If you have been accused of trademark or copyright infringement, Hart Powell, S.C. can help. Trademarks and copyrights are used to protect the creators and owners of original content against copying. A trademark is used to distinguish services, products, companies, and the source that will be associated with the product or service. When a trademark is infringed, it is likely to create confusion in products for the consumer. Trademarks may include brand names, logos, symbols, words, colors, and product configurations. Under common law, trademarks are protected even if they are not registered as long as they meet certain qualifications. However, trademarks are typically registered in the USPTO as federally registered trademarks, but they can also be registered in states.
On the other hand, copyrights are used to protect subject matter work. Copyrights protect the expression of ideas, which can be violated not only by unauthorized duplication but also by derivative works. For example, building designs, books, poetry, music, and other works can be copyrighted. To copyright an expression of ideas, an application must be filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Published and unpublished intellectual property is protected by U.S. laws and violation of these laws is considered a federal crime. Trademark and copyright infringement may take place in several ways, including:
- Reproducing the work
- Violating the “moral rights” of an author by copying work
- Displaying the work in public without the trademark or copyright owner’s permission
- Creating a new work that copies the protected work in a new medium
If you have been charged with trademark or copyright infringement, it is important to speak with an attorney immediately. The Milwaukee trademark and copyright infringement attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have a deep understanding of intellectual property law. We will evaluate your case and explore ways to resolve the dispute outside of the courtroom by negotiation or mediation. Contact our office at (414) 271-9595 or by chatting with a live representative.
Why Do You Need a Copyright Infringement Lawyer?
It is crucial that you hire an attorney if you have been accused of violating copyright or trademark laws. An attorney will personalize your case and provide solution-oriented legal guidance. Once an attorney has a firm understanding of your objectives, they can create an effective strategy to help you achieve your goals and overcome your legal battles. Copyright or trademark attorneys will work with you to move forward in negotiating or mediating with those who have accused you of unauthorized duplication of work. They may even be able to argue that your use was fair and get the case dropped.
Why Do You Need Hart Powell, S.C.?
Although trademark and copyright laws are complicated, the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. have a clear understanding of the issues and will be able to build a solid case in your defense. There are various ways to defend against trademark and copyright infringement charges. The argument of “fair use” is the most common defense for these kinds of charges. Fair use allows someone to use copyrighted material for teaching, news reporting, research, parody, and commentary purposes. Another possible defense is to attack the validity of the trademark or copyright. In order for these to be valid, they must be registered. The Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers at Hart Powell, S.C. will work diligently to challenge the claims of the prosecution and ensure the protection of your rights throughout the legal process.
The federal prosecutors must prove several things in order to prove you guilty of trademark or copyright infringement. First, the infringement of a valid copyright must be proven. Second, proof that the infringement was done knowingly and willingly must be shown. Third, the financial or personal gain of the trademark or copyright violator must be proven. Our attorneys will work diligently to protect your rights and to defend against any copyright or trademark allegations. The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. are strong advocates of teamwork, and we are comfortable with molding and handling your case as requested by you, the client.
Cases We Handle
A copyright or trademark owner has legal rights associated with the work they produce. When one of these rights is violated without the acknowledgment of the copyright or trademark owner, it is considered copyright or trademark infringement. The following are the types of cases that we handle:
- Right of Reproduction: A person has the right to reproduce their own work in any matter. An example of copyright infringement is if you paint an exact copy of someone else’s painting and sell it for a profit.
- Right of Distribution: A person has the right to distribute their work by selling it, giving it away, lending, or displaying it. You violate copyright laws if you sell or use unlicensed copies of their music.
- Right to Derivative Works: If someone is the copyright owner of music or poetry, they have a right to modify it or create a completely new work with it. You violate copyright laws if you film a movie based on a story that they wrote.
- Right of Public Display: A person has the right to display their work to the public as they wish. If you upload their work on your website, this is a violation of copyright laws.
- Right of Public Performance: A copyright infringement occurs in the right of public performance if you display or write a play based on the work that someone else produced.
If you have been accused of violating any of these copyright or trademark rights, Hart Powell, S.C. can help. Our attorneys will work to determine the severity of the charges or allegations being brought against you and will work diligently to ensure that your rights are also protected.
Defenses for Copyright or Trademark Infringement
Fortunately, there are a few common defenses that we can likely use to help stop this charge against you. They are:
- Fair Use: This is the most common defense for copyright or trademark infringement. You may use copyrighted material or trademarks without permission as long as the use is “fair,” such as in parody, advertising non-competitor products, or description.
- Unreasonable Delay: If you have been using the copyrighted material or trademark for a long period of time, it may be too late for someone to bring an infringement claim against you. Copyrights and trademarks have to be protected, so when they fail to do so, they may lose their copyright or trademark altogether.
- Unclean Hands: If the plaintiff acted egregiously when bringing the claim against you, the need to punish the plaintiff may outweigh the need to stop your infringement.
A lawyer from Hart Powell, S.C. can investigate the details of your case to determine what the best defense will be for you. We will work diligently to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.
If you are facing trademark and copyright infringement charges, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. Trademark and copyright laws are incredibly complex and the success of your defense will depend on the legal guidance of an experienced attorney. Our attorneys will meet with you one on one to discuss how you would like your case to move forward. We will address your concerns and legal goals. If you or someone you know has been accused of copyright or trademark infringement, contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. to discuss the details of your case. Call (414) 271-9595 or chat with a live representative.