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What Are Proprietary Rights?

Saptakee Sengupta

Any company or organization cannot function without the protection of its proprietary information. In simple words, proprietary rights are the 'protective shield' of any business.
Proprietary rights is a legal term and entails the property rights of an owner of proprietary information that may be protected under law. It is used in different ways by the legal community, but they are usually directed towards defending the ownership.
Such rights are sometimes assumed by the owner or structured in the contract of an organization and all specifications are made clear to the employees and concerned parties. Owners can exercise their rights, depending on the nature of their ownership which could be a product, process, intellectual property, invention, or an idea.
Proprietary rights in a business ownership are meant to protect the name and brand from duplication. Likewise, people can have proprietary rights to real estate which they own, whether it is vacant, occupied by a home, or being used for another purpose.
In contracting, this term refers to the intellectual property, financial information and equipment of the contractor. It also gives people the right to protect their intellectual property and determine how and when it can be used.
In case of an invention, they are known as patent rights that protect inventors from other parties to sell or replicate the patented invention. Any violation under this law gives the owner the right to sue and recover past infringements and damages.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are the two organizations that exercise proprietary rights to protect inventor's or ownership rights and prevents others from misusing them. America's intellectual property is worth around USD 5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.

About Proprietary Rights Agreements

Proprietary rights agreements are confidential documents ensuring that certain information pertaining to the business remain only within the organization. They are contracts of agreements signed by one or more parties.
Violation of the conditions can lead to legal liability. They are mostly related to copyrights or trade secrets, that are confidential, and shared between companies and their employees.
The agreement includes the period during which the confidential information should or should not be disclosed. It also specifies how each party should handle confidential information. The agreement also has provisions to allow access of information under given guidelines and circumstances.
It is recommended, before getting into any agreement, to discuss the same with your lawyer to verify the legality of the statements.