What type of intellectual property is being violated?
Aug 19, 2021 12:49 PM EDT
Intellectual property covers all the creations of the mind. These may include inventions, works of art and literature, symbols and designs, images and names used in business, etc. There are legal ways to protect these creations through a trademark, copyright, or patent. This way, creators are able to not only get recognition for their inspiration but are also allowed to monetize them. The main purpose of the intellectual property system is to encourage the growth of innovation and creativity.
As a creator, once you receive intellectual property protection, you should feel secure when sharing your unique ideas with the public. However, things do not always work as they should, and more and more the news seem to contain a flood of intellectual property right violations. These violations do not follow one single path, but there seems to be an assortment of ways they occur. Among the main property rights violations, you may find:
Your aim is to protect a recognizable mark such as a business logo, a design, a slogan, and others through a trademark. The trademark captures the product or service's origin, and they may last forever, providing the owner does not forget to renew it every ten years.
Patents are meant to provide exclusive rights regarding new inventions or improvements to prior inventions. Utility patent protection lasts only 20 years. After that, it becomes part of the public domain.
A copyright is meant to protect those who create original works. These may include literary works, photographs, podcasts, programs, and others. Through copyright, its owner knows that they have the right to their creation throughout their lifetime and an additional 70 years.
Processes, formulas, commercial methods, and different types of information or things that provide their owner a competitive advantage are considered trade secrets. The protection, in this case, is only valid as long as the item remains a secret.
There is no doubt as to the benefits obtained by registering intellectual property. That is why it is not surprising to know that there are more than a million applications every year. And when dealing with such huge numbers, it can be expected that infringement cases hitting the courts are equally high. When an entity that does not have permission to use the property that has been protected, problems are sure to follow.
If you have a property of your own creation, you have certain rights over it even when you have not taken the time to protect it legally. That is why the point of a trade secret is that they are not registered. If you feel your intellectual property rights have been violated you have the possibility of taking legal action which could take the form of patent, copyright, or trademark litigation.
HPS Law Group recommends hiring legal help through an intellectual property attorney. Your lawyer can start fighting for your rights by sending the offending party a cease-and-desist letter which can be highly effective and prevent you from having to end up in court.
Should the letter not yield the desired results, the next step would be intellectual property litigation in which the result may vary greatly depending on the type of property in question.