Online infringement of copyrights and trademarks poses a significant threat to companies as new and more sophisticated methods of online infringement are implemented. But there are several steps companies can take to minimize the effects of online infringement and maintain their intellectual property rights.

Register all your trademarks and copyrights. Although federal registration seems like an obvious action for any business, for various reasons businesses may decline to register their trademarks or may simply initiate the process too late. Federal registration confers several benefits on the registrant. For copyrights, registration is necessary to preserve the rights to initiate a lawsuit in the future and to allow the recovery of statutory damages and attorney’s fees. For trademarks, registration establishes priority over ownership of that trademark name and bars later users from utilizing that trademark or one that is confusingly similar.

Consider other monitoring resources. Refer to social media websites that maintain take-down measures in the event of copyright or trademark infringement. Companies such as Twitter and eBay have helpful resources and reporting procedures for trademark and copyright infringement incidents and may be useful in deterring violations without resorting to litigation. In the event of a more systematic and widespread breach of your intellectual property rights, a formal enforcement program would be warranted.

Employ self-help procedures. It is always helpful to self-monitor the internet and other social media outlets to ensure that your intellectual property rights are not being violated. Infringement can be executed through various online tools, such as meta-tags, pay-per-click advertising pages and the sale of counterfeit products through auctions.

Connors & Associates provides experienced legal advice in the areas of patent, trademark and copyright law. John Connors and his team of associates have the expertise to counsel clients about protecting their intellectual property rights. Contact Connors & Associates at (949) 833-3622 or visit them online to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.

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