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Infringement Litigation

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What Is Infringement Litigation?

Under intellectual property laws, infringement litigation refers to lawsuits involving the unauthorized use, reproduction, or sales of protected material. These usually involve the following types of protections:

  • Trademarks for logos and visual arrangements of words
  • Copyrights for artistic works of various kind
  • Patents for inventions and devices

Infringement claims may be coupled with other types of legal issues, depending on the facts in each case. For instance, it’s common for legal issues such as breach of contract, products liability, business conflicts, or other matters.

What Types of Evidence Are Required During Infringement Litigation?

Like any civil lawsuit, infringement litigation claims must be support by evidence. Some common types of evidence that are involved in infringement litigation may include:

  • Proof of protection and rights (i.e., proof that plaintiff is the valid holder of the copyright, trademark, or patent)
  • Proof of violation of intellectual property rights
  • Failure of the defendant to notify the plaintiff of their use of the material
  • Evidence that the plaintiff suffered losses on account of the infringement

In some cases, direct misappropriation of protected materials may not always be necessary to prove infringement. For instance, in many trademark lawsuits, it is often enough to establish a claim for infringement if the defendant’s logo caused “product confusion” amongst consumers. The definition of product confusion may vary from state to state and depending on the product (for instance, if a company deliberately named their soda after a popular brand in attempts to “tricking” consumers into thinking that it was that brand). 

Common Remedies Resulting from Infringement Litigation

Most infringement litigation claims will involve legal remedies in the form of a damages award. These are aimed at allowing the plaintiff to recover their monetary damages resulting from the infringement. These can also include other losses such as a loss of future business profits, or damage to business reputation. Other remedies may include an injunction that requires the defendant to cease their infringing activities. Infringement defenses may be available depending on the facts of the case.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Infringement Litigation?

Infringement litigation typically requires the advice and representation of a qualified intellectual property lawyer. You may need to hire an experienced lawyer in your area if you need assistance in filing an infringement claim. Your lawyer can help review your case, as well as the laws in your area, in order to help determine your legal rights. Also, your attorney will be able to provide you with the legal representation that is necessary during the litigation process.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-03-2014 02:51 PM PDT

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