Trade Secret Theft and Copyright Infringement. We can track it!


In this article, we introduce basic ideas of digital watermarking to help you understand that you can use these practices to help prevent copyright infringement or discourage trade secret theft. Although digital watermarking is a common practice in several industries, there are certain corporations who have not integrated this to their corporate files. It is quite simple to embed information into documents, images, and audio without severely impacting their quality. By adopting this practice, you will strengthen your ability to combat legal disputes arising from infringements or theft of intellectual property.

In the legal field, one of the biggest challenges to information security is proving the ownership of the stolen data. It can be worthwhile to add digital watermarks to company documents. For example, hiding unique digital data in your PDF, word, or image documents. Physical or digital watermarks that are perceptible only serve as a deterrence factor. However, imperceptible watermarks will allow you to trace and track those who have stolen your intellectual property.

Although there are several technical considerations for digital watermarks, the two practical considerations are imperceptibility and robustness. If the hidden watermark is easily discovered, then it will be easy to verify whether or not it has been properly removed. This means that the information has to be hidden from plain sight. Since individuals who are aware of this technique will likely attempt to remove the watermark, your watermark should withstand attempts of removal. It is important that you can recover the watermark to reasonable degree to prove that the files are indeed yours.

To help your legal team understand this idea, we show a basic example of this idea by embedding our logo into our image. In reality, a more sophisticated technique should be used. In the figure below, we show the images on the left and the watermarks on the right. We make modifications to the file and show how these changes impact the watermark.

Kingdom’s Law Firm is one of the few boutique firms specialized in legal practice for High Tech Industry. We work closely with technology firms to provide better legal services for our clients. In addition to our expertise in information security and artificial intelligence, we are one of the leaders in Taiwan when it comes to contracts and corporate governance.

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