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Infringement Lawsuit

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What Is an Infringement Lawsuit?

An infringement lawsuit may be filed in connection with intellectual property that is protected under state or federal laws. This may include material that is protected under copyright, trademark, patent, or other laws. These types of laws provide exclusive rights to own, sell, use, or distribute various items, logos, inventions, works of art, music, and certain words or phrases.

Thus, most infringement lawsuits involve the unauthorized use, sale, or reproduction of protected information or material. Infringement can occur in many different ways depending on whether it is a copyright, trademark, or patent involved. These each have their own types of rules and laws governing infringement cases.

How Is Infringement Proven?

Infringement generally requires that the defendant used the protected material in a way that is illegal or unauthorized. It must also be proven that the patent, trademark, or copyright is valid, and that the violation occurred within the scope of protection of the material. 

Infringement does not always have to involve a direct or exact “copying” of the protected material. For instance, in a copyright infringement lawsuit, it is sometimes enough if the defendant’s product was similar enough to cause “confusion” amongst members of the general consumer base.

Thus, infringement cases will vary depending on the type of work, product or invention involved. In fact, some areas of intellectual law are so specific that lawyers often specialize in only one field (such as a copyright lawyer or a patent lawyer).

What Are Some Remedies in an Infringement Lawsuit?

When it comes to infringement, one of the main remedies is often a legal damages award paid by the defendant to the plaintiff. This is a monetary amount that is intended to reimburse the plaintiff for their losses. These can include losses such as lost profit, loss of clientele, and in some cases, for negative effects on business reputation.  

Another common remedy is for the authorities to confiscate any materials that were used in the infringing conduct. This can include not only the final product, but also the equipment and mechanisms that were used to produce them (such as sewing machines, printing machines, and other equipment. Thus, an infringement lawsuit can often result in an entire operation to be shut down. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Infringement Lawsuit?

Infringement lawsuits often require extensive knowledge of intellectual property laws. You may wish to hire a qualified intellectual property lawyer in your area if you need assistance with an infringement lawsuit. Your lawyer will be able to explain what your legal options are, and how to proceed with a lawsuit. Also, you can receive valuable legal advice from your attorney, as they represent you throughout the process.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-14-2015 02:01 PM PDT

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