“Infringement” is a term that is used legally for an act that breaks some law. Intellectual Property rights are normally infringed when some creation, product, or an invention that is protected by the IP laws are copied, violated, or used without having authorization or permission from the owner of those right or its representative. Let us explore all about it in the following sections.
Intellectual Property Infringement can threaten legal businesses, staff, as well as undermines the consumer confidence. Your business might face numerous risks if proper steps are not taken to handle IP crime in your working environment.
If you fail to address the issue, it can leave you as well as your business liable to civil or criminal action. While criminal action may lead you to unlimited fines, under civil law, you might have to pay damages. You might also be vulnerable to the threats from malware and computer viruses.
- Security risks
IP crime can pose numerous security threats to a business. It can include infiltration of malware and viruses that can aid identity theft and slow down entire IT networks, and so forth.
- Resource Implications
IP crime may impact productivity of the business negatively. The resource implications like staff neglecting their tasks to carry out the illegal activities may have detrimental effects.
- Reputational risks
Good and reliable businesses attract respect as well as trust of the future partners. On the other hand, adverse publicity relating to criminal or civil court action can affect the point of view of other business towards yours.
How to deal with Infringement?
The needs of different businesses will vary greatly. What is correct for some particular factory unit might not be suitable for large or complex organizations. So, whether you have a small business or a large one, there is a wide range of actions that you can take to ensure that IP rights violation or infringement is not occurring in your own business environment.
Preventive steps can really help you to safeguard you as well as your business. However, once an infringing activity has been identified, an effective and fast response is crucial. Therefore, you need to be prepared well even if you don’t have proper knowledge of such issues.
- Preventive policies and procedures
These days, legal guidance is easily available on the processes that you and your business can adopt to prevent the infringement from occurring. Information can include license management, HR policies, and procedures for site visits. The advice on what actions to take in case you identify criminal IP offenses related to IP infringement happening in your business is even covered.
- Raising awareness
Today, there are practical tools that have been developed to educate your management and staff about importance of IP and ways to comply with relevant law. These can include sample slide packs to improve understanding and raise awareness.
People that are involved in IP crime are normally also involved in other kinds of crime like drugs, benefit fraud, people trafficking, drugs, etc. Therefore, it is important that you report any such instance of IP crime you are aware of to enforcement authorities.