What are Common Intellectual Property Disputes?
Businesses own many different types of property. Much of this property is tangible and includes items such as equipment and buildings. Intellectual property is not usually tangible. Instead, it is a set of rights that control the use, ownership, and sale of items that are the result of one person’s intellect or creativity. For example, logos and musical compositions are just two common types of intellectual property.
While intellectual property is not tangible, that does not mean it does not cause disputes. In fact, disputes involving intellectual property are quite common in business. Below, our Knoxville commercial litigation attorney explains further.
Types of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property is typically divided into four main categories. These include:
- Patents: Patents are obtained for inventions, as well as mechanical and technical innovations.
- Copyrights: Musical recordings, writings, plays, films, and other creative works that are recorded in a tangible medium, such as a record, are all copyrighted to prevent others from using them without authority.
- Trademarks: Logos and slogans that are used to identify specific products are trademarked to allow them to be solely used by one entity.
- Trade secrets: Trade secrets are often essential to a company so they can offer something unique from the competition. Trade secrets can include production methods, instructions, and recipes.
Common Intellectual Property Disputes
Infringement is the most common type of intellectual property dispute. Copyright, patent, and trademark infringement occurs when intellectual property is used or appropriated without the owner’s consent. Infringement happens in many different ways but some of the most common are as follows:
- Using a logo that is so similar to another business’ that it creates confusion among customers and makes them believe they are purchasing the original product,
- Creating copies of movies, musical recordings, and other media without the owner’s permission and distributing them for profit,
- Creating a patented item using the same instructions in the patent but without license from the owner of the patent.
Intellectual property disputes can also arise when the original producer of a good or services believes the product is protected by law when it is not. This commonly happens with trade secrets.
Proving that someone infringed on intellectual property usually requires the existence of a copyright, patent, or trademark. It also requires strong evidence to show that another person used the material, invention, or artistic work without providing notice to the party who had original ownership rights. If you can successfully prove infringement you may be awarded monetary damages, a cease and desist order, and any property involved in the infringement may be confiscated.
Our Commercial Litigation Attorney in Knoxville Can Help with Your Dispute
Disputes involving intellectual property can cost a business a great deal of revenue and profit. At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our Knoxville commercial litigation attorney can help you resolve your dispute so your business does not suffer further harm. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to request a free consultation with our experienced attorney and to learn more.