The theft of intellectual property is a major concern in the current environment, and it is important for you to make sure that your intellectual property is properly protected. Unfortunately, even if you take all of the necessary steps to do so, there is still a chance that someone could be brazen enough to try to steal your intellectual property.
There may even be situations where someone steals your intellectual property and they do not realize it. Regardless of the intent behind the act, the consequences can be severe. What does the theft of intellectual property look like, and what actions should you take?
Examples of Intellectual Property
First, it is important to cover some of the most common examples of intellectual property. Some of the types of intellectual property you might have include:
- Patent: You might have a patent, which gives you the exclusive rights to an invention that contains some sort of original scientific or technical information. Typically, a patent lasts for a certain amount of time before it becomes part of the public domain.
- Trademark: If you run a company, you may have a trademark that serves as a representation of your brand. This could be a slogan, a symbol, some sort of logo, or even a color scheme. Your trademark is closely associated with your brand, and you need to protect it accordingly.
- Trade Secret: If you run a business, you may have a trade secret that has to be protected. This could be a specific process or formula that sets your company apart from others in your industry.
- Copyright: A copyright is the exclusive, legal ownership of specific types of materials. This could include software programs, paintings, videos, or anything else. If you have a copyright on something, it needs to be protected.
These are just a few of the many examples of intellectual property you might have. You need to keep an eye on your intellectual property so that you can tell if it has been stolen.
Why Might Someone Steal Your Intellectual Property?
There are several reasons why someone might steal your intellectual property. They include:
- They may not be aware that the information they have come across is protected. Therefore, there are situations where the theft might be unintentional.
- Someone might also steal your intellectual property because they believe there is financial gain to be had from it. They may view you as a competitor, and they might be trying to take a bite out of your business.
- Someone might even steal your property without gaining any sort of benefit for themselves. There are situations where people steal intellectual property just to cause pain and misfortune to someone else.
Regardless of the reason why someone might steal your intellectual property, it can be challenging to prove. There are several key points to keep in mind regarding the theft of intellectual property.
How Do You Prove the Theft of Intellectual Property?
If you want to prove that someone has stolen your intellectual property, there are several steps to follow. Furthermore, keep in mind that the steps can vary depending on the exact type of intellectual property that has been stolen. Some of the most important steps include:
- First, you need to prove that whatever the other party has produced is very similar to something that you have. For example, if you believe your trademark secret has been stolen, you would need to prove that the secret they use is very similar to the secret you have.
- You will also need to prove that you did not grant any consent for them to use your intellectual property. In their defense, they may produce something saying that you have given them permission to use your intellectual property. You will need to prove this is not the case.
- You will also need to show that you have exclusive intellectual property rights over whatever is in question. For example, if you claim that a patent has been stolen, you will need to prove that you have a patent for that specific item.
- You will also need to prove that your patent was not expired. Remember that certain types of legal protection, such as patents, expire after a certain amount of time.
- Finally, you will need to show that the theft of intellectual property has somehow benefited them or harmed you. This may not need to be proven in every case, but it can be beneficial in your case.
Because there are so many steps available, it is important for you to work with a legal professional who has experience in this area. That is where an intellectual property attorney can be helpful.
The Importance of Working With an IP Lawyer
Even though you may think that the facts of the case are on your side, it is always better to reach out to a legal professional who can help you. Some of the reasons why you need to work with an intellectual property lawyer include:
- You need to have an objective professional who can evaluate the facts of the case. You are probably emotionally attached to your intellectual property, and it can cloud your judgment. An objective and experienced legal professional can help you make the right decision.
- You may not have experience with the justice system, and you probably do not have experience in this specific area. By working with an intellectual property lawyer, you have access to an expert in your field who can advocate for your best interests.
- Going through legal proceedings can be stressful, and it is important to have someone who can guide the way. An intellectual property lawyer can help you take some of the stress off of your shoulders, allowing you to focus on more important areas as your case proceeds.
These are a few of the many reasons why you should consider working with an intellectual property lawyer. At Aaron Delgado and Associates, it would be our pleasure to help you make sure that your intellectual property is protected.
Intellectual property law is a field that is evolving quickly. If you feel like your intellectual property has been stolen, you need to reach out to a legal professional who can assist you.
At Aaron Delgado and Associates, we have an unparalleled level of experience in the field of intellectual property law, and we can use this experience to assist you. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you safeguard your intellectual property, give us a call today to speak to a member of our team.