Not many business owners are aware of how their intellectual property works and when it’s been infringed upon. Knowing the finer details and how to protect it can ensure that it’s not being abused outside of your control. Here are four important examples of intellectual property infringement and how you can protect your IP against them.
What is Intellectual Property Infringement?
An infringement occurs when someone has used your intellectual property without your permission, usually for commercial purposes. This can occur with patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. Actuate IP Lawyers can help you to protect these so that an infringement doesn’t occur or when it does occur, you have adequate protection to bring a lawsuit against the infringing party.
Inadequate Trademark Search
An intellectual property infringement can occur when a new company hasn’t done a proper trademark search before establishing a new brand. This can result in a trademark that looks strikingly similar to another one already in use, which can result in confusion in customers.
A trademark search is important to prevent this because it can become very expensive to come up with a new design and logo, and change the overall branding of a company.
Infringement On Websites and In Social Media
It’s unheard of for small businesses to find their intellectual property on other website and social media sites. Too often, a business will create a fraudulent website that looks exactly like another site and using a similar domain name in order to confuse customers on the Internet. In the end, the customer can order a product from the site, send them money, and then never receive the product, leading to your online reputation being damaged.
In another case, a website may repost your logo or copyrighted material without your permission just to make themselves appear more credible. Even if they have credited the copyright holder, they are still liable for copyright infringement.
Disclosure Of Trade Secrets
The reality is that former employees have no shame about taking your trade secrets with them and sharing them with a new employer. This is the main reason why businesses have nondisclosure and non-compete clauses in their contracts with new employees.
Importation Of Infringing Products
One way to protect your IP against this is to patent you invention or federally register your trademark with the USPTO, or to register your copyright with the Copyright Office. Once it has been registered, then it can be recorded with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This prevents competitors from importing goods that have infringing trademarks on them. In the event that this importation still does happen, then you can receive swift relief from the International Trade Commission.
Protecting trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets should be of utmost importance to any business who doesn’t want their creations stolen or their market reputation ruined in any way. With the right intellectual property lawyer on your side, everything can be monitored so that a violation can be taken care of as swiftly as possible. If you are interested in protecting your IP, be sure to contact an attorney immediately to help you start preparing.
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