Over time, it has become apparent to those who make the laws that intellectual property can yield ongoing income as well as an initial payoff. Given the reality that a single idea can pay off so well, the law in the United States offers many protections for those who own this form of property. Penalties for taking intellectual property without permission include monetary penalties. They also include potential jail time for those who have engaged in particularly egregious conduct. The offended party has all kinds of wide ranging potentially legal options to make this form of fraud stop. This includes getting an injunction in place to get this to stop as well as pursuing further legal options in court.
Of the many potential penalties that can be levied against anyone found guilty of intellectual property theft, civil penalties are generally common outcome. It is important to keep in mind these types of penalties are highly specific. It is important to understand what types of intellectual property are protected under law.
A copyright is the legal right to own and use a specific idea or product. Copyrights can be taken out by an individual or a company. They generally apply while the person is living and twenty-five years after their death. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to extend a copyright in the United States beyond that period. The law allows people or companies that have suffered an infringement on their copyright to recover damages. Statutory damages, if deliberately can result in thousands of dollars of fines. The injured party can also recoup any court costs.
A trademark is another form of legal property. This a word or a phrase or even a symbol that is associated with a given product. For example, Nike has a distinctive trademark that makes it obvious to the public when seen. Trademarks are protected under law. The law distinguishes between accidental and willful damage. If the infringement is deemed deliberate, penalties for violators can be trebled. The goods being used can be seized and destroyed. Profits can be forfeit. A company or individual engaged in this action can be liable for damages in the millions in New Jersey.
Patents are generally divided into three main types. These are related to the utility of an object and those related to the design of it design. Plants or actual, living items can also be subject to patent laws. The inventor has the right to ask that someone else not use his invention without permission. An inventor also has the right to receive monetary compensation if another has profited from his ideas. If someone continues to use their patent without permission, the inventor can get an injunction to get them to stop unless they agree to pay royalties. Fines and back damages can also be granted.
Trade secrets are those secrets that a given company may use in the making of a product or the provision of specific services. These are subject of a specific set of laws in New Jersey. Under the provisions of the New JersVioey Trade Secrets Act, people or companies that have been the victim of theft of trade secrets have recourse under law. They can recover any unjust earnings that resulted from this form of theft. They are also entitled to seek compensatory and punitive damages. A court may also grant them all court costs.
The act of infringing on a patent is not a federal crime. However, the other forms of intellectual property theft outlined here fall into this category. Deliberate copyright infringement, if done on a very large scale, falls under the category of potential felonies. Violations of the Economic Espionage Act can lead to long prison terms and very heavy fines. It is important to have skilled experts on your side if you are facing such charges or have been the victim of someone deliberately stealing your intellectual property. They will help you understand how these very important laws.