Defend Your Rights: Infringement of Intellectual Property
IP infringement is breaching of the protected work either by using, selling, and manufacturing or by exploiting it by any other means without formal permission of the rights owner.
Counterfeiting and piracy are examples of IP infringement. Counterfeiting is the act when goods are adulterated to gain the benefit of the superior value of imitated products. Piracy is the unethical and unauthorized copying or reproduction/distribution of materials protected with IP rights.
Remedies of IP Infringement
Registration of your IP is the primary way to protect your intellectual property from being infringed. Registrations bring the claims to public view and discourage other people from using your intellectual property without permission.
- Copyright registration: copyright is protected from the moment the artistic work is created; if it gets unethically copied or used, legal charges can be pressed on the infringers. If your suit is successful, then compensation money and the attorney’s fees can be collected from the opponents.
- Patent filing for technological inventions: a provisional patent application can be filed if the invention is still in process. This will keep your invention safe. A non-provisional patent application is filed to secure the invention rights through claims.
- Trademark registration: registered trademark has a symbol as R that restricts other people from using the same trademark. Unregistered trademark also notifies the public about the legitimacy of your claim, but this doesn’t hold any legal backup.
The key to protecting your intellectual property from infringement is to keep it a secret till the registration request is done. If you accidentally disclose your invention in public, make sure you file your patent application within a year of disclosure and you are the first to file.
How to Defend Your Rights
If you see your property being misused without your permission, depending upon the situations, following are some steps that can be taken:
- Filing a lawsuit: this step is only taken when your case is strong. If you win the lawsuit, you get compensation money and the fees of the attorney.
- Cease and desist letter: this is usually followed to avoid a long-term dispute. A letter is sent to the person or the company stating them to stop using their IP.
- Court injunction: this is done to stop the infringer from selling or using the product.
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): a takedown notice is sent on the internet to defend your copyright.