World Intellectual Property Organization

Management of Intellectual Property in Offshore Outsourcing:  How Shinetech Software Inc. Sets Itself Apart From its Competitors

Shinetech Software Inc. is a professional offshore outsourcing service provider headquartered in Beijing China.  It is specializing in helping Europe and US companies to reduce their development costs.

Since its establishment in 2001, it has successfully completed over 100 development projects, covering e-business, e-government, education, finance, manufacturing and consulting. Its clients are spread over America, Europe, Asia , like US, Australia, UK, Ireland, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Malaysia, and so on.

In 2004, the company received the authorization from China Torch Program to become one of the second batch of experimental enterprises of China Offshore Software Engineering Project (COSEP) which is the most significant brand of China’s Software Export as well as Software Outsourcing. In early 2005, it attained Microsoft Certified Partner status in Microsoft Partner Program with a competency in Integrated E-Business Solutions, recognizing Shinetech’s expertise and total impact in the technology marketplace.

Intellectual Property (IP) protection plays a crucial role in motivating and attracting Shinetech’s customers, and it has already been indispensable to Shinetech’s long-term development strategy. In Shinetech, IP doesn’t just mean patents, trademarks and copyrights, but significantly is the processes, techniques, methodology and talent. Shinetech supports strong intellectual property protection and understands the vital importance of intellectual property to its customers’ business development. The IP protection policy of Shinetech addressed five primary areas, each of which is regularly validated by its internal and third-party audit program.

The five primary areas of this policy are:

Non-Disclosure Agreements

The first step that Shinetech takes, to assure its customers of Shinetech's commitment to protecting their IP, is the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). As an act of assurance that Shinetech will treat its customers’ intellectual property with the utmost care, it is Shinetech’s policy to sign an NDA with all its customers at the start of a business relationship. This NDA sets out the rules and responsibilities of both parties, and is strictly followed by all Shinetech employees. In addition, the details of the content, in relation to which IP protection is assured, are also included in the contract.  

Project-related IP Protection

Throughout the project cycle, Shinetech protects its customers’ IP in both physical and electronic formats .

Shinetech has a special and sensitive office for each client with a security door with password access and only the relevant staffs are permitted to enter the relevant office room(s). No one is allowed access to any hardware devices, except the network administrator. The security procedures and precautions are also enforced systematically after working hours. For example, the monitoring devices record all visitors.  Further, it is clearly stated in the company's policy that talking about project related information even outside working hours is strictly forbidden.

Shinetech guarantees high degree of confidentiality and security in every project to secure the clients’ documents and prototypes. All clients' information remains strictly confidential by using Active Directory to manage the users’ authorities. The data can only be viewed by the authorized staffs, and all the copies or editions of the data are clearly recorded by logs that clients can check at any time.

Shinetech employs high-level security for client database information. Client database will not be used for any purpose other than development. Access by Shinetech employees is permitted solely on a 'need-to-know basis'. The database is well protected during the entire project period. Database media storage and management integrity is ensured by Document Control (DC), which is supervised by Shinetech's Quality Assurance (QA) department. For sensitive data, Shinetech always put it into an isolated data server in a blocked shelf. Access to sensitive information is limited to a key person only.

As each employee of the company has his/her own computer with a startup password, therefore noone, other than the network administrator, cannot access anyone else's computer. Shinetech has very strict rules for the network administrator to prevent him from disclosing other’s password/information. The company has systems in place to ensure that the access of an employee who has left the company is totally terminated or denied by withdrawing all relevant access authorizations and invalidating access to the computer system of the company. Also, the company promptly terminates the permission of an employee who ends his/her employment with the company, and disables inactive and orphaned accounts.

Shinetech uses only trustworthy and long-term postal service providers to send its deliveries; it has agreements with them to protect its rights and interests. When data needs to be transferred, it is delivered securely by and to an appointed person.

The ownership of jointly created IP assets or of IP assets created by Shinetech, as part of the work done for a client, belongs to its clients. Also all other IP assets, e.g. , patents and copyright involved in its activities concerning outsourcing, belong to its clients, in accordance with the agreement signed prior to the start of any project development work. All the project related data is transferred promptly and in full to the client with the projects’ formal delivery.

Confidential Document Control (DC)

Shinetech has established a stringent process for managing and protecting its customers’ confidential documents. Every copy of every confidential document is separately numbered and tracked, and is distributed to a Shinetech employee only on a 'need-to-know basis'. All copies of customers’ confidential documents are regularly accounted for, and deleted when usage needs have expired. All such confidential documents are returned and disposed of by the relevant customer/client.

Employee Confidentiality Contract

To provide further assurance that all Shinetech employees are fully aware of, and sensitive to, the critical importance of protecting customers’ rights, all Shinetech employees sign applicable confidentiality contracts along with their employee agreement upon joining Shinetech. These agreements affirm that the employees will comply with Shinetech IP Protection regulations. Employees regularly attend seminars designed to reinforce the importance of customers’ rights regarding confidential information.

Employee Training and Education

Shinetech’s has an IP Protection Manual and conducts regularly training courses to ensure the implementation of its IP Policy. The IP Manual elaborates the IP Policy in a practical way, paying special attention to the particulars of offshore software development and customers' IP protection. All of the issues and rules on IP are explained in detail in the training of new employees that join the company. To ensure proper enforcement of the IP Policy, Shinetech has regular training programs on IP for its employees, which are conducted by IP experts.

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