Your intellectual property (IP) is a crucial aspect of your business. Maybe you worked hard on a logo or advertising phrase that consumers, or you have an invention that gives you an edge over competitors. Sadly, even if you have legally protected your IP, other people may still illegally steal and profit off of your creative work.
If you are suspicious that someone is using your patented, trademarked, or copyrighted work, call the skilled attorneys at Sparks Law. Our Atlanta IP infringement lawyers are experienced at protecting inventions, brand names, logos, and artistic creations and can help you seek legal redress.
Intellectual property can be broken down into three categories: patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Patents attach to inventions, unique designs, and asexual plants. Copyrights cover creative works, such as music, books, paintings, and movies. Trademarks protect brand elements, including a company’s logo, name, slogan, and how products are packaged. The knowledgeable attorneys at our Atlanta office can further explain the distinctions between these types of intellectual property and help determine the appropriate strategy for addressing infringement.
Different types of IP require different methods of protection. Our local attorneys can look at the circumstances of an IP infringement case to determine a course of action.
Inventors must register their patents to protect them from infringement. This allows an inventor to take legal action against anyone who profits off of instructions for making their protected invention or builds exact replicas and sells them. Owners who obtain utility patents will have their rights to the invention protected for twenty years,
Copyrights protect creative work such as books and music. They allow holders significant authority over what they do with that work. Copyright holders can reproduce and distribute copies of their work, and they can also perform it in theaters or display it in galleries.
Holders can also create other works related to the copyrighted piece. For instance, a novel can be adapted for the movies if the copyright holder wishes. If another person performs any of these activities without getting permission from the copyright holder, they are infringing. To prove the infringement, the copyright holder will have to prove the third party had access to and copied the creation.
If a copyright holder discovers their work illegally displayed on a website, they can send the internet provider a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Notice. If providers do not take the pirated material off the website, they also could be liable for infringement. An Atlanta intellectual property lawyer could help ensure that any copyright infringements are handled swiftly.
Trademark infringement occurs when consumers mistake one company’s products for another because the logos or slogans are identical or too similar. Registered trademark owners should act as soon as possible by contacting a nearby attorney to alert the infringing party with a cease-and-desist letter or civil lawsuit. Failure to act could mean losing the exclusive right to the trademark.
Trademarks that are not registered are still protected under common law, but only in a limited geographic area. Nationwide protection attaches to registered marks. An experienced IP lawyer could further explain the available legal options to those who have experienced trademark infringement.
IP infringement cases are heard in federal court, where a judge can grant injunctions to stop the infringing party. Holders of registered copyrights could be awarded statutory damages of $200 to $100,000 without having to prove actual damages. Plaintiffs in other IP infringement cases must prove damages.
In trademark cases, proof includes the monetary benefit to the defendant, how much the plaintiff has to spend to restore brand confidence, and the amount of royalties the defendant would have paid if the trademark had been licensed. Plaintiffs in patent infringement cases are awarded the profits lost or royalties that the defendant would have paid. A local IP lawyer could assess a client’s damages to demand the appropriate compensation in an Atlanta infringement case.
You have worked hard to build your brand, invent something meaningful, or release your artistic work. You deserve protection from other people stealing and profiting off of your creations.
At Sparks Law, our Atlanta IP infringement lawyers are here to help you understand these nuanced laws and take legal action against violations. We can help you identify patent, trademark, or copyright claims if you suspect IP infringement. Besides asking the court for an injunction, we could seek compensation for your losses to piracy. Call today for your initial consultation.