A common topic of cultural conversation right now revolves around trade and the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) in China. This may be a relevant concern for business owners if they’ve seen their products replicated or slightly modified to be sold under a different brand name online. Owners need to understand the full strata of protection options for their business.
Starting with solid protections
Business owners are familiar with the common intellectual property protections that can protect their products and brand recognition. Patents can provide a legal structure for enforcing any infringement on a product design, construction and anything that might constitute infringement. Copyrights provide a certain amount of protection to creative work, made stronger by registering this copyright. Trademarks are a useful tool to establishing a brand with associated services and products. Trademarks also allow companies and owners to delineate their work from counterfeits and brands attempting to appear like yours.
Enforcing international IP infringement
Enforcing the strutures that you put in place to protect the work produced by your company is a whole different matter. An integral task to enforcement is in researching the kinds of infringement and violations going on, identifying the companies partaking in those actions and locating them. Once that crucial work is done, here are some of the primary actions for pursuing legal recourse:
Cease and Desist (C and D) Letters: These letters are an inexpensive and fast way to post notice to infringing parties.
Online removals: Removing items from various online platforms can effectively bring these counterfeits or infringing items down to a manageable level. Many large companies have online IP enforcement portals to address these issues.
Civil litigation: The individuals and companies that hold the rights can bring a lawsuit that could seek redress through damages and permanent injunctions.
Solidifying the future of your company
Taking a strong stance on IP infringement is an integral step to securing your business’s place in a competitive and, sometimes, a saturated market. Do your due diligence to explore your options for redress.