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Intellectual property disputes: How to protect your rights

Companies in Nevada must take the appropriate measures to protect their intellectual property and enforce those rights.

Intellectual property is loosely defined as any creation of the mind. People in Nevada who invent, design or create an idea or product have rights to it. Those rights extend to items such as the following:

  • Trademarks
  • Novels, plays and poems
  • Music recordings
  • Inventions
  • New plants

It is imperative to be able to recognize what intellectual property is and how to protect it.

Why do I need to protect my intellectual property?

When someone is robbed of property, there is legal recourse. Consider a thief who steals a car. Law enforcement may be able to locate the person and prosecute him or her. The car may be returned, or an insurance policy may compensate the owner for the loss.

But what do you do about the theft of an idea? Or a logo? That is where patents, copyrights and trademarks come into play. When these are secured and registered, it gives the owner legal recourse in the event something happens. Taking action is essential due to the cost associated with theft. The National Crime Prevention Council estimates that stolen digital information alone costs businesses $250 billion a year.

How are intellectual property rights infringed?

When a design is stolen or a literary work copied, it may not be immediately known to the owner. However, as soon as rights are infringed upon, owners should take action. An infringement may happen through the theft of trade secrets, through stealing an idea or through trying to pass off a work as someone other than the original author’s. People who are unsure of whether or not a violation has been committed should reach out to intellectual property professionals.

What can be done about it?

For minor infringements, the issue may be resolved through a simple conversation. Take a blogger who steals another blogger’s post and republishes it without permission. A conversation between the two could result in an apology and a removal of the post.

However, if that post made a significant amount of money, the original author may want to pursue legal recourse. In some cases, arbitration may work. This occurs when the parties meet before a panel, present their sides, and the panel returns a decision that is legally binding. Many cases must be resolved in the courtroom in order to bring about a just and fair resolution.

What should I know before going into litigation?

Intellectual property litigation may be complex depending on the nature of the case. In the case of the blogger mentioned above, there may not be too much research necessary to determine the effects of the stolen post. However, consider the theft of trade secrets from a large corporation. This would require the assistance of an experienced team of professionals who understand state and federal laws that may apply to the case.

Litigation could take time, but in the end, enforcing intellectual property rights saves businesses money in the long run. Anyone who has concerns about this topic should speak with a litigation attorney in Nevada.