Is Intellectual Property Misuse a Crime?
Businesses protect their creative ideas and valuable assets, described as intellectual property, by obtaining trademarks, patents, and other forms of IP registration. IP registration offers you exclusive rights over your creation, preventing competitors from using and benefiting from it. However, with the increasing number of inventions and their commercialization, intellectual property theft has become commonplace. Intellectual property theft or misuse can be described as the use of your ideas and creations by others without your permission. Within the stiffening competition, IP rights violation is easy. Hence, businesses must be proactive in dealing with IP infringement to safeguard their valuable assets. These are a few available options to enforce against IP rights violation.
Initiate with a Cease and Desist Notice
Action against intellectual property infringement begins with sending a cease and desist letter to the infringer. Once you identify the infringement, send a cease and desist notice to request that the infringer cease actions harming your rights and business. Generally, the notice indicates that the failure to respect the request will lead to legal actions. You can initiate action through this for all IP infringement, whether patents, trademarks or copyrights.
Notice and Notice Regime
The Canadian law provides the ‘Notice and Notice’ regime to address digital copyright infringement issues. If you face a digital copyright infringement, you can initiate action through the ‘Notice and Notice’ regime. This new mechanism is a part of Canada’s Copyright Modernization Act and is directed toward internet service providers. Similar to a cease and desist notice, it allows copyright owners to urge internet service providers to take down the infringing material or risk liability for authorizing copyright infringement. A lawyer can help you draft such a notice.
In the event of ignorance or rejection of your cease and desist notice by the infringer, you can opt to negotiate before dragging them to court. Settlement is sometimes a better solution than litigation. IP law is complex, making it difficult to predict matters. Moreover, litigation can be expensive and time-consuming. Settlement can benefit you in terms of licensing and save you time. However, both parties must agree to the settlement. An experienced lawyer can guide you through this process.
Drag them to Court
If negotiations are not your preference or if the damage done goes beyond the settlement, then appealing to the Federal Court is your best option. The court will decide either in your favor or against you. You need to be well prepared to defend and win. Having an experienced intellectual property lawyer along can be beneficial.
These were the different ways to enforce against IP rights violation. In order to defend against intellectual property theft, you must identify infringement accurately and prepare thoroughly for strongly defending your case. Even a small mistake can lead to loss of intellectual property rights. Hence, consulting an intellectual property lawyer is essential to avoid costly errors and loss of IP rights.