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What To Do When Your Intellectual Property Is Used Without Your Permission
You have put a lot of time and money into creating your invention, creative work, or brand name (all forms of intellectual property, or IP). Unfortunately, there are people who instead of working hard to create their own work would rather take the easy road of using your work without your permission. This is known as intellectual property infringement. When you believe that someone has used your work without permission, there are three steps you should take immediately to protect yourself.
Step 1: Investigate
Document as much as you can about the infringement, including what intellectual property is being misused, who is using it, and where the infringement appeared. Take a photo or save a copy of the infringing item or website. Keep detailed notes of what you find, including names, contact information, and internet addresses. The infringer will try to hide the evidence once he knows you’re onto him, so try to collect as much information as you can before contacting the infringer.
Step 2: Identify The Harm Done
When intellectual property is infringed, the amount you can recover sometimes depends on how you were using the IP. You should therefore document how you were using the infringed IP and any losses to you as a result of the infringement. These might take the form of lost sales or how much you would have charged for using your work.
Step 3: Talk To An Attorney
Since intellectual property is a complex area of law, your case may benefit from an attorney’s expertise. An intellectual property attorney can evaluate your situation and help you stop any ongoing infringement and recover compensation for the injury done to you. Additionally, you are likely to get more respect and a better outcome if you hire an attorney to represent you than if you approach the infringer on your own. Michael is an experienced IP attorney who is available for a free call if you believe your IP has been misused.