Intellectual Property Exposure, Dangers Rising

Aberdeen Group report shows two-thirds of manufacturers reporting that IP threats have grown in the last two years.

According to a recent report from the Aberdeen Group, which covered items like unsecured e-mails and engineering documentation, manufacturers have an increasing intellectual property risk.

Moreover, two-thirds see the threat to IP as having grown over the past two years. IP loss can affect profitability, the study notes.

“Among companies benchmarked, 48 percent lost market share, 44 percent lost sales, 30 percent product commoditization and 27 percent lower margins because of compromised product IP,” said Jim Brown, Aberdeen vice president, Product Innovation and Engineering and report author. “In response, over two-thirds are actively pursuing improved product IP protection, with almost one third viewing this as a top-five business priority.”

“Manufacturing companies are increasingly recognizing data protection of CAD files, engineering data, and related information as a key component of surviving and thriving in this highly competitive world marketplace,” adds Darryl Worsham, president of Pinion Software, which sponsored the report. “Research and product development is very costly, and that investment can be whisked away by data piracy.”

Some of the areas manufacturers have focused on to protect IP are IP-friendly collaboration, documenting IP discovery, legal protection and enhanced data security. Those areas are bolstered by general IT security, document rights management (DRM) and intellectual management, among others. 

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