Initiative helps small businesses cyber-protect
WASHINGTON - The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, in partnership with Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP), US Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau announced the launch of “IP Protect.”
This joint initiative provides resources – free of charge – to aid small to mid-size businesses in protecting themselves against IP theft, fraud, and cyber security awareness. According to the US Small Business Administration, in 2020, small businesses made up 99.9% of US companies (37.1 million) and employed 47.1% of the workforce (60.6 million). While large organizations have personnel and departments dedicated to IP protection, startups, small businesses, and medium-sized companies are often left without the expertise and resources to protect their intellectual property, leaving them particularly vulnerable to IP exploitation and loss.
IP Protect is designed to increase awareness and provide resources for small businesses about safeguarding all aspects of their intellectual property. By building relationships with public and private partners, the program connects local Homeland Security Investigations, (HSI) offices and special agents with small to mid-size businesses to assist them in the prevention, recognition, detection, and resolution of attempted IP theft and all aspects of brand protection.
IP Protect will provide small businesses with: Direct points of contact for assistance or reporting tips related to IP theft, fraud, cyber intrusions, website fraud, and trade secret violations; cyber-attack security and data breach protection and response guidance; brand protection best practices; image and content rights protection guidance (video, image, music); software development protection; and guidance on trademark registration steps and resources.
By identifying at-risk organizations, raising awareness, establishing community partnerships, and providing resources, IP Protect seeks to reduce IP threats at the local level and connect businesses to the combined resources of all partners.
Small businesses interested in participating in the program can visit IPRCenter.gov.