When many people think of intellectual property (IP) rights, they often think of patents, copywritten books, movies or music or registered trademarks such as logos for their favorite brands. Few people understand the full breadth of proprietary items or artistic works that fall under the umbrella of IP.
While many individuals realize that it’s unlawful for anyone to violate their IP rights, many don’t have a firm knowledge of what constitutes an infringement and thus would warrant the filing of a lawsuit. Even fewer IP holders understand what remedies they’re eligible to receive if victorious in their case.
What is brand abuse, and how do you prove it occurred?
Any instance in which a person or a company violates another’s patent, copyright or trademark may constitute brand abuse. IP holders must prove that the entity making the knock-off, replica or counterfeit items available is impersonating or misleading others into believing that they’re the trademarked company to prove infringement.
Someone with IP rights must also demonstrate how the alleged counterfeiter designed their product to imitate the authentic one. The IP holder will need to show that the alleged impostor used their patent, trademark or other proprietary work without their authorization and financial gain.
What is piracy?
The unauthorized reproduction of any copyrighted material such as DVDs, CDs, computer software or web code or video games by someone other than its owner may constitute piracy. The law views the creation or posting of a link to pirated materials similarly.
What should you do if someone appears to have violated your IP rights?
One of the primary reasons you secure a copyright, patent, or trademark is to protect your right to use your work in any way you deem appropriate. Know that you have rights if someone violates your IP rights. An attorney will want to know more about the potential infringement before advising you of your ability to recover damages in your case.