In A BYOD environment, who owns IP?

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 31 Jul, 2015

Only 24 percent of businesses currently report plans to implement a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy in their workplace, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by CompTIA. Nevertheless, BYOD is considered a tech movement of the future as professionals wield multiple devices to get their work done. Businesses are starting to realize the advantages of implementing a BYOD policy, but the slow enactment of this setup may be because it creates a number of intellectual property questions relating to content created on these devices. As a result, businesses need to understand the ins and outs of intellectual property rules and how they should address this subject in their respective BYOD policies.

Copyrighted Software Creates a Default Ownership

The primary complication of IP rights within BYOD setups is that content and activity is being conducted on a personal device. Workers typically appreciate the flexibility of using their own personal tablet or smartphone in the workplace, but because the device is privately owned, it’s not as easy for businesses to establish governance.

However, this doesn’t mean device ownership determines IP rights. In reality, it’s usually the software ownership that establishes a default right to intellectual property. For example, suppose a worker brings in their own Android-running tablet device, and uses that device to create a PowerPoint presentation. The default ownership of that intellectual property is determined by the entity that owns the copyright to the Microsoft Office software being used. If companies require workers to install and use software to which the company owns the copyright, all content created through that platform could be owned, by default, by the company, according to  FierceMobileIT .

Employment Status Often Determines Rights

While software copyright covers some use cases, there are some exceptions, the main one being employment status. When a worker is a contracted employee, instead of a full-time member of a company’s staff, they retain the rights to all content they have created. Contracted workers sell their completed work to a company, and since there’s no established ownership of the work going into a product, they retain intellectual property rights until a company purchases their content unless stated otherwise in their contract.

Use a Written Policy to Establish Expectations

Work-related content is relatively easy to address in BYOD policies, but personal and mixed-use content on devices is a different matter. Texting, built-in cameras and social media apps can all open up the risk of leaking intellectual property out to the public. Some of these activities may seem benign, but they present a huge risk to companies in the event of compromised IP. As PeakIPSolutions notes, these  policies are most effective  when they’re developed and implemented ahead of the technology itself, thus creating a smoother transition to innovative practices.

The best way to address this is to have IT professionals draft a comprehensive, detailed policy governing BYOD usage, including device usage expectations, restrictions on personal activity in the work place and so forth. Companies may also require segmentation of BYOD devices, with device owners creating separate profiles for business and personal use. If possible, this is the easiest way to govern usage while protecting data and other sensitive information from being improperly accessed or dispersed. Companies may also want to designate specific devices for employees under a widely-used provider that offers a variety of business-friendly devices for employees to choose from, such as  Tmobile . A number of solutions, including supporting BYOD business tools, can enable businesses to set up and regulate this segmentation while improving security throughout the device. Plenty of BYOD software solutions aim to protect a company’s integrity while bringing new devices into the workplace, so it’s smart to check out these different options and choose a product that suits your specific needs.

Kevin Norvell,
Web Project Manager

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By Robbi Meisel 14 Jun, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In anticipation of the many business opportunities that could stem from the construction of a new federal prison in Roxana, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, in partnership with Letcher County Fiscal Court, is sponsoring When Opportunity Knocks, a luncheon and resource fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT June 22 at the Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg.

During lunch, local business owners will share how they answered the knock of opportunity and found success. The event is free and seating is limited; preregistration is required. Reservations can be made online at .

At the event, organizers will discuss a three-part series of training events. Series topics will include general business and government contracting. The first event will take place 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Training will also take place at 6 p.m. July 26 and August 9. Prior to each training event, a resource fair will begin at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit or email Shawn Rogers at .

KSBDC, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, .

Other partners include: Kentucky Small Business Development Centers at Pikeville and Ashland, Southeast Small Business Development Center, Small Business Administration, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Innovation Network – Pikeville , Kentucky River Area Development District, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises Inc. and Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet – Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification.

By Robbi Meisel 06 May, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky., (May 3, 2016) - Kentucky’s finest small businesses and the small-business community were celebrated in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort during Kentucky Celebrates Small Business, an awards ceremony presented by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center and the Kentucky District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration May 3.

Gov. Matt Bevin opened the awards ceremony by signing a proclamation recognizing National Small Business Week in the state.

"The vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in the commonwealth is a fundamental force driving Kentucky's economy and creating valuable jobs for our communities," Bevin said. "I understand, from personal experience, the sacrifice it takes for small business owners to survive. Every day they strive anew to secure a better life for their customers, their employees, their families and themselves. I am grateful to these men and women across Kentucky for taking the risk necessary to succeed."

WLEX-18 chief meteorologist Bill Meck served as emcee, along with his wife, Connie, whose small business, Sign Language Network of Kentucky, provided sign language interpretation for the event.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center presented Kentucky Pacesetter awards to six businesses. Winners were chosen based on how they are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape by introducing innovative products, increasing sales and/or production, boosting employment and serving their communities.

This year’s outstanding Kentucky Pacesetters are D&D Shoe Company, Mayfield; Ingram Brothers, LLC, Morgantown; JSB Industrial Solutions, Inc., Tollesboro; Maynard Studios, Inc., Lawrenceburg; Trunnell’s Farm Market & Family Fun Acre, Utica; Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville.

“We owe so much to the small businesses across the commonwealth that make our economy strong and diverse. It is a pleasure to recognize them and say thank you,” said Becky Naugle, KSBDC state director.

Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards across the country. The Small Business Person of the Year winner from each state will be acknowledged at both regional and national levels.

The 2016 Kentucky Small Business Administration award winners are:

Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year: David Dafoe, founder and CEO of Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville

Kentucky Southeast Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year: Kathy Mills, president and CEO of Strategic Communications, Louisville

Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year: Bill Fensterer, president and CEO of Capital Access Corporation, Louisville

Kentucky Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Harsha Wijesiri, president of Integrated Engineering, LLC, Lexington

Kentucky Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Scott Matheny, president of Semper Tek, Lexington

Kentucky Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Desiree Sloan Harmon, founder and owner of Club Fit Studio, LLC, Paintsville

“The creative genius that drives our commonwealth forward lives in the minds of our entrepreneurs. This year we are honoring entrepreneurs from the far corners of Kentucky. We are deeply grateful for what they have done to sustain the economic vitality of large and small communities,” said Ralph Ross, district director of the Kentucky office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “We are also grateful for our local, state and federal partners who work with us to help these entrepreneurs along their way.”

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, .


Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104


UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.




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