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How Can You Prove Intellectual Property Theft?


Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of your business. Since intellectual property is the product of a person’s mind, it is often stolen by those who are unable to create something of their own.

If you suspect that someone infringed on your intellectual property rights, you need to contact a Sarasota business litigation lawyer to discuss your options. If you can prove intellectual property theft, you can hold the infringing party accountable for stealing or using your trademarks, copyright, or other types of IP without your permission.

What Are the Different Types of Intellectual Property (IP)?

Before we delve into how you can prove intellectual property theft, you need to understand the different types of IP. However, any type of intellectual property can be stolen or used without your permission.

The different types of intellectual property include:

  • Trademark. A trademark is any logo, phrase, word, symbol, or design that distinguishes one product or brand from others. However, in order to prove that someone stole your trademark, you need to make sure that your trademark is properly registered. Otherwise, you may not be able to protect a trademark that has not been registered.
  • Patent. A patent is an exclusive right granted to the inventor of an invention that permits them to prevent others from manufacturing or selling the invention without permission. Patents are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Copyright. Copyright is the exclusive right that the owner of a creative intellectual property has. Copyright is used to protect the owner’s creative material from unauthorized duplication or use. Copyright law protects such creative materials as music, books, film, paintings, sculptures, and others.
  • Trade secret. Trade secrets are intellectual property rights on confidential information that gives a company a competitive advantage over its competitors.

How to Prove Theft of Intellectual Property?

If you suspect that a competitor or third party stole your intellectual property and infringed on your rights, you need to take the following steps to prove that theft has occurred to hold the infringing party responsible for your monetary losses and damages:

  1. Determine who has access to your intellectual property. This will help you narrow down the list of suspects.
  2. Start an internal investigation to determine if your intellectual property could be stolen through unauthorized access to your networks. If so, take appropriate measures to prevent the theft of your other IP.
  3. Document the suspected incident of intellectual property theft. You need to gather as much evidence as you can to document infringement.
  4. Determine and document your losses and damages. In order to sue the infringing party, you need to determine what monetary losses and damages you have incurred as a result of the theft of your intellectual property.
  5. Contact a lawyer. It is advisable to be represented by a skilled lawyer to prove intellectual property theft and recover damages from the infringing party. A lawyer will guide you through the process to ensure that you are compensated for all your losses and damages.

Speak with a Sarasota Business Litigation Lawyer

Contact our business litigation lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law if you believe that someone has stolen your intellectual property or used it without your permission. Our attorneys will help you prove intellectual property theft to make sure that the infringing party pays for all your damages. Call 941-366-1800 to schedule a case review.