“Intellectual property rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution. If your copyright, patent or trademark has been infringed, you should seek the advice of counsel to discuss your legal options.” – Attorney Clay Townsend
Intellectual Property disputes can be difficult to navigate in an increasingly digital world. We help our clients address issues such as trademark disputes, cyber-privacy infringement and copyright infringement to ensure that their work is protected and that they are fairly compensated.
This type of litigation is one of the most complex for individuals and businesses to navigate, because the laws are not always as clear or explicit when applied to modern contexts.
When someone suspects that their intellectual property has been stolen or misused, it can be an uphill battle to provide evidence or demonstrate legal precedents that relate to the claim at hand. This is why many people seek attorney representation.
At the Business Trial Group, our attorneys work exclusively on a contingency-fee basis, which means that if we don’t reach a successful resolution in your case, we don’t receive a fee.
Intellectual property disputes can affect almost anyone, but the common groups that file these lawsuits include:
- Writers (online and print)
- Visual artists and graphic designers
- Entertainers and celebrities
- Businesses that create and/or sell products
- Businesses or individuals with original branding
Anyone else who creates original works, products or brands can face an intellectual property dispute.
Copyright and Patent Infringement
Copyright law enables certain types of artists to possess the exclusive rights to their work for a set period of time. This means that authors, for example, can be the sole distributors of their own work—and anyone who wishes to sell or use that work can only do so with explicit permission, attribution, and any applicable fees. A singer with copyright over his songs would likewise have exclusive rights to perform and reproduce that song.
Copyright agreements generally include Fair Use terms, which govern if and when individuals who do not fall under the copyright are allowed to use the material. If you have a copyright and someone has violated your Fair Use terms—for example, by displaying your copyrighted artwork for their commercial purposes without the proper permissions—you may be eligible to file a claim.
Patents have similar general legislation to copyrights, but the subject matter differs. Patents apply to original inventions, and they tend to last a shorter period of time than copyrights. Limited-time patents last for 20 years before entering the public domain.
Although consumers can obviously use patented products and technologies, no one other than the patent’s owner can replicate the invention until it is in the public domain.
This is an important legal category in our digital world, because technology is evolving rapidly, and a lot of inventors have pressing concerns about whether their hard work is adequately protected.
Cyber-privacy, or Internet privacy, has to do with how personal data is stored, distributed and—in many cases—sold. It is now standard for companies like Facebook to offer free social media services in exchange for users’ personal data.
“Although it is common, any company that does collect user data must have terms of agreement stipulating how, when, and to what end personal data will be offered to third parties.”
While many websites display language reassuring visitors that any data collected is confidential, others inform visitors that the data collected will be shared in order improve the service.
In many cases, websites allow users to select their data sharing preferences. Transparency is imperative regardless of a website’s data collection policies.
As we all know by now, however, once personal data enters the digital space, it is technically possible for anyone to access it—legally or not. This is where cyber-privacy litigation comes into play.
What, if any, responsibility do businesses have in protecting their users against data breaches? Current legal precedents suggest that a considerable level of responsibility is expected, particularly when the business has promised a certain level of security to its customers.
Data breaches can put users at risk for identity theft, harassment and financial loss, among many other concerns. Even when a third party does not breach the data of a website, the website’s owners still have a responsibility to collect and store data responsibility.
Misappropriation of Likeness
A relatively new type of litigation has arisen with the advent of social media and the increase in the pervasiveness of celebrity culture: misappropriation of likeness. This is based on the idea that individuals have certain legal rights to their own personal brand, although they may not specifically have copyrights or trademarks connected with it. It is an increasingly common issue for public figures who have created a recognizably distinct personal brand and rely on its protection to preserve their livelihood.
An example of a misappropriation of likeness dispute would be the use of a celebrity’s photo to sell a product not authorized by or connected with that celebrity. The issue of contention would be that someone else is, without permission, profiting off of a celebrity’s likeness. The laws around this type of case are still young, but it is possible for public figures to recover owed compensation for the unauthorized use of their likeness.
Why Hire a Business Trial Group Attorney?
Our complex litigation group has the resources, expertise and commitment to help you win your case. We believe that hard work should be acknowledged and protected, not stolen or misused.
Because intellectual property cases are particularly complex, it’s important to have a dedicated legal team on your side with your best interests in mind. Our attorneys are always up-to-date on the latest changes in Intellectual Property Law, as well as any new or existing legal precedents that could possibly help your case. This is very important, because a lot of cases in this arena rely heavily on legal precedents, as opposed to just written legislation. This is especially true when it comes to intellectual property in the digital space.
Our contingency-fee model aligns our interests with yours, so that every legal path we pursue with you and on your behalf is the most sensible one. To see if your intellectual property claim might qualify for a lawsuit, please fill out our no-fee, no-obligation form.