Intellectual Property on the Cloud, any Traps?

DrTribos used Ask the Experts™
Hi All

I've been asked to specifically find out what happens to our intellectual property rights if we use cloud storage, for our business processes, knowhow, systems, etc. .  

In my small mind I would have thought it is intended for our own use, not intended to become public, and therefore we are not giving up our IP.

Are there any pit-falls, other considerations, traps, gotchas, foul-play that I need to be aware of, or is someone being hyper-sensitive?

In a nutshell, do we loose any protection afforded by the law over IP?

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I found quite a few articles, but none really explaining what our exposures are if we use cloud storage for our data.  This article touches on some of the issues, but seems to deal more with IP owned by the cloud provider...

Although it does say
the standard terms offered by many cloud computing operators allow them to use any content stored on its servers. These licences are often expressed as being perpetual and irrevocable often giving the cloud computing providers the right to pass the content to third parties or use it for the purpose of promoting the cloud computing service. This may not be appropriate for information such as personal data, third-party intellectual property rights or confidential information contained in or attached to e-mails...

Can anyone point me to articles that deal more with these types of issues?  Or experiences around these issues...

Eventually it all boils down to the actual service details, the vendor specific terms of service and the contract details. The cloud is a very large place and it is , well, cloudy :)

There is also a major difference between "protection" and "protection afforded by law".
The mere fact that you will have private content outside your premises, puts it at risk. So, in order to mitigate the added risk and reap the benefits of cloud services, you will need to have better controls, better auditing, better encryption and better vigilance.


hmm interesting - thank you.
In a nutshell you're basically correct. Lacking any other declaration from the service your IP remains your property, unless the TOS specify otherwise. That's why the TOS is so important.


Thanks, you've given me much to think about

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