Intellectual Property (IP) holds immense value for businesses, entrepreneurs, and creative individuals alike. Whether an invention, software, or piece of art, safeguarding your intellectual property is crucial to ensure that your originality is rewarded. Nevertheless, despite taking precautions, IP rights violations can still occur. This is why legal intervention is often necessary in order to enforce these rights. Here are methods for enforcing your intellectual property rights.
Cease and Desist Letters
If a business or person believes that their IP rights have been infringed upon, the first step that is usually taken is to send what is known as a Cease and Desist letter. This letter informs the alleged infringer that they have violated the sender’s IP rights and demands that they cease to engage in any activities that infringe the IP. Cease and Desist letters are a very strong tool for resolving IP disputes early on without having to take the issue any further. This saves both parties time and money.
A Cease and Desist letter includes:
- Clear identification of the IP that has been infringed upon;
- Detailed evidence that supports the infringement claim;
- A demand to immediately stop any and all infringing activities; and
- A specific deadline for the recipient to comply with these demands.
Cease and Desist letters commonly prevent the need for litigation. However, sometimes situations require further legal action.
When an infringer does not comply with the demands in a Cease and Desist letter, the IP holder may request an injunction from the court. This is a court order that prohibits the infringing party from participating in any infringing activities. An injunction also prevents the infringer from causing any more harm while the dispute is being resolved.
There are a couple of different types of injunctions: 1) preliminary and 2) permanent. A preliminary injunction is one that is issued in the early part of litigation in order to prevent immediate and irreparable harm to the IP owner. A permanent injunction is one that is granted after a trial or settlement and permanently prevents the infringing party from continuing the activities in question.
An IP holder may also seek out other remedies for compensation when damages have been caused as a result of the infringement. Such remedies may include:
- Monetary damages – The IP owner may be entitled to receive compensation for lost profits and other financial losses caused by the infringement, including any profits made by the infringer.
- Statutory damages – Statutory damages may also be available. These provide for a predetermined amount of compensation without the IP holder having to prove actual damages.
- Attorneys’ fees and costs – Sometimes an IP holder may also recover attorneys’ fees and costs incurred during the enforcement process. However, they must first be successful in enforcing their IP rights.
Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser Can Help Protect Your Rights
While it may seem simple to obtain protection for your intellectual property, understanding the nuances of each application and process can be quite complex. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced IP attorney who can explain your options and help you ensure you are adequately protected and compensated for any infringement.
At Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser, our qualified intellectual property attorneys can help you to navigate the various IP processes or can help to defend your existing IP and your rights regarding any infringement. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Intellectual Property