Lewis & Lin
- Domain name disputes and transactions
- Intellectual property and commercial litigation
- Trademark clearance and registration
- Defamation and reputation management
- Founding partner of ESQWire
- Domain name disputes and escrow
- Trademark services
- Digital media & advisory services
- Founder of Domain Name Law Reports
- 20+ years of international domain law experience
- Full suite of solutions for Internet businesses
- Boutique law firm with emphasis on high end clients
More than anything else, ideas are what make businesses successful. Unique, innovative processes, new technologies, and a carefully curated brand reputation are just a few examples. However, infringement on these creative processes constitutes a global business that produces billions in losses each year.
For instance, one recent study found that over 6% of all goods imported to the EU were fraudulent. Overall, IP rights infringing activities may consume as much as 3.3% of the global economy. The first line of defense against intellectual property fraud consists of expert IP lawyers.
If a business relies on its ideas, creative output, and brand reputation, then it also relies on IP lawyers. These professionals aren’t only essential in the case of an intellectual property dispute but also inform policy on trade secrets. Uneducated employees might violate intellectual property protection or damage your case against infringing parties through human error. A specialized lawyer helps guard against internal leaks while empowering a business to pursue legal action against external actors who infringe on their IP.
Types Of Intellectual Property
Broadly speaking, there are four types of intellectual property that an IP lawyer can help protect.
- Trade Secrets
The most common type of IP is the patent. It provides an inventor with sole rights to an invention, although they may license and sell it to others without waving their rights. Additionally, a patent owner has the right to sell their patent. Overall, patents represent great financial value to the owner, and patent owners relied on their IP lawyers in more than 3,500 lawsuits to protect their patents in 2019.
Whereas most forms of IP law protect concepts and ideas, copyrights protect physical creations from unlawful duplication. Artists, software developers, and other creative enterprises pursue piracy lawsuits as violations of copyright. For good reason, too; according to a study from Parks Associates, piracy and account sharing resulted in losses of $9 billion in 2019.
Trade secrets include non-published pricing, formulas and recipes, and other types of information. Losing this to competitors can put a business at a severe disadvantage or cause the loss of a carefully-cultivated asset. Additionally, employees who haven’t received training in protecting trade secrets may compromise them without ever intending to. This is one area where the internal role of an IP lawyer begins to show its importance.
Trademarks are distinctive symbols associated with a certain brand. Trademark infringement might take the form of fraudulent use of a logo that doesn’t belong to the one using it. A similar form of infringement is domain name abuse, where an offender claims a domain name to profit in bad faith. In this event, you should turn to a specialized domain name lawyer.
Domain Name Lawyers
Domain name lawyers are a specialized subset of IP lawyers that work in the field of domain names. A domain name lawyer can provide administrative assistance, support, and guidance in areas related to website registration.
In cases of dispute or abuse, they can also step in to offer arbitration and conflict resolution services. When a person believes they’re a victim of bad-faith domain infringement, legal action may be necessary. In this case, specialized legal services are the best chance to obtain a favorable outcome.
Cybersquatting is what occurs when an individual or organization lays claim to domains related to an established brand. The offender’s goal is usually to gain more traffic or otherwise profit from a parasitic false relationship.
When someone is a victim of cybersquatting, they might find another website claiming exposure and profits that are theirs. The victim may suffer from settling for sub-par domains that don’t intuitively resemble their brand name. Cybersquatting can even damage their brand by leading consumers to poor-quality websites that have deceptively similar names and logos.
In the United States, IP owners benefit from a federal law that defines cybersquatting, the ACPA. Furthermore, the law provides the right to challenge the offender and seek restitution. To gain an affirmative decision that assigns guilt, it’s necessary to prove the bad faith intent to wrongfully profit from another’s IP.
Non-Judicial Resolution Through ICAAN
The law lays down a set of criteria for proving and defending against claims of bad faith. While you can utilize the ACPA to seek justice, there’s also a second choice. A domain name lawyer can help a victim of cybersquatting by acting through ICAAN, the body that governs domain names. A trademark owner can utilize the UDRP, the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy, to seek transfer of the domain.
Using UDRP is generally more affordable, but there are significant drawbacks. ICAAN has no authority to provide restitution for financial damages; the only outcome the filer can aim for is transfer or termination of the domain. A domain name lawyer will be able to choose which option is ideal.
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The world runs on ideas and concepts, and specialized lawyers play an essential part in protecting its integrity. When you suspect you’re a victim of IP fraud or domain abuse, you should get in touch with a reputable IP lawyer. If you’re just considering claiming a domain for your own website, we have an expert premium domain brokerage team. Get in touch with us to find the perfect domain name for your new website.
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