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Intellectual property and copyright laws: what corporations need to know

In today’s global market, large corporations of all kinds have the potential to make or lose millions of dollars due to the intellectual property rights of their products. Intellectual property issues can come up in a variety of industries and enterprises, so it’s essential for all companies to have an understanding of these issues. Here are a few examples of how intellectual property affects your corporation and its consequences.

Patent infringement

A competing company can infringe on a patent when they use, sell or make a patented product without the consent of the owner. If your company is the original patent owner, you can enforce infringement penalties, liability damages, and sometimes even an injunction to stop continued infringement. Penalties for infringing range from $500 to $250,000 per offense, depending on how much revenue was made by using the invention illegally. In some cases, it may be necessary for the competing company to pay royalties to your company as the patent holder, which could cost them millions of dollars annually.

Trademark infringement

Trademark infringement is another common intellectual property issue large corporations face. The damage to a company’s brand can not only be costly and damaging, but it can also leave the corporation without any recourse. One of the best ways for a corporation to avoid getting tangled in a trademark infringement lawsuit is by registering its trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement occurs when selling a piece of work that belongs to someone else, like a novel. This act is illegal, and another company’s copyright infringement can risk your intellectual property rights. Your company can protect its content from being stolen by copyrighting it first before releasing it to the public. Copyright infringement is against both federal and international law, so infringing copyright is a serious crime.

Unfair competition

Unfair competition can take many forms, and one common issue is competitors using your company’s trademark without permission. This can happen in many ways, from using similar trademarks on different products, having a similar logo and slogan, or even speaking at an event using your company’s name. This scenario could mislead consumers into believing that they are buying something from your business when they are not.

As the world around us becomes more digital, intellectual property and copyright laws become increasingly important. Doing some research or consulting an expert can save you a lot of money and headache in the future.