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What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property has always been part of a majority of businesses these days. What and how important is this in a business? Learn all there is to know about intellectual property and how web scraping is connected to it.

 

One of the top priorities in a business should be protecting its properties. Properties are an investment that can lead to short or long-term gains to propel the business. Keeping it safe from dangers and theft should be planned. This doesn’t only apply to physical properties like buildings, vehicles, or equipment but also to intellectual property. In this article, we will focus on intellectual property protection.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is the type of property that includes intangible assets owned by a company that you can’t use without consent. In today’s economy, where information and knowledge are significant advantages, it should be legally protected to gain investments. Companies that spend resources for workforce, equipment, and skilled labor have rights that businesses should safeguard.

 

There are 4 kinds of intellectual property to suit the intangible properties. These are the following:

  • Copyrights

This intellectual property protects makers of unique materials by granting them the sole right to recreate or use their creations. Composers and authors are just some of the professions that are covered by this intellectual property right. By issuing this, their original material is subject to licensing if any entity or company wants to use it.

  • Patent

It is a government license granted to an inventor for the exclusive production and selling of their invention for 20 years. The license covers inventions such as process, enhancement, blueprint, or physical creation. Patents protect inventors from other companies from copying or stealing their ideas.

  • Trademarks
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According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is defined as a “symbol, design, or word or a combination thereof, that represents and identifies the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” Trademark is anything that is easily identifiable for a brand or company. Trademarks can usually be a name, logo, or company tagline.

  • Trade Secrets

We can define it as any confidential information about a company or business that can be advantageous to a competitor. Trade secrets are any information shared within the company like clientele list, management operations, sales techniques, processes, and other details. Corporate espionage, negligence, and breach of contract were reasons trade secrets were leaked.

Should I worry about web scraping?

Web scraping is the process of extracting data from a website and storing it in a single drive. It is also called web harvesting or web extraction and can be done using software using bots. Web scraping is a cost-efficient and automated way of gathering different data from different websites.

 

It can be used to extract information such as competitor price monitoring, image and product description, market data aggregation, and predictive analysis. However, many businesses and website owners question how it affects intellectual property protection.

 

By itself, web scraping is not illegal, provided that it will follow compliance rules set by the website. Scraping non-public information is not allowed by law unless the website owner grants permission. Non-public data is defined as any information that requires website log-in. Any material or data under the copyright or considered a trade secret is deemed to be illegal as well.  Summing up, it’s essential to make sure that you align with the rules and laws while web scraping.

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How can web scraping monitor vast amounts of public data for potential threats?

Website owners should also use web scraping to crawl websites to monitor competitors and check if they use copyrighted and trademarked materials. This ensures they have other data and research to base any other activities on. Here are just some of the data that web scraping can provide:

  • Competitor Price Monitoring
  • Checking Minimum Approved Price Compliance
  • Checking Copyrighted Materials
  • Checking Trademarks if used for other purposes
  • Brand and Company Reputation Check
  • Monitoring of Consumer Feedback on Product and Competitor

It is essential to note that it should go hand-in-hand with proxies when it comes to web scraping. Simply put, a proxy is an intermediary between a user and a server. During the web scraping process, massive amounts of requests are sent to servers; thus, servers can recognize this as suspicious activity and block IP addresses accordingly.

Why is proxy a solution here? Proxy service providers offer access to immense pools of IP addresses in nearly every country in the world. Thus, you can choose, for example, a US proxy and get IP addresses from the US assigned to you. If you wish to learn more details about US proxy, you can check out this website by Oxylabs, one of the leading proxy providers globally.

Final words

Intellectual property is meant to protect those who worked hard to make an original material or invention. In the digital age where sharing and converting unique material online can be so easy, intellectual property protection should also upgrade. Sadly, tactics like hacking are not yet uncommon.

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Web scraping started with the purpose of getting information. Admittedly, web scraping and intellectual property might raise questions; however, it is essential to ensure compliance with laws and rules set by websites. This is a clear sign that you should update intellectual property rights as fast as technology evolves today.