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Intellectual Property Disputes and an Expert Witness’ Examination

Intellectual property is owned by the person that designed, created or invented the item. However, there are many cases of infringement on the legal protections obtained to safeguard the object from public use, competitors and reproduction. If someone has been violating the patent, copyright, trade secret or trademark, a lawyer versed in this form of law is needed.

However, when the lawyer and evidence is not enough to explain to a judge or jury why the offense needs legal action, an expert witness becomes essential. This professional is usually experienced in intellectual property either through study or practical application such as having created a trademark or original work needing a copyright or patent.

Often understanding the law is not enough when litigation occurs. The reason for the legal confrontation is usually due to someone violating the legal protection placed on the intellectual property. These offenses are sometimes so severe that the potential for accruing revenue from the item is ruined. An example would be a trade secret being revealed to the public so that it may be used by anyone with the ingredients or ability to reproduce the process. Because these acts are so injurious, it requires someone
that understands why the victim needs compensation or punitive action against the violator. This means an expert witness should be hired to fight for the intellectual property owner.

Patents and Trade Secrets Violations

Patents are issued to inventors for their creations once the applications process has been approved. The original invention is protected legally from being reproduced as specified by the patent type obtained. While the recreation of the product or method may not ruin the possibility of accumulating revenue from sale, it is possible to harm the inventor for each instance of violation. This also indicates that reproducing a patented item is valid, and it may cause others to do the same in the future. The patent offices have a procedure to stop and take action against violators, but additional legal processes are needed to assist with these actions.

Trade secrets are important to remain undisclosed to the public. This may mean a signed nondisclosure contract by anyone that the secret must be revealed to for business practices. Violations to these legally protected forms of intellectual property are often devastating to the company. This could occur through providing the information to a competitor, taking it and using it through a personal project or exposing the information to the public. Offenses in this manner should be quickly resolved, and in some situations, it is possible to keep the details from the public light while dealing with the culprit.

Copyright and Trademark Violations

When someone has created an original work that is either a book, manuscript or written item such as a play, it is possible to obtain a copyright through applying for one. This is only provided to the original author, and just as any other application is investigated, the person submitting for a copyright is determined through this examination to be the true author. Any infringements of these works through reproduction not protected by the regulations for copyright copies may be prosecuted against or have civil action taken. This could lead to a lawsuit that costs the perpetrator much in fines or other penalties.

Trademarks are often symbols, phrases or brands used to represent a company in the mind of the consumer. Any violations of their use may see swift and severe action taken for damages. These items are important to the company as they are what should be remembered. In many circumstances, the brand is what a customer feels about a company. The use of these could cause economic or community harm through a misrepresentation or with a negative view if the person or group act in a manner that impacts the business in an undesirable way.

The Expert Witness in Intellectual Property Disputes

The average jury member or judge does not usually understand how egregious a violation of these forms of intellectual property is to the owner. It is possible that using them or representing the person or company could lead to negative consequences that could take years to clear up. This makes seeking compensation for the damage caused important. It sends a message that the individual or business was not responsible for the use and that anyone that does so may be punished severely. An expert witness is able to explain this and show what type of harm was caused by the violator.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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