Disputes involving intellectual property rights are relatively common. These can range from copyright infringement to unfair competition or misappropriation of trade secrets. Intellectual property disputes can be very complex and require specific legal knowledge. It’s important to speak with a Florida commercial litigation attorney early on. At Pincus & Currier, LLP, we assist small and medium-sized businesses with a variety of commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property disputes.
Types of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property doesn’t necessarily involve tangible property, but rights that control use, ownership, and sale of items that were created through someone’s creativity or intellect. There are four main types of intellectual property. These are:
- Copyrights: A copyright can include photos, writings, films, musical recordings, plays, and any other creative works that have been recorded in a tangible form.
- Trademarks: A trademark includes slogans and logos which are used to identify specific goods and can cover service marks and trade dress as well.
- Patents: Patents are technical or mechanical innovations or inventions.
- Trade Secrets: Trade secrets involve instructions, recipes, production methods, and any other information allows a business or person any competitive edge and would not be readily accessible by anyone in the general public.
Common Intellectual Property Disputes
Infringement is the most common type of intellectual property dispute. Infringement is where someone or a business is using someone else’s intellectual property without the owner’s permission. It can apply to trademarks, copyrights, or patents. Some common examples of infringement include:
- Creating a logo or packaging (trade dress) in such a way that would confuse consumers and make them think they are purchasing something that is the same as the original product.
- Using someone’s logo on another product that is of the same nature as the original.
- Copying someone’s songs, movies, and any other media and then distributing them with the intent to make a profit without consent from the copyright owner.
- Producing an item that is already patented and follows the specifications in the patent but without any license from the patent owner.
In addition to infringement, other types of intellectual property disputes can involve corporate espionage, like an employee being bribed to disclose trade secrets to a competitor.
Remedies for Intellectual Property Disputes
Remedies for intellectual property disputes can range from monetary damages designed to compensate the property owner for any losses caused by the infringement to confiscation of property that was used to create the infringing product. Another remedy is the cease and desist order which is often used in cases where a trademark is being used without authorization. Available remedies will really depend on what type of violation it is and can even include criminal charges against the offending party in some cases.
Retaining a Florida Commercial Litigation Attorney
If you believe you have a commercial litigation claim or your business has been accused of engaging in intellectual property infringement, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Florida intellectual property attorney as soon as possible. Contact Pincus & Currier, LLP at 561-868-1340 to schedule a consultation.