Intellectual property can be extremely valuable for you business. In fact, in many instances it’s your trademarks and copyrights that set you apart from your competition. However, in order to enjoy the benefits of trademark and copyright protection, you have to be prepared to police your property and take legal action to protect it and your business. If you neglect to do so, then your bottom line and your business’s reputation can be damaged.
Even well-known companies infringe on intellectual property rights
When people think of intellectual property infringement, they often think of pirates who distribute illegally copied movies and music. While this is a very real problem, it doesn’t take individuals who have criminal intent in order for infringement to occur. In fact, many major businesses misuse the intellectual property of others. Although some of this misuse is conducted without malicious intent, others are. And the fact of the matter is that intent doesn’t really matter. What matters, at least in the context of trademark infringement, is that the misuse causes deception, confusion, or mistake about the source of the goods or services in question.
“Fortnite” accused of trademark infringement
To see an example of how wide-scale trademark infringement can be, just look at a recent lawsuit filed against the makers of the very popular game “Fortnite.” There, a tourist attraction owned and trademarked by a Florida company sued the game maker for allegedly using its protected location’s likeness for one of the game’s locations. According to the lawsuit, the locations have similar structures and nautical themes that the Florida company claims that the use of the images in the game will cause confusion amongst consumers as to whether there is a relationship between the game maker and the tourist company. The case is still in the early stages, but it will certainly be one to keep an eye on.
Don’t let your intellectual property stay unprotected
Even if you think that you don’t have intellectual property, you probably do. So, if you feel like consumers are confusing your goods or services with those of another company due to the use of similar logos, slogans, or appearances, then you might want to discuss your situation with an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law.