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Obtaining intellectual property (IP) rights gives a person or business the sole legal right to use, produce, or display those items. Registering intellectual property at the state and federal levels grants the right of exclusivity to the items in question.
The holders of IP also retain the ability to license out the use of this property. At the same time, they may pursue infringement lawsuits against parties who use, produce, or display those items without their permission. These lawsuits can seek compensation in the form of actual damages or statutory awards. Companies with questions about IP rights should contact a New York licensing & infringement lawyer from our law firm.
Many parties assume that registering intellectual property means that they are the only ones that can use those items. However, this is not strictly true. The owners of IP can grant licenses for the use of that property to as many other parties as they wish. A company can achieve this by drafting licensing agreements that dictate the extent to which another party can use the items, often in exchange for a fee or a share of the profits.
Licensing agreements apply across the spectrum of intellectual property. For example:
Drafting these licensing agreements with as much specificity as possible is vital to preserving the owners’ IP rights. A New York attorney familiar with licensing & infringement law can help intellectual property owners create contracts that protect their best interests.
Any party who uses intellectual property without the owner’s permission is committing infringement. This may be a violation of federal criminal law. However, the IP owners also have the ability to seek civil damages connected to this illegal use.
In simple terms, an infringement is any instance of a non-IP owner’s use of protected property without the owner’s permission. This often intersects with licensing agreements in that these agreements grant the use of that property for a specific purpose. As a result, a defendant may commit infringement if they have no licensing agreement with the holder or act in a way that violates the terms of a licensing contract.
The remedies available after an infringement depend on the nature of the infringement and the defendant’s state of mind. For example, 15 United States Code § 1117 states that the holder of a trademark can demand actual damages, any profits that result from the infringement, and court costs from a defendant.
In contrast, 17 U.S.C. § 504 provides possible remedies in the event of a copyright infringement. Here, the owner can demand actual damages related to the infringement. Alternatively, they can seek out statutory payments in the amount of between $750 and $30,000. Examples of willful infringement may multiply the available compensation. An experienced lawyer could represent companies in infringement cases.
Reach Out to a New York Licensing & Infringement Attorney Today
Registering your intellectual property gives you the sole legal authority to use those items as you see fit. In many instances, this can include granting permission to others to use those items for a specific purpose in a licensing agreement. A New York licensing & infringement lawyer could help you draft and enforce these contracts.
Additionally, an attorney could help you pursue lawsuits over infringements of intellectual property rights. Contact a New York licensing & infringement lawyer now to get started with a consultation.