As an intellectual property owner, you want to protect your works. You might agree for someone else to use your IP, but what happens when someone wrongly uses your intellectual property in New York or elsewhere in the United States? Below are several legal options that you can take to protect your rights and seek remedies for these actions.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Rights
Typical forms of intellectual property include patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. If someone infringes on your intellectual property rights in New York, here are a few remedies.
Cease and Desist Letter
After you learn of any infringing activities, your attorney can send a cease and desist letter to the opposing party. The letter will notify them of the issues and request they stop the action. Many times, these steps can end the infringement without the need for additional legal measures.
Negotiations and Settlement
Negotiations may ensue if the infringing party responds to the cease and desist letter. With this, there could be a discussion about reaching an agreement for use or compensating you for the unauthorized actions. The settlement agreement often outlines terms and conditions to move forward without additional litigation.
Unfortunately, there are times when the negotiations fail, or the infringement continues. In those cases, you may want to pursue legal action. Your attorney will need to file a lawsuit in federal or state court, depending on the type of IP involved. For example, cases involving infringement of patents, trademarks, and copyrights must be heard in federal court, while state courts will hear contract and trade secrets cases.
Remedies for Infringement
If the court rules in your favor, you could be entitled to a few remedies, such as:
- Injunction: With the issuance of an injunction, the infringing party will be ordered to stop using your intellectual property.
- Damages: Sometimes, you will be awarded monetary compensation for any compensation suffered from the infringement.
- Profits: In some instances, you might be entitled to the profits the infringing party earned from the unauthorized use.
- Statutory damages: With copyright cases, you may be eligible for statutory damages caused by unauthorized use.
- Attorney’s fees: If the court deems it appropriate, the infringing party might be required to cover your attorney’s fees and legal costs.
The infringing party might use a few defenses to counter your infringement claims. Common ones include:
- Lack of validity of the intellectual property
- No infringement
- Fair use (applicable to copyright)
- First sale doctrine
- The lack of intent to infringe
Sometimes, parties opt for alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve the dispute outside of court. These methods can be quicker and less adversarial than litigation.
If the party infringing your rights is located outside the United States, you may need to consider international intellectual property protections and treaties to enforce your rights in other jurisdictions.
We Can Help Protect Your Intellectual Property in New York
Consulting with an attorney is essential if you suspect your intellectual property rights have been violated. An IP lawyer can assist you in navigating the process, clarifying your rights, and determining the best course of action to protect your interests.
Are you facing an intellectual property issue? At BOAG Law, our team of experienced attorneys can assist with these cases. Contact us online or call 212-203-6651 for a consultation.