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Reporting intellectual property infringements

arguingcoworkers23282211.jpgOnce you have trademarked, patented, or copyrighted your product you are going to want to protect your intellectual property. Protecting your intellectual property is important because it is going to prevent other business from using your products. The main reason for this is that you do not want to allow other businesses to manufacture your products because you can lose customers, nor do you want them to sell products under your business name because you can lose customers. Even using a similar trademark needs to be prevented because your customers can become confused by another company, thinking it is your business instead of your competitors.

If your protected intellectual property has been infringed upon the one thing that you are going to need to do is ensure that you report the infringement. This is important because if you do not report the infringement no action can be taken and you can actually lose legal protection of your intellectual property. Here are the steps you will need to follow to report any infringements of your protected intellectual property.

Step one:
You will need to watch out for any activity that can be considered an infringement on your intellectual property. You need to do this because as the business owner it is your responsibility to lookout for any infringements against their property. You can have your customers or family members keep a look out for you as well and notify you by an email or a phone call.

Step two
Once you have noticed that there has been an infringement on your intellectual property you will need to issue a letter to the party that is infringing on your intellectual property. In the letter you are going to want to ask the person or business who is infringing upon your intellectual property rights to stop doing it immediately. Even if you have asked them before in person you will need to send them a formal letter, this will be used later on in the proceedings.

Step three:
If they do not stop you will need to contact a lawyer. You can contact your businesses lawyer or you can contact a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property. You can have the lawyer handle all of the formalities, such as sending letters or take down notices or you can simply use them once you go to court.

Step four:
You will need to send a formal letter, known as a take-down notice to the internet service provider that is hosting the infringed content. The take-down notice will inform the internet service provider that the material they are posting is in violation of intellectual property laws, and it will ask them to remove that content from their servers. The webmaster will also have the chance to protest the removal, if they do not feel that there is any kind of violation.

Step five:
Even after the person or business has stopped using your protected intellectual property you still have the option of suing them in court. This option is needed if the person refuses to stop using the infringed work. Even if they stop using it you might want to consider suing them because it will show that you are serious about protecting your intellectual property which can help you keep your protected status. When going to court you will need to provide proof of registration so that the issue can be quickly resolved. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are suing them for monetary damages you will need to be able to prove that you have been financially hurt by the infringement.

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