Why and How to Protect Intellectual Property in Cloud Computing

Why and How to Protect Intellectual Property in Cloud Computing

The increased prevalence of cloud computing in today’s world has posed several intellectual property challenges. Cloud computing involves the use of multiple data centres of which many different users may make use. Functions are usually distributed over multiple locations from central servers. Therefore, it is often fairly easy to violate another’s intellectual property rights in the cloud if these rights are not properly secured.

Legal uncertainties and difficulties related to intellectual property are common with regard to cloud computing. Many countries’ intellectual property laws have not been adequately updated to reflect this technological development. Similarly, intellectual property owners ought to ensure that their intellectual property assets are suitably protected. Their agreements should also address all legal uncertainties related to cloud computing.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is the primary means by which intellectual property in the cloud is protected. To use data encryption to protect intellectual property, all protected data will be removed from servers. This data will then be moved to the cloud.

After the data is moved to the cloud, it will be encrypted at the file level. Encryption bars everyone except those who are authorized from being able to decrypt and subsequently access the files. Through encryption, all intellectual property stored within the cloud may remain secure because the risk of infringement is greatly minimized.

In the cloud, it is possible to keep intellectual property data separate from encryption keys. By using this method, neither the cloud provider nor encryption provider will have any access to this data. Thus, even if anyone associated with either provider may have motives to violate another’s intellectual property rights by abusing the cloud system, they would almost certainly not be able to do so.

Patent Protection in the Cloud

Several mechanisms of intellectual property protection in the cloud are specifically linked to patents. The primary challenge linked to patent protection in cloud computing is that of territoriality. Infringement of one’s rights over a patented process, system, or method may take place across multiple locations. This can cause uncertainty on the part of those seeking to obtain legal compensation for these breaches.

Patent protection in cloud computing can be made more complex if a portion of the infringing activity takes place in one jurisdiction and the other portion takes place somewhere else. An inventor who owns a patent may sometimes have limited legal options when such is the case. To circumvent this issue, a patent application can be filed in multiple jurisdictions at the same time. By doing so, there will be more legal options available for those who believe that an infringement of their rights has taken place.

It may also be advisable to file a single patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The PCT is an international patent law treaty which provides a unified patent application filing procedure in all contracting nations. Such an application provides protection in all PCT member countries.

Trademark Protection in the Cloud

A consensus on trademark protection in the cloud has emerged among intellectual property experts. This consensus states that the protection of trademarks ought to apply in all areas of the Internet including the cloud. It also states that such intellectual property protection should be equally as extensive online as it is offline.

It is not always easy to protect one’s trademark in the cloud. As is the case with patent protection, the primary difficulty regarding trademark protection in the cloud is that of territoriality. The main question that surrounds trademarks and the cloud is about exactly where the trademark is considered to be used when it is used via the cloud. Protection of a trademark in the cloud might not be easy to exercise unless the trademark owner is aware of the status of that trademark in various countries around the world.

To monitor infringement of a trademark in the cloud and thus be more able to protect it, one can seek the services of an individual or entity specializing in trademarks and their use on the Internet. It is also important to conduct routine searches on major search engines. These searches can help an intellectual property owner learn if any trademark rights are being infringed.

This article is brought to you by Exy Intellectual Property Malaysia and Singapore.