A former employee of a large financial institution was recently sentenced to prison for eight years. The former employee was found guilty of stealing the company’s computer code, despite the argument that the code was ‘open source’ and therefore could not be ‘stolen’. Although the sentence may seem harsh, the former employee was facing up to 15 years imprisonment.
This case highlights the real threat of intellectual property within any organisation. So what precautions can businesses take to protect their intellectual property from internal employees?
“The protection of intellectual property is a perennial challenge for any company that produces it, and most companies do. As intellectual property is often generated by employees, it is virtually impossible to shield the intellectual property from the core developers of it,” commented Kareem, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software.
“As such, the only true safeguard is a combination of the threat of legal action and choosing the right people. If the employees involved have something to lose if the intellectual property is exposed, then it is in their best interest to protect it,” suggested Kareem.