Intellectual property refers to the outcome of human creativity and expression. It is something that a person has created and produced using their creative inspiration and intellect. This could refer to anything, like art, music, computer software, industrial goods, consumer goods, new inventions and films. An original creative endeavour that produces a unique good is protected as per intellectual property laws. Novel IP investigations are a critical part of protecting intellectual property rights while ensuring that creators are appropriately recognised for their contributions.
Breaking down intellectual property
Unlike conventional property, intellectual assets are intangible, easily copied and usually quite expensive to develop. There are various forms of protecting intellectual property, like using trademark registration in Australia, copyrights, patents and industrial designs.
The purpose of Novel IP investigations
Intellectual property can be breached in a variety of ways. As a result, the purpose of these inquiries to determine the following:
- Whether a violation has occurred
- Who is responsible for the violation
- The severity of the violation
Types of violations
There are many different methods of breaching intellectual property laws, which are as follows:
- Patent infringement
- Breach of trade secrets
- Data breaches/leaks
- Brand imitation
- Product copying
- Illegal use of trademarks
- Copyright abuse
Individuals who might ask for Novel IP investigations
Holding a trademark or a patent can be an incredibly valuable financial asset. Film producers and distributors always have copyrights listed against films they finance and produce, and the same principle applies to entertainment and gaming companies. As technology has evolved, piracy has proven to be one of the largest threats against filmmakers, software publishers and literary creators, primarily because it massively undercuts their revenue profitability.
How a professional firm can assist
If you believe that your intellectual property has been violated or breached, then reach out to a team of private investigators, who can begin gathering evidence and supporting information to prove your case in a courtroom.
Professional investigators can identify how and when a trademark or patent was broken, and by whom. They’ll perform a range of services to collate this information for you and prepare it as evidence. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
Competitor surveys can reveal whether any of your close competitors have unlawfully copied your original product or prototype, without adequately acknowledging your involvement. These surveys will provide the Court with evidence to suggest that counterfeit operators have compromised your competitive landscape.
Domain name bad faith
Some website domain names can be almost similar or identical to others. If a domain name is purposely like a close competitor (to tap into their market share), then the domain name will need to be changed. The same principle can be applied to business names and other business-related processes. In Australia, the gourmet burger chain, “Down N Out” was forced to change its business name after losing a trademark battle with the US-based food outlet, “In-N-Out Burger”. The chain subsequently changed its name to “Nameless Bar”.
Fabricated online identities
It’s quite common to come across counterfeited goods online and no method of contacting the seller. Investigative firms often use a variety of techniques to identify different sellers, using social media accounts and other means.
What can the Courts do?
If your Novel IP investigations prove successful, then the next logical step is to take it to Court. By presenting it to a judge, you’ll find out whether you are entitled to recognition and financial compensation for efforts that have not been recognised (often termed “punitive damages”). The judge will likely call for an injunction as well, which essentially means the unlawful act can no longer continue.