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Goran Tepshic

Obtaining Legal Help for Theft of Intellectual Property

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by , 03-29-2012 at 08:23 AM (6260 Views)
[B]First, What does Intellectual Property Refer to?
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Intellectual property is defined to include original works created by a single individual or also including groups. Some examples are original music, artwork, as well as books and other forms of writing. These are all types of intellectual property which have inherent ownership by their creator or creators. A company’s logo, product(s')' names, or their company name itself are intellectual property. Slogans and packaging are also intellectual property, and as such, these works cannot be replicated or be used without the owner granting permission.
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People often think of stealing to generally include physical goods or property; however, stealing, copying or using intellectual property in an unauthorized fashion or without the owner's permission can also be considered a form of stealing or "theft" Businesses tend to be the most susceptible to this kind of theft, but laws have been enacted as protections extended to the owners of intellectual property. These protect the owners of the works from theft and unauthorized use. Trademarks are one example that protect company’s names, logos, packaging, and slogans. Another form comes with [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]copyrights which [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]protect music and other types of audio files, [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]written documents such as books or articles, as well as [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]other forms such as patents that protect inventions and other types of scientific or other discoveries.[/FONT][/COLOR][IMG][/IMG]
What are some Implications for Theft of Intellectual Property?
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Many companies do not consider copyright infringements and other types of intellectual property losses to be big losses because they don't infer immediate costs or tangible losses that the business is incurring. However, theft of intellectual property often holds lasting implications for the long-term financial success for a company. For this reason, these types of infringements should not be ignored. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]Intellectual property losses can result in a watered down brand which can lead to customer dissatisfaction, loss of confidence by customers in your company, or actual loss of sales by another company using your brand to gain customers.[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]
How Can you Prevent Theft of Your Intellectual Property?
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Many legal measures to discourage theft or misuse of IP exist at your disposal. For example, you can prevent copyrights as well as other types of intellectual property to be stolen by making sure your actual company copyrights, as well as your patents and your trademarks are all registered properly with the US Copyright Office and in the specific cases of patents and trademarks, with the USPTO (US Patent & Trademark Office.) This gives extra protection and shows diligence on your part to protect them. The courts look upon this favorable as proof that you care about and are protecting your brand or other works as intellectual property. Another way to protect yourself is to mark your brands and works with proper [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]symbols such as [/FONT][/COLOR]©[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman] for a copyright, TM for a trademark as well as [/FONT][/COLOR]® for your[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman] registered trademarks. Preventing other companies or individuals from stealing your works or copying your company logos is good business practice.
Legal Issues in Cases Where Intellectual Property Has Been Stolen
[FONT=Times New Roman]What if you take all the precautions, but your IP still becomes a hot commodity or is stolen by another company? Several major legal actions are at your disposal in preventing further abuses and infringements. These include measures that also help you to recoup financial losses from the theft. Generally, the first step is to send a C&D (Cease and Desist) letter to the alleged guilty party of infringement. This legal document explains the specific infringement and orders or requests the other party to removes or discontinue use of your IP. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]It they don't respond or don't quit using your intellectual property, your next step includes issuing civil and/or criminal intellectual property charges regarding your property on the opposing party. You now bring the legal matter to a specific court with jurisdiction in the matter. It's important to hire competent counsel and specifically a law firm having experience in intellectual property theft so that you do not incur additional losses or brand damage because your business reputation is something that can make or break you as a company. Taking these types of precautions against IP theft and regarding it as a serious legal matter will help keep you protected and growing your business.[/FONT][/COLOR]

Updated 03-29-2012 at 08:26 AM by Goran Tepshic (fixing typos)

Intellectual Property , Copyrights