IP infringement occurs when someone does something which is the exclusive right of the owner of an intellectual property right to do. For example:
- a copyright holder has the exclusive right to control who copies and uses their work so if someone else copies it they infringe that right.
- a patent owner has the right to stop anyone else from making the product or process they invented.
- a trademark holder has an exclusive right to use the trademark sign, such as a name or logo, to identify their goods and services in the course of business and trade.
Where a third party encroaches on these IP rights, by exercising them without the permission of the IP owner, this is referred to as IP infringement.
What remedies are available?
IP laws provide for remedies where an IP owner’s rights are infringed. In particular the following remedies are available:
- Injunctions – to stop the third party from infringing the owner’s rights
- Damages – to compensate owners for the unauthorized use of their rights
- An order to account for profits made
- In some cases IP infringement may result in the imposition of criminal sanctions such as sanctions for copyright infringement in films (film piracy)
Whether you have been accused of IP infringement, or believe a third party is infringing your IP, using Azrights will help you to take the most effective course of action.
Often these situations present an opportunity to take stock to decide how best to protect the business against future instances of IP infringement.