Intellectual property protection
In the context of the rapid development of digital information technologies, the role of intellectual property protection is increasing. In a matter of seconds, one can copy a movie, a video clip, a novel, a scientific article, photos and drawings of technical inventions to an electronic medium. Illegal use of intellectual property causes financial and moral harm to legal right holders.
In real life and business practice the infringement of intellectual property rights, copyright and all other related rights rarely happens in a form of obvious piracy. Most often, entrepreneurs are faced with content theft due to frivolity and low legal literacy of right holders. Most often the intellectual property objects are copied fragmentarily, examples are:
- quotations from literary and journalistic texts without specifying the author;
- melodies used in new music;
- illegal use of trademarks or their elements;
- copying corporate identity of popular brands, etc.;
- separate nodes of previously patented technical devices used in new projects.
The initiative to protect intellectual property and restore the violated rights is always taken by the right holder or his legal representative. The state, represented by Rospatent and the Intellectual Property Court, establishes the facts of violations and considers the claims and arguments of the parties. The law enforcement agencies are involved in the case only if the right holder declares significant material damage from unauthorized actions of third parties (reproduction of works of art, use of a trademark in advertising, copying of corporate identity, abuse of an identical domain name). Their task is to investigate and establish corpus delecti in actions of the suspects within the framework of the 146th, 147th and 180th articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Considerable amounts of Legal and Regulatory Frameworks, variety of types of copyright infringements, difficulties in qualifying and evaluating the actions of violators hamper the ability of the most of rights holders to protect their intellectual property. As in other areas of legal practice, the guarantee of successful conflict resolution depends on cooperation with the professional lawyers who know the subtleties of copyright and patent law.
Forms of intellectual property depend on the legal status of the right holders. Such as ordinary citizens (individuals) and business entities (individual entrepreneurs and equivalent citizens, commercial enterprises, non-commercial partnerships, state and municipal enterprises). But only in the second category may possess such types of property as:
- trade name;
- rationalization proposal;
- useful models of future serial mechanisms and machines;
- industrial designs.
In all these cases, it is assumed that the element under protection is intended for generation of profit, therefore, its owner must have an appropriate state registration or represent interests of a legal entity concerned. In most cases, the problem is easily resolved by registration of the right holder as an individual entrepreneur, however, it should be borne in mind that any entrepreneur, is obliged to pay a fixed annual fee to the treasury, even if it doesn’t perform any business activity, . The heirs of the inventor or trademark owner will also have to register if they wish to continue receiving income from the intellectual property inherited.
Citizens who are not registered as an individual entrepreneurs and not authorized by legal entities, have the right to register the following types of intellectual property:
- text content in oral, written and printed form;
- audio and video recordings, including those hosted on the Internet;
- graphic images (including 3D);
- volumetric images (sculpture and various installations);
- information technology products - software, databases, applications, games;
- Internet resources (domain names, communities and social media accounts).
Intellectual Property - How to Protect It
By paraphrasing a classic, we can say that copyright is worth something only when it can defend itself. First of all, the right holder or the involved professional lawyer sends an application to Rospatent (Federal Institute of industrial property). All the rights are registered here, except for the rights to works of art and computer software.
The registration procedure involves a thorough check of the network for the detection of identical property objects that appeared earlier than the applicant's object. If the fact of plagiarism is not revealed, the uniqueness of the object is being registered and its owner receives a patent valid from the moment of the first publication in the network, media, press or other public source. Confirmation of the right to an artwork or a high-tech object can be officially confirmed in specialized organizations.
Unfortunately, the availability of a registered copyright does not stop unscrupulous users who copy content without the copyright holder’s permission in order to improve their internet ranking or for a material gain. And that’s when the real work on the protection of intellectual property begins. It includes the following set of measures:
- 1. Monitoring of unauthorized use of the trademark and copying of the protected content in internet and mass media.
- 2. Assessment of possible damage from unlawful actions of third parties.
- 3. Pre-trial claim activities with the violators.
- 4. Appeal to the Chamber on information disputes of Rospatent and the intellectual property court.
- 5. Submission of an application to law enforcement agencies and the court of General jurisdiction (or Arbitration court) in case of significant material damage caused by the actions of copyright violators.
Copyright protection practices
A special software was developed to identify text, images, audio and video files that are illegally placed on the resources of unscrupulous users. Monitoring is carried out around the clock automatically.
In most cases, violations are domestic in nature. For example, a user of a social network makes a screenshot of a picture from a paid image bank and publishes it on his page. It is pointless to sue such an violator or to write a statement to the police. The easiest way is to offer the violator to remove the content voluntarily, referring to the letter of the law and the possible negative consequences.
And it is quite another matter when the content, trademark, brand name, service mark and other items of intellectual property are illegally used for the purpose of obtaining material or other benefits. Now it is a direct damage to the copyright holder, requiring urgent action. Our experts will record the facts of copyright infringement on the Internet, mess media or outdoor advertising. Will arrange an independent examination, which will assess the direct and potential damage to the copyright holder. Will conduct standard claim actions with the violator, offering to conclude a pre-trial agreement beneficial to both parties. And also we are ready to do all the work related to the partners who have received intellectual property for temporary use.
If the violator refuses to compromise, it is necessary to apply to the Chamber on information disputes, the intellectual property court, the Federal Antimonopoly service and the law enforcement agencies. Our lawyers will provide qualified protection at all stages of the investigation, trial and enforcement proceedings.