Trademark Piracy is a Form of Intellectual Property Theft
Anyone who has ever shopped on an auction site like eBay or visited a flea market has probably encountered “pirate” goods, i.e., fakes.
What’s the Big Deal?
Consumers are hurt when they wind up with shoddy merchandise and manufacturers of legitimate products can lose sales and risk damage to their reputations. Although pirate products are sometimes made in the USA, they are often clandestinely imported from lower-cost locations.
China is the primary source for pirate and counterfeit goods seized by US officials —about 68% of the overall total. Other leading sources of counterfeit goods include India, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
In March 2014, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and US Customs and Border Protection reported that in 2013, the number of seizures of infringing goods increased almost seven percent to 24,361 over the previous year. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of legitimate versions of the seized goods increased to $1.74 billion.
Operation “In Our Sites” is an initiative of the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center that targets piracy and counterfeiting on the internet.The IPR Center seized 1,413 domain names in 2013 and its work led to 692 arrests, 401 criminal indictments and 451 criminal convictions.
Although the US government considers intellectual property theft a criminal matter, companies cannot rely on the government to fully protect their rights. Many companies and industries have private anti-piracy programs, either individually or through their trade associations.
What Can Be Done?
Contacting an intellectual property attorney is the first step toward protecting your assets:
- issue “take down” notices to websites that list pirate goods,
- bring civil suits for damages against businesses that make, sell, and import pirate goods,
- work with customs officials to stop the import of pirate goods, and
- work with local and federal law enforcement to seek the arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of IP pirates.
Protecting your intellectual property from copycats and anti-piracy lawyers is an investment in your financial future. Take advantage of our free initial consultation to see if you are doing everything possible to protect yourselves from IP pirates.
Leech Tishman’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to the protection and monetization of your ideas and innovations. Many of our registered patent attorneys have advanced degrees enabling them to truly understand the complex technical details of your idea. Several bring engineering expertise, others molecular biology, manufacturing and business acumen to your trademark, copyright, patent prosecution and litigation and trade secret issues, both domestic and international.
Our clients range from individual inventors, authors and owners of creative works to entrepreneurial enterprises, government entities, mid-sized corporations and Global 500 companies with operations throughout North and Central America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
We have serviced a vast array of industries including automotive, cosmetics, e-commerce, electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, furniture, internet, manufacturing, networks, optics, publishing, software, technology, toys, and wireless.
We are committed to providing you with strategic counseling and personal attention throughout the entire life cycle of your project.
We are proud of our longstanding relationships with local innovation communities and enjoy working with entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to protect their ideas and good names.
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Photo Attribution: “Rally in Stockholm, Sweden, in support of file sharing and software piracy” by Jon Åslund is licensed under CC by 2.5.