Intellectual property consists of property that is usually not tangible. Instead, this type of property consists of sets of rights controlling the ownership, use, and sale of items created through the use of a person’s intellect or creativity, such as musical compositions, logos, and machines. There are four main types of intellectual property:
- Copyrights: These include writings, musical recordings, films, plays, and other creative works that are recorded into a tangible medium.
- Patents: These include inventions and other mechanical or technical innovations
- Trademarks: These include logos and slogans that are used to identity particular goods. Trademark laws also cover service marks and trade dress.
- Trade Secrets: These consist of recipes, instructions, production methods, and other information that gives a person or a business a competitive edge and is not readily accessible by the general public.
The most common type of intellectual property dispute is that of infringement. This is where intellectual property is used or appropriated without the owner’s permission by another. Infringement can apply to many categories of intellectual property. Thus, there can be copyright infringement, patent infringement, and trademark infringement.
Some common ways that infringement can occur are:
- Using the logo for one product on another product of the same nature as the first product
- Creating a logo or using trade dress in a manner that is intended to cause consumers to think they are purchasing a product that is the same as the original product
- Making copies of musical recordings, movies, and other media and distributing them for profit without the copyright owner’s consent
- Manufacturing a patented item by following the specifications listed in the patent without having a license from the patent owner
An intellectual property dispute can also arise through corporate espionage, such as bribing an employee of a competing company to disclose the competitor’s secret client list.
Lastly, an intellectual property dispute can arise when the producer of a good or a service believes that their product is protected under intellectual property laws, when it is actually not protected at all. An example of this would be where Thus, it is important for manufacturers and producers to register their products and ensure that they receive protection.
Remedies for an intellectual property dispute can include:
- Monetary damages to compensate the non-violating party for losses caused by infringement
- Cease and desist orders, which are used frequently in cases where a trademark is being used without authorization
- Confiscation of the property used to create the infringing products
Remedies will of course depend on the type of violation at hand. In some cases, criminal charges can also result for the infringing party.
Intellectual property disputes can often cost businesses and individuals a great deal of revenue and profits. You may need to hire an intellectual property lawyer near you if you need help with any type of conflict or infringement issue. Your attorney can provide you with legal research and advice for your particular claim. Also, if you need file a lawsuit or appear in court, your lawyer can assist and represent you during those processes as well.