Investigating intellectual property (IP) theft usually starts with identifying potentially compromised assets, such as patents, trade secrets, or copyrighted material. Initial steps often include isolating affected systems, conducting access audits, and capturing real-time data and logs for analysis. Forensic experts will use various tools to scan for unauthorized access, data transfers, and other suspicious activities that could indicate IP theft. This is often done with legal teams to ensure that the evidence collected is admissible in court.
After a software company noticed that a competitor released a product with similar features, an IP theft investigation uncovered that a former employee had downloaded source code files before leaving the company.
A manufacturing company found its patented processes being used by a competitor. Investigations revealed that a contracted engineer had sold design schematics.
Risks of Not Doing It:
Failing to thoroughly investigate intellectual property theft can result in significant financial losses due to the unauthorized use of proprietary information. Moreover, the company risks losing its competitive edge if competitors replicate its unique products or processes. Additionally, legal recourse may be limited or ineffective without proper investigation and evidence. In worst-case scenarios, poorly managed IP can dissolve the company’s market position and could even lead to insolvency.