Office Space · IP protection

Checking out/in valuable materials

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

July 26th, 2013

We have a couple of priority (IP Protected) pieces in our office that must be taken out every now and then by vendors to use as reference. Does anyone have a similar issue and what kind of form/document do you have people sign to protect the company? If these things were to get lost or stolen, I hate to think what would happen. YIKES!

Shane Robinson Entrepreneur, Army veteran, MBA/MPA joint degree student

July 26th, 2013

Hi Alison, there are numerous protocols a business can put in place to protect against situations like that, from legal agreements to full-scale disaster recovery plans. A recent client of mine just had $50K of invoices deleted by a rogue employee, and this kind of thing unfortunately is happening more and more these days. At a minimum, I'd get those individuals you work with to sign a basic legal agreement or NDA that holds them liable for lost or stolen property. If you wanted to go a step further, you could implement a disaster recovery plan (both for your hard assets and IT needs), which would lay out your exact recourse in the event of a mishap (employees gone bad, fires, floods, etc.) and essentially ensure that your business doesn't sustain any long term damage. If you wanted to explore an option like that, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

July 26th, 2013

NDA (check) the conclusion here is that the best way is to have a simple sign off/ sign in sheet on the wall that states that the physical property is ours and that by signing this document you acknowledge this and check it out. 

Mitchell Portnoy Healthcare Information Executive

July 26th, 2013

Yes Alison. But I can not post them to you. Perhaps we can discus this? Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Shane Robinson Entrepreneur, Army veteran, MBA/MPA joint degree student

July 26th, 2013

This reminds me of when I was in the military and we had to check our weapons in and out of the arms room. Every time a person checked his or her weapons out, it was recorded by someone who oversaw the arms room, so there never was something as simple as the honor rule, and this ensured that there was active oversight and accountability. If the sensitive items in your office really are that valuable, you should probably consider having someone actively overseeing the process of "lending" these things out, recording name, ID info, etc. and also getting signature accepting responsibility for the item(s). I'm not an attorney, so I can't comment on limitation of liability and how that works in an NDA or legal agreement, but businesses do it all the time (eg, if you go to a parking lot, there is a sign clearly relinquishing the structure's responsibility for lost or damaged property). I reckon that that you could do something similar by stating in your "agreement" that the person assumes full liability for the cost, which is why collecting ID info might be useful. Again, not an attorney, but just a thought. If, like I mentioned, you believe your valuable really are that sensitive and costly, I'd actually recommend looking into a disaster recovery plan, which is exactly what I do, as it could offer you some peace of mind. Hope this helps!