IP Protection for Device and Machine Manufacturers
After decades of progress, software piracy continues to undermine corporate performance everywhere, costing jobs and threatening the wellbeing of entire national economies. With the digital transformation underway this threat no longer affects traditional office software developers, but entire sectors of industry, from automation to the healthcare business or from critical public infrastructure to the financial world. The newest data from the BSA and VDMA paint a dramatic picture – but help is at hand.
The first indispensable step is understanding the assets that are hidden in technical and digital know-how, more often than not the output of years of painstaking and costly R&D efforts. The know-how does not relate to software of PCs, embedded systems and PLCs alone; it is also contained in the firmware of controllers, the technical documentation used by service technicians, the log files that keep track of access to devices, and source code itself.
Whatever the shape and form of the IP in question, you can avail yourself of effective protection methods that rely on encryption, authentication verification, integrity controls using sophisticated cryptographic means and digital certificates.
The second and equally important step is deciding where to keep the core of your IP protection arsenal: hardware secure elements (USB dongles, memory cards, ASICs or TPMs), software secure elements that are bound to the digital fingerprint of your device, or cloud-based architectures all represent fully viable options.