An intellectual property infringement is the infringement or violation of an intellectual property right. There are several types of intellectual property rights, such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Therefore, an intellectual property infringement may for instance be a Copyright Infringement, Patent Infringement and Trademark Infringement.
Intellectual Property like other tangible properties may be used without the owner's consent. In such cases of infringement one may wish to enforce the IP Rights.
What Can One Do When The Rights Are Infringed
1. The IP rights owner can take civil legal action against an infringing party through:
- seeking relief in the form of an injunction to stop the infringing action
- demanding profits gained by the infringing party at his expense
- seeking damages for loss suffered.
2. The infringing party would have certain civil and/or criminal liabilities when infringement of the IP is proved.
When The Patent Is Infringed
- Infringement occurs when an invention of a patented product or process is used without the consent of the patent owner while the patent is in force.
- The patent owner can take civil legal action.
When The Trade Mark Is Infringed
- Infringement is said to occur when there is a use of registered trade mark in the course of trade without the consent of the trade mark owner.
- Once infringement is established, the owner can enforce rights as conferred by the Trade Mark Act.
When The Registered Design Is Infringed
- Infringement takes place when there is a clear use of a registered design without the consent of its registered owner.
- Once a registered owner discovers that the design has been infringed (e.g. when the owner sees unauthorized reproductions of the designs on the shelves), then the owner can enforce the rights as conferred by the Registered Designs Act.
When The Copyright Is Infringed
- Infringement occurs when one does something that only the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do or when one engages in an unauthorized use. For e.g. if one photocopies a book (copyrighted material), without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
- Infringement can give rise to both civil and criminal liabilities depending on the circumstances of infringement.
- Once a copyright owner finds out that the copyright has been infringed, the copyright owner can enforce the rights as conferred by the Copyright Act.