When a person possesses information that meets the legal definition of a protected trade secret, and if someone or some entity misappropriates that information for his or her or its own benefit, the owner of the intellectual property may file a trade secret claim. If successful, New York may fine and/or imprison the offender and award the plaintiff damages. However, the enjoy the remedies of a trade secret claim, the plaintiff must establish the elements of a successful claim and be able to prove misappropriation.
You probably stream content all the time through various video sites. Therefore, it may come as a surprise to you that you could be sued for this type of activity.
Rights to intellectual property do not stop at national borders, as demonstrated by a recent indictment filed against a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that includes counts of stealing trade secrets from an American company
Downloading and uploading through BitTorrent may have allowed you to access information or an entertainment file that could result in a lawsuit in a California court. However, you participated in this activity as one of a group of people, and the proof that you participated at all is the Internet Protocol address. Can the owner of a copyrighted file sue all of the people involved based on their connection to the IP addresses?
With as competitive as the business world can be, you need to constantly be on guard to ensure that those elements that give your business an edge in your market are protected. The common school of thought is that any intangible assets unique to your business is considered to be intellectual property. Yet is that really the case? Countless representatives from companies in New York have come to us here at Codispotti & Associates, P.C. questioning which of these elements they can and cannot protect. Understanding this is the key to making sure those intellectual assets that are proprietary remain so.
Business owners and executives in New York often have the need to protect sensitive information relating to their business or products from being used against them. This information is commonly referred to as intellectual property. It is not tangible but frequently represents the essence of what a company offers and its competitive edge. There are various protections available to companies specific to intellectual property and a patent is one type.
Without laws protecting content, anyone in New York might be able to profit off the name and brand recognition that others have worked hard to build. While the actual damage done by intellectual property theft might seem to be difficult to notice in the immediate, a "big picture" assessment of the matter may reveal how multiply parties trying to use the same content could "water down" and devalue an image or icon. Such a devaluation might only affect the image's creator, who made the investment in creation, as opposed to others who never made any sacrifices towards its development.
In many of our posts, we have approached business law from the perspective of a business owner whose company has been treated unfairly in one way or another. However, there are also times when a more defensive approach may be necessary. For example, you may own a company that is being taken to court over allegations of trade secret infringement. This can be a very unnerving experience and some business owners who have never found themselves in this position before may be completely unsure of how to handle the situation. However, this is no time to be unprepared.
We have discussed many different legal topics related to intellectual property, from copyright matters to trade secrets. That being said, you may be dealing with other challenges related to this area of law, such as litigation over other examples of unfair competition. Perhaps the company you run is being accused of this offense by a competitor, or maybe you are thinking about filing a lawsuit over another business that has violated your rights with respect to unfair competition. Either way, it is vital to know exactly how you can protect your interests and work toward an end result that is in your favor.
New York law recognizes that having a formula, client list or other confidential information may be what defines a company's success. The American Bar Association explains that although the federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act provides the definition of a trade secret in most states, New York follows the Restatement of Torts.