from using or continuing to create technology based on the materials in question.
Uber, on the hand, claims that Waymo's allegations are baseless and nothing more than an attempt to delay their progress.
It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved, but in the meantime, it should be a powerful reminder of how aggressively companies can fight when it comes to protecting their competitive advantage.
Protecting technology, ideas and inventions that may not be widely used now is not unusual, particularly in industries where being the first to create and release something can give a company a considerable edge in the market. It can give that company a leg up as it continues to develop products and solutions built on a foundation of protected inventions and information.
If you have concerns about protecting intellectual property, consulting an attorney as soon as possible can be crucial in protecting your business. Any delays, particularly in fast-moving industries, could spell disaster.