Intellectual property differs from all other types of property because it refers to intangible property and the owner’s rights to control, use, and sell items created through the application of a person’s intellect or creativity. Some of the most common forms of intellectual property include processes, formulas, musical compositions, literary stories, art, and more. Intellectual property rights are protected through the use of four legal systems — copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. When a dispute arises involving intellectual property, the stakes can be incredibly high. Oftentimes, the crux of an entire company’s success is in its intellectual property, which is why if a dispute arises, it is critical to hire an experienced intellectual property attorney to handle your case.
Types of Intellectual Property Disputes
The most common type of intellectual property dispute is a claim of infringement. Infringement occurs when someone uses intellectual property without the consent of the owner. This type of dispute can arise in violations of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Some of the most common examples of infringement include using a company’s trademark or one so similar that it will cause confusion for consumers, making copies of copyrighted material and distributing them without permission, and manufacturing a patented item according to the patent’s specifications without a license from the patent owner.
Another type of intellectual property dispute comes from corporate espionage. This occurs when an employee discloses intellectual property to a competitor or uses the intellectual property for his or her own personal benefit, such as starting a similar business using the company’s secret formula for a product or utilizing their client list.
One final type of dispute occurs when the owner of goods or services believes he or she has intellectual property rights when it is actually not protected at all. One common example of this is attempting to claim infringement on a copier being called a Xerox machine even if it belongs to another company, or attempting to enforce intellectual property rights over a medication formula that is now available for generic companies to manufacture.
Remedies for Intellectual Property Violations
Remedies for intellectual property disputes can include civil and criminal penalties, depending on the specific facts of the case. Civil remedies can include monetary damages for any business loss, cease-and-desist orders on the continued use of intellectual property, and the confiscation of property created by the misuse of the intellectual property of another. If criminal means were utilized to obtain the intellectual property, criminal charges can also be brought against those responsible for the misuse of the intellectual property. If you believe that an intellectual property dispute is imminent or have received notice of a potential intellectual property violation, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away.
Call or Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney Today
A dispute involving intellectual property is a serious matter and can have substantially impactful results on your business as well as your intellect and creativity. If you are involved in an intellectual property dispute, call or contact Nusinov Smith Law Firm to learn more.