How can you determine if you have grounds for an intellectual property lawsuit?
Intellectual property lawsuits always seem to stem from one thing: one party stealing or using the ideas of another without permission. This situation boils down to three essential types of theft or infringement, and we’ve broken them down for you below:
- Need Patent Violation Recourse?
A patent protects an invention at the most basic level. It covers how something works, how it’s performed, what it’s made of, and the process of creating it. Filing a patent gives the owner the right to stop others from copying, selling, manufacturing, and importing any version of your invention without your permission.
The patent itself does not shield you from theft; however, it offers you legal recourse to bring exploitation to a stop and claim any damages you may be owed. It also provides you with the legal rights to sell, license or discuss the patent, and the invention.
- Need Trademark Enforcement?
Your trademark is any branding element that clearly distinguishes your goods and services from your competitors. It can take the form of words, logos, visual imagery, or some combination of all of the above. Once registered, your trademark provides you the exclusive rights to use your mark in the sales of your various goods and services. It enables you to protect your brand from fraudsters, bring criminal charges against counterfeiters, and take legal action against anyone infringing upon it. It also means it’s your property, so you are free to license, sell or franchise it as you see fit.
- Need Copyright Protection?
Copyrights apply to a host of works from various fields. Once granted a copyright, individuals must seek your permission before reusing any portion of the work, and attribute credit to the copyright owner when used. This includes using photos and images found on the Internet or ripping a soundtrack off of an online recording. Your copyright also grants you legal recourse for anyone attempting to steal or infringe upon it.
Here are a few examples of areas covered by copyrights:
- Books and other literary works, including but not limited to novels, manuals, song lyrics, newspaper articles, etc.
- Dramatic works including plays, dance, and even mime
- Musical works
- Artistic works, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photographs, etchings, engravings, architecture, diagrams, maps, logos, etc.
- Layouts or particular typographical arrangements
- Recordings, including sound and film
- Broadcasts of any work, including network and live streaming
Responsibility for Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement
As the owner of any of the above-listed rights, you alone are responsible for monitoring and enforcing them. It’s likely you can solve most disputes with a simple “Cease and Desist” letter, drafted by a qualified attorney. However, there are occasions when a lawsuit and other legal recourse are your best choices. Contact a skilled attorney to determine what the best course might be for you.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation Regarding Your IP Case
What have you got to lose? If you still have questions about the benefits of hiring an experienced attorney to handle intellectual property lawsuits, you can click to contact the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online today.