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What is Intellectual Property infringement and how to avoid it?
Brand Protection
4 mins

What is Intellectual Property infringement and how to avoid it?

Table of Contents:


    Your intellectual property (IP) is one of the most significant assets that you handle on a daily basis as a business owner.

    In order to ensure that your inventions are neither stolen nor copied, intellectual property right (IPR) protection is essential. Incentives are put in place so that what you develop can spread and benefit more people without breaching your legal rights.

    In this article, we go into what’s considered IP infringements and how to protect your brand or business from IP infringements. 

    What is considered intellectual property infringement?

    It is illegal to violate the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that attach to a piece of intellectual property in any way. Owners of intellectual property rights (IPRs) have the power to prevent others from reproducing, duplicating, or exploiting their work.

    Intellectual Property infringement might fall into numerous categories:

    Copyright infringement: A copyright is a legal right given to the copyright owner of original work, such as a photograph, literature, video, music, or other creative activity. When you use a picture that is not your own or for which you have not been granted permission to use it, you may be infringing on the rights of the original creator. Or if you decide to work with a freelance content writer, for example, you should always use a plagiarism checker for the content they create to make sure it’s original. Skipping this step could unknowingly get you tangled up in copyright infringement.

    Trademark infringement and counterfeiting: A trademark is a term, symbol, phrase, or design that identifies and legally distinguishes one entity’s product or service from that of another. Unauthorized use of a trademark in such a way that customers are likely to be confused about the product’s origins or whether the person selling the counterfeit goods is sponsored or affiliated with the true trademark owner constitutes trademark infringement. 

    Counterfeiting: In the eyes of the law, counterfeiting is a form of trademark infringement. For the most part, counterfeit products don’t actually look like the real thing, but they’re designed to fool customers into thinking they’re getting something authentic.  

    Patent infringement: Patents guard against unauthorized replication, usage, copying, or sale of an innovation. Patents can cover manufactured goods, machines, designs, and a variety of other products and processes. There are regional patent offices in each country where one can apply for patent registration. Patent infringement occurs when someone makes, uses, sells, or offers to sell a patented product or design without the consent of the patent owner. 

    Rights of publicity: Individuals’ rights to publicity prevent them from having their names, likenesses, or other recognized features of their identities exploited without permission in product listings, ads, or other commercial operations. Using a third party’s publicity rights without their permission may be considered a violation of their right to privacy.

    Common examples of Intellectual property violations

    IP infringement can occur in a variety of ways, but some of the more common ones are as follows:

    • Fake websites try to pass themselves off as the official outlet for one or more brands of the IP owner.
    • Putting your logo on a defendant’s product in order to boost sales
    • Copying and passing off your writing or artwork as their own
    • Intellectual Property infringements on social media where fraudulent profiles use trademarks or copyrighted material to represent a brand.
    • Stealing confidential information (with or without an employment agreement)
    • Building patent-protected things without your permission
    • Infringement on search engines such as Google and other search engines can take a variety of forms. Examples include URLs that allow unauthorized merchants to sell counterfeit copies of your items while also providing illegal access to protected content on search engines. Other examples are highly ranked impersonating sites that replicate your company’s identity.
    • Intellectual Property infringements in mobile app marketplaces and third-party sites where fraudulent apps install malware designed to steal user credentials for harmful purposes or misrepresent your brand.
    • The practice of selling or leasing your patent to a party who does not have the proper legal authority to do so

    Ecommerce websites have been involved in numerous intellectual property conflicts.

    Amazon and Barnes & Noble, for example, engaged in a legal struggle over the “single-click” or “one-click” purchasing method. The parties reached a private settlement in this case.

    Several businesses have filed lawsuits against Google, alleging that the search engine is infringing on their intellectual property rights by using their trademarks as terms. Legal action against the company was initiated by American Airlines and Geico.

    Intellectual property violation can affect your brand in a number of ways if it isn’t addressed, such as: 

    • Revenues are being lost. Market sales plummet as a result of the diversion of customers caused by infringing IP listings
    • Relationships with partners suffer as a result of this. The authorized distributors of your items suffer unfair competition from low-cost knockoffs.
    • Reputational damage to a company’s name and logo. Consumers’ health and safety are put at risk due to distorted user perceptions.

    How to avoid intellectual property infringement?

    1. Consider trademarking your brands’ names and logos, as well as applying for design and utility patents for each product.

    Pro-tip: Trademarks should preferably cover places where counterfeiting is a problem.

    2. Enroll your brand in all major e-commerce anti-counterfeit schemes, such as Amazon Brand Registry or eBay Verified Rights Owner, for free.

    3. Before committing to cooperate with a potential partner, you should share nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with them. Non-disclosure agreements are frequently used to protect trade secrets (NDA). When a party to an agreement violates the agreement by disclosing all or parts of a trade secret to uninterested others, the trade secret is infringed upon. When an NDA is not present, it is possible to be guilty of trade secret violation.

    4. Register your brand’s most obvious domain variants.

    This is another efficient approach to defend a brand from cybersquatters who claim domain names in order to profit from legitimate businesses’ trademarks. The domain takedown service from Red Point detects and removes spoofing sites that try to profit off your brand.

    The domain takedown solution from Red Points analyses search engines and domain databases in three steps to automatically find and report phony websites:

    • Fake websites can be discovered via social media, search engines, and domain databases.
    • Immediately notify the domain registrant, CMS platform, and server hosting of the domain shutdown.
    • Stop repeat infringers by tracing down scammers’ identities and using data to pursue legal action.

    5. AI technology can help you safeguard your intellectual property online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Use the most advanced brand protection technology, such as Red Points, to automatically discover and process thousands of Intellectual Property (IP) infringements, focusing on the most dangerous offenders first.

    How Red Points works:

    • Automatically crawl the internet. Allow powerful image recognition and bot-powered search to find potential infringements for you.
    • Validate or reject violations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Use automated rules to review thousands of infringements faster, or use the trademark protection solution dashboard to perform human checks.
    • Machine learning that combines trends and keyword opportunities can help you become more effective.

    What’s Next

    When it comes to intellectual property rules, it’s necessary to take into consideration your legal obligations and rights.

    Protecting your intellectual property may help you build your brand, make money from your unique assets, and keep others from using your creations without your permission. Including them in your business strategy will help you stay on top of everything.

    In order to determine which properties should be protected, make a list of all your intellectual property. Prepare a budget for the time and money you will need to adequately secure the rights to your intellectual property. Set timelines for the study, filing, and finalization of these steps and work toward them as if they were any other company goal.

    Use Red Points Intellectual Property software which uses a powerful intellectual property tracking and protection system to automatically discover and remove IP infringement to protect your customers and earnings.


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