April 3, 2019

Wheelock & Cauble Co-Author Article about Technology Policies to Protect Your Company

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal; Christopher M. Cauble, Principal

Patent attorneys Bryan Wheelock and Chris Cauble, who co-authored an article about employee agreements in January, have a new article appearing in the Dallas Business Journal this month.

The new article looks at many of the common features of conducting business that should be covered in a company’s technology policy. Having these policies in place could not only protect the business from expensive lawsuits, they can also protect intellectual property from harm or theft.

Companies should consider the following points when creating, or failing to create, a technology policy:

  • Your company’s technology, electronics and hardware should only be used to conduct company business. This also applies to company email addresses, as email records can be used in litigation.
  • Employees should be prohibited from storing, transmitting, uploading or downloading any discriminatory or inflammatory content. As with all harassment, using company technology to harass any coworkers should also be explicitly prohibited.
  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) can help protect your business from the unauthorized accessing of systems and data, but companies will need to set up clear parameters for which employees can and cannot have access certain information. Certain state laws may also help companies pursue actions against disloyal employees.
  • Employees who download or use unlicensed software to perform work for the company — whether on a work computer or their personal computer — can cost the company many thousands of dollars. They can also introduce malware or viruses if they are not careful. Employees should therefore be prohibited from downloading anything without permission from the company’s IT department.
  • Social media poses special challenges, but it is generally wise to inform employees about important messaging strategies so that anyone who wants to advocate for the company online will have a unified message. It is also considered best practice that they identify themselves as employees when they are sharing your praises.

For a full list of considerations for creating a technology policy to protect your company and its IP, please read the full article on the Dallas Business Journal website.