Gathering Data for Intellectual Property Protection

An advanced way of intellectual property protection is through web scraping since it dramatically detects potential threats online. How does this work?

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Learn more about web scraping as you read through this article.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is a set of assets that are not physical or what we call intangible and are owned by a company. It is legally protected from implementation without permission or from external use.

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Here are the several types of assets that you must learn about:

  • Trade secret

It is a practice or process by the company that is not known to the public. By keeping it a secret, the holder of the trade secret or company can reap economic benefits. It must be aggressively protected and is often the result of development or research.

It creates a business model that distinguishes the company and its services to customers through a competitive edge. A trade secret could be a proprietary method, formula, recipe, pattern, or design.

  • Franchise

The franchise is a license that a party, individual, or company buys to permit them to use a company’s process, proprietary knowledge, trademark, and name. The one who buys a franchise is known as the franchisee, commonly a store operator or business owner.

The license lets the franchisee sell services or products under the company’s name granted to the franchisee or the franchisor. The latter must be continually paid with licensing fees and start-up fees by the franchisee.

  • Trademark

It is a logo, a phrase, or a symbol representing a product and legally separating it from others. It is assigned exclusively to a company and is a form of intellectual property protection. Hence, no other firms or entities are allowed to use it. Otherwise, those who violate it may be liable to copyright law.

  • Copyright

It gives creators and authors of the original material the sole right to duplicate, copy, or use their material. However, the original creators can grant others permission or authorization to use their masterpieces through a licensing agreement.

  • Patent

It is a property right awarded to investors by government agencies and authorizes the inventor to have sole rights or ownership of their invention. The latter is inclusive but not limited to physical innovations, improvements, processes, and designs.

What is web scraping and how does it work?

Web scraping is data extraction from a website and is typically done through software tools like web scrapers. After scraping the data, you export in a more convenient format, for instance, JSON or CSV.

Web scrapers are available in various sizes and shapes. Users often download a pre-built web scraping tool that fits their needs and preferences. These tools can be powerful applications or browser extensions.

For example, Python web scraping is a popular method among the web scraping community since this programming language is pretty straightforward and contains many useful tools and libraries. If you wish to read more about Python web scraping, check out the article by one of the leading proxy providers, Oxylabs.

How does it work?

Web scrapers operate in complicated means. These tools seek to understand a website’s structure to wisely conduct data extraction and transfer it into a new friendly format.

A whole list of URLs or just a specific one to extract the data needed are given to these scrapers. The web scrapers will run the data and let the user download it as an Excel sheet or other formats.

Lastly, we have to keep in mind that web scraping also comes with challenges along the data gathering process. Here are some of those challenges:

  • Accuracy of data

The accuracy of data is essential in web scraping. To maintain this, you must run quality assurance tests and validate each phrase or field before saving.

Some tests are automated, but at times you may need to do it manually. However, the latter is now outdated because it is time-consuming, prone to human errors, and tedious.

  • Extracting a massive amount of real-time data

Mining a massive amount of actual data can be a challenge. Analyzers are regularly monitoring websites; thus, any instability may lead to breakdowns. It is a complicated issue to resolve.

However, web scraping experts continually improve their technologies to overcome these problems to provide data in real-time.

  • Getting your IP blocked

A web page that detects many crawling attempts from similar IP addresses or when requests coming from the IP are already blacklisted, you may get your IP blocked.

IP blocking also happens when a site experiences mining attempts from specific locations. Nevertheless, there is a method to avoid this, that is, by employing crawling services. The latter are unique solutions that enable proxy rotation.

  • The difference in HTML Coding

Working on large websites with over 1000 pages means dealing with different pages with diverse HTML coding, which requires tedious work.

Web scraping is becoming a popular option to detect threats online

In a 2017 study, a web crawler was created by researchers to web scrape the contents of legitimate and phishing websites.

Then, it was assessed through a data mining tool to search for report findings and patterns. In order to maintain a consistent framework, such as a belief, a data mining tool would be required.


There is much to discover if the future of intellectual property protection indeed lies with the art of web scraping. Nevertheless, if this innovation is thoroughly founded and studied, it can significantly help everyone, But not just the business sector.


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