International Intellectual Property Legal Blog

Intellectual property theft from a global perspective

Whenever a business struggles with the theft of intellectual property, it can be tough. However, some companies are in especially difficult positions when it comes to IP theft, such as those which are struggling with international intellectual property theft. There are many different factors that can complicate things when it comes to dealing with IP theft on a global scale, such as language barriers, differing laws from one country to another and other challenges. However, it is pivotal for your business to handle any serious IP theft matters appropriately. After all, these incidents can have a significant impact on businesses.

For starters, it is important to go over the ins and outs of international trademark and patent laws, which can be tricky for someone who may lack familiarity with this area of law (let alone on a global scale). Some business owners have improved their circumstances by reaching out to a legal professional for guidance. Some people may also struggle to make sense of laws in another country, but it is crucial to evaluate the case from this standpoint and to go over all of the details surrounding the incident(s).

How can I avoid copyright infringement online?

If you’re a business owner, you probably rely on social media to stay connected with consumers. In this case, you may repost images or other materials you find online, whether they relate to some aspect of your company or are just intended to bring a smile to your followers. No matter the underlying reason, you could be accused of copyright infringement if the original creator of the content finds fault. Business News Daily recommends the following solutions in this case.

Attributing a source is not always enough

Dealing with trade secret theft

On our blog, we have discussed some of the ways in which businesses can work to prevent trade secret theft. From employment contracts to handling employee departure correctly, there are a number of steps that business owners can take to reduce the likelihood of trade secret theft. Unfortunately, some companies have their trade secrets stolen regardless of the preventative measures that were taken. When trade secret theft takes place, swiftly taking action is crucial.

First of all, it is very important to identify the theft of a trade secret and determine the appropriate course of action. Sometimes, going to court is necessary, in which case it is vital to go over each and every detail closely. There may be a number of options on the table with respect to trade secret theft and business owners should do everything in their power to protect their company. After all, the ramifications of trade secret theft can have a lasting impact on a company's profitability and their entire future.

Clothing brand accuses pop star Rihanna of copyright infringement

Intellectual property law affects nearly all industries, including fashion. It involves people from all walks of life—including, apparently, pop stars.

The clothing brand Freedom United has filed a lawsuit against Robyn Fenty, better known by her pop-star pseudonym Rihanna, for trademark infringement. Recently, Fenty collaborated with the athletic company PUMA, creating clothing that uses an “FU” logo. Freedom United claims that it has used a trademarked “FU” logo in their clothing since 2006, and feels that Fenty’s clothing is confusingly similar to its own

How can business owners protect patents in a global economy?

Did you know that filing a patent in one country does not protect your idea from being used by someone else in another country? This is because patents are based on location or territory, and every country has different patent laws. If you file a patent in the United States, it will only apply in the United States and its use is only protected in that territory.

The problem is that we live and work in a global economy. Doing business abroad has become a norm, including selling goods across the internet and working with suppliers and producers in other countries. This makes it critical for staying competitive to know how to protect your ideas and inventions from your home country as well as abroad.

Corporate strategy and patent volumes

Patent portfolios have been instrumental to large corporations for some time. Patents can be leveraged for revenue growth, defending market position, putting competitors on the defensive, and other tasks essential to implementing a corporate vision. Recent data may give insight into corporate filing strategies. 

After 200 years, patent volume still grows, along with strategy needs

In June of this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its ten millionth patent for an invention that improves laser detection and ranging (LADAR) and may be used in autonomous vehicles, for space exploration, and in other high-tech industries. That's impressive work for a department that began more than 200 years ago with one patent, signed by George Washington, for "making pot ash and pearl ash."

For the past 30 years, as technology and industry have advanced, the number of United States patent applications have increased substantially. Patents are, and always have been, a foundation of the global corporate landscape and serve as a bellwether for innovation and trajectory. Patents can be leveraged for revenue growth, defending market position, putting competitors on the defensive, and other tasks essential to implementing a corporate vision. And, as countless in-house counsels will attest, patent strategy closely mirrors corporate priorities across many industries. Recent data may give insight into corporate patent filing strategies.

The threat of patent trolls

A patent troll, also called a patent assertion entity (PAE), is someone who wreaks havoc on legitimate companies by attempting to make money off of invalid patents. His goal is to make money from a lawsuit, not the manufacture and sale of a product.

Here's how it works

The troll obtains a patent for an idea without the intent of ever developing that product. The troll then sues the company, or companies, that manufactures a product based on that idea, claiming patent infringement.

How much does counterfeiting cost companies?

Counterfeiting goods has become the costliest crime worldwide. In 2018, counterfeiters are seeing sales of these products up to $1.7 trillion a year. By 2022, the product pirate problem is anticipated to reach $2.8 trillion.

How e-commerce plays a role

Many products and parts are produced overseas and purchased through e-commerce. Online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay provide the perfect platform for counterfeiters to bring fake goods to market. The sheer volume of mail coming into the U.S. with these illegitimate products being delivered is staggering and, therefore, impossible for postal workers to manage the excessive number of counterfeit packages which arrive in the United States every day.

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