The purpose of registering your creative work with the government is to prevent others from using it and getting income that should rightly be yours. Nonetheless, infringement still occurs, and in some cases, it can cause the rightful creator to lose out on a lot of money. If you believe your work has been stolen, or if you have been accused of stealing someone else’s work, place a call to our highly skilled IP attorneys to discuss how we can help with the intellectual property infringement in Boca Raton.
If an individual or entity is using another person’s intellectual property without the permission, authorization, or rights to do so, it is considered infringement. IP is considered “stolen” when a person copies a text, image, logo, program, or other creative work, or uses someone else’s brand or slogan without permission.
IP is protected under federal legislation, which protects registrations of patents, copyrights, trademarks, as well as trade secrets. Florida also has its own trade secret law – the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act – which allows a party to recover damages due to the gains made by having their trade secret stolen.
Depending on whether the infringed work was copyrighted, patented, or trademarked, the IP holder can make a case for statutory damages, which are damages determined by the court or the jury as a flat dollar amount with a very large range. This depends largely on how willful the infringement was. The claimant could also be awarded treble damages (usually for willful violations), attorney’s fees, and sometimes royalties for patents and lost profits.
If a person believes their work has been infringed, it is important to find a lawyer so that they can quickly issue a cease-and-desist letter in order to curtail the continued infringement. A cease-and-desist letter should only be constructed by an attorney to ensure that it is done correctly and with the proper amount of aggressiveness so that the recipient complies. They must find the source of how the infringement started and potentially craft a settlement agreement so that it stops.
If a person believes that somebody is copying their intellectual property, then they most likely have a right to sue for infringement. However, they should consult an attorney first on precisely how to expand those rights and how to properly file a lawsuit in federal court. For example, copyright infringement lawsuits require that they have a registration number, and a lawyer should first confirm that this information exists before moving any further.
If an infringement case goes to court, much of the evidence being sought will revolve around the date that the defendant thought up their creation, the process by which they created it, and the time when they started to use it for commercial purposes.
If someone is being accused of copyright infringement, they should also consult an attorney to determine if there is a valid copyright on the work in question. It is also beneficial to determine how much of the work was copied and whether the defendant had access to the work.
One way to protect someone from an allegation of infringement is to identify whether the usage of the work falls under the umbrella of “fair use” – which is a legal way of using a work that does not lead to personal gain or profit.
The duplication or unauthorized usage of a creative work can be a serious issue, and result in thousands, or even millions of dollars in damages. It is critical to first confirm that a work has been registered and that there is a clear line of communication between the parties involved. For more information on intellectual property infringement in Boca Raton, speak to the qualified attorneys at Lomnitzer Law.