Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many successful businesses and corporations. Without
the ability to exclude others from profiting off names, symbols, inventions,
designs, and other creations of the mind, businesses could suffer from
unfair competition and lose the ability to reap maximum benefit from their
own original idea. In order to protect trade secrets and other forms of
intellectual property from theft, the United States has created a set
of laws aimed at helping people retain the right to prosper from their
own concepts and creations.
The three most common types of intellectual property are:
Trademarks: Examples include words, phrases, symbols, and designs that are meant
to distinguish one product from another.
Copyrights: Examples include photographs, paintings, poems, music, and software.
Trade secrets: Trade secrets involve any information that is valuable to a business
and is generally unknown by others.
Understand Your Rights
In order to establish whether a person or entity has violated your intellectual
property rights, it is important to know exactly what your rights are.
Trademark holders, for instance, have the power to stop others from using
a trademark that is the same or similar to their own, unless the other
party was already using it legitimately. Copyright infringements can include
work that is displayed, reproduced, copied, distributed, or used in the
production of “derivative works” without the express consent
of the original owner. Finally, owners of trade secrets can prevent others
from copying, using, or benefiting from the information in any way without
consent. They also have the power to prevent disclosure of the information
if the offending party has signed a nondisclosure agreement. Those who
steal a trade secret with the knowledge that the information is protected
can be held responsible for misappropriation.
Do You Suspect Intellectual Property Theft?
If you believe that another person is benefitting from unauthorized use
of your intellectual property, begin documenting the suspected theft.
You must establish that the offending party had access to your work or
information and take note of any time they use it. Gather proof in the
form of screen captures, samples of the copied information, etc. It is
also important to make sure that the alleged theft is, in fact, a theft
and not an example of “fair use”. Keep in mind that fair use
for limited non-commercial, educational, or satirical purposes is typically
not considered theft in the eyes of the law!
Keep a careful record of how much the infringement is costing you, then
contact a Los Angeles business litigation attorney at The Mirkhan Law
Firm. We can help you determine whether an infringement has occurred and
guide you through the necessary steps to bring legal action against the
offender. We have successfully represented several Los Angeles-area businesses
in intellectual property theft cases.
Enforcing intellectual property rights requires quick and conclusive action.
Contact our firm
as soon as possible to consult with a highly qualified legal professional.