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Intellectual Property Infringement

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Intellectual property infringement refers to the trade of goods or services involving a counterfeit mark or producing some unauthorized copies of original work. There are intellectual property infringements in cyberspace and the real world. A few types of infringements occurring online include cybersquatting, hyperlinking, use of meta tags, etc. Certain principles are laid down in the USA that confirm that infringement has happened. Whether the violation has been intentional or a mistake, these infringements can have serious legal and financial consequences on a business entity. Let's look at the blog to know what kind of intellectual property infringements people do and the right redressal systems available for the people.

Channels to Report Intellectual Property Infringement

There are various ways through which you can report an intellectual property crime. Choosing your desired route requires you to consider your type of infringement and seek the help of a professional lawyer.

  • National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center: This center is an effort of over 19 US agency partners and representatives worldwide, including Mexico, Canada, and Europol. It helps to combat intellectual property crimes and carry out a proper investigation. The Department of Justice works closely with the National intellectual property rights coordination center.
  • Seeking Help from IC3: IC3 refers to an Internet Crime Complaint Center and is a partnership between a white-collar crime center and the FBI. IC3 usually deals with cyber intellectual crimes, and they reach them through their official website.
  • Route of FBI: Special agents appointed by the FBI investigate the crime and work closely with all the offices. It is also advisable to know and hold a prior formal relationship with an FBI agent that helps in faster redressal.
  • Pursuing OCI Aid: OCI refers to the Office of Criminal Investigation. OCI generally deals with complaints about the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Mistakes Leading to Intellectual Property Infringement

Business owners make common mistakes that lead them to these intellectual property infringement cases. These mistakes are usually made unintentionally, but it is important to consider these certain aspects to avoid these commonly performed errors at any cost.

  • Hiring Contract-Based Employees: Often, employees are hired on a single contract basis. These employees hired for a temporary period are often not informed about the confidentiality related to trade secrets or the right practices. Another scenario can be when that independent contractor does not grant rights to the company, and the company only assumes such, and accordingly, intellectual property issues arising out of it.
  • Negligence in Securing Product Patents: If the company forgets to secure the needful patents for any product, there are chances that the product will get commercialized without the company's approval.
  • Spilling of Trade Secrets after New Recruitment: The problem with hiring new staff comes when they start implementing data that their previous company owns; the company gets into serious trouble. It is important to inform the new candidates that all the intellectual properties that do not belong to them should not be used at any cost.
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Tips to Avoid Intellectual Property Infringement

Now that we know business owners' most commonly made mistakes regarding infringing intellectual property, it is essential to know these necessary tips and tricks to avoid such a case. Sometimes, these tips seem very basic, but they are usually forgotten and not taken seriously, resulting in intellectual property infringement.

  • Using Original Music in the Advertisement: Business owners must hire music producers and artists exclusively for their ads and are prohibited from using music from any label if they don't have ownership. Musicians have the right to sue such businessmen in case of infringement.
  • Obtaining Proper Licenses: A written license is essential to use intellectual property that has been registered legally. When you have a license in hand, a business is allowed to utilize such properties.
  • Operating on Royalty-Free Media: Royalty-free media means any intellectual property with no particular ownership. One is free to use such properties, but it is always advisable to give credit for the hard work somebody might have put into it.
  • Consulting a Professional Lawyer: Intellectual property rights are no joke and must be taken seriously by businesses. There are several instances when the owner might be confused about how to proceed with IP or anything related. Professional experience always comes in handy in such situations.

Strategies to Safeguard Against Intellectual Property Infringement

No doubt there are several laws in the US concerned with violating intellectual property rights, but it is always advisable to be safe from your side. It means adopting all those methods that will help you be on the safer side. Numerous options are available today to make it hard for infringers to copy and claim your content as their own. Here are what things you can do to protect against Intellectual property infringement:

  • Educating Employees on Intellectual Property: The owner must educate and inform the employees working under him about intellectual property rights and how to use them.
  • Employing Clauses in the Contract: Including clauses when recruiting employees is another way of protecting your intellectual property. Different owners can employ various clauses in the contract according to their priorities.
  • Executing Overruns: Conducting production overruns is a good point of view regarding protecting intellectual property. It ensures that the original product is not sold under a different title.
  • Avoiding Packaging Leakages: It is commonly observed that companies make mistakes when it comes to packaging. Companies have to ensure that there are no leakages in this aspect of the business so that the chances of duplication are reduced to the maximum.
  • Creating Hard-to-Copy Designs: Always consider how easy your designs are to be copied, and if so, try creating hard-to-replicate ones.

Key Terms for Intellectual Property Infringement

  • Patent Litigation: It is a legal process that involves one party blaming or ‘suing’ in technical terms for pretending to have the right to their original invention
  • Intellectual Property: Intellectual property is intangible property created by the human intellect, and they have exclusive rights to it.
  • Licensing: A contract between the owner of the Intellectual property and the other party giving them rights to use the intellectual property on certain terms and conditions.
  • Counterfeit: This is when someone imitates or copies an original product when it has no right to do so and pretends as if the fake ensign has more or less an equal value in the market.
  • Proprietary: Someone with exclusive legal rights and ownership of that intellectual property or product.

Final Thoughts on Intellectual Property Infringement

Therefore, it is highly suggested to consult an intellectual property lawyer to protect your business from serious financial consequences. With a detailed process of counseling, protecting, and enforcing, the lawyers usually have these three broad segments. Protecting intellectual property should be the very first priority of a business owner and should not be easily ignored under any circumstance. The intellectual property laws in the USA are comprehensive, and depending on the intensity and type of infringement, it can lead from civil damages to even serving in prison for some duration.

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