Need to know in globalized product development
A serious threat to intellectual property in a global economy is that you are willingly sharing your IP with folks who will immediately steal it for their own use, or allow it to be stolen for the use of others.
More to the point, when you lose information it is often because you are over-sharing information. One logical defense is to only share information as it is needed, and with whom it is needed.
The good news is that the process is straightforward, cost-effective, and works. The bad news is that in order to prevent loss of your intellectual property, you must identify what material needs to be shared and what does not. Then only share that what needs to be shared, and only with those who really need it.
The first step is to make a commitment to protecting your intellectual property. One way to tell whether this has been done is to determine if you have an OPSEC program implemented. If you do, the team will already be helping the operational staff determine what is at risk to whom, and how it should be protected.
If not, anticipate that a significant amount of your intellectual property – and the future profits that should be associated with it – will end up as part of the $300 billion lost every year by American companies to competitive intelligence, economic espionage, and theft.