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Intellectual Property theft and infringement: Legal Strategies for protection.

Intellectual Property theft and infringement: Legal Strategies for protection.

Intellectual property is an essential concept in today’s world. It comprises creative and innovative artworks, books, images, videography, and symbolic representations. Protection of these assets is critical as it recognises the artist’s hard work and maintains healthy competition among the competitors. I.P. theft is a principal concern. With an increasing number of people coming on the digital platform, claiming protection and prevention of their rights, ideas and work on the digital platform is considered a significant challenge. This article will give us an in-depth understanding of prevention and other legal methods for protecting I.P.s from theft and infringement.
Understanding Intellectual Property laws
Intellectual property law is constituted to protect patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and industry designs for the person who has executed the right to utilise their work within a stipulated time frame. Through these rights, the legislation governing intellectual rights confers the producer’s and the innovators’ rights, enabling them to profit from their creative work. Thus, the main aim of I.P. is to promote an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish by identifying a balance between the investors and the public.
Preventing Intellectual Property theft and infringement
Various strategies can be implemented to reduce theft and infringement. Companies can enhance their innovation by inviting developers from around the globe to contribute and making the underlying technology freely accessible.
Fostering a thriving community regarding the product would improve and increase the value of the proprietary features developed by unrestricted access. Another strategy to protect the idea is to avoid collaborative ownership of Intellectual property, though it would be beneficial in the long run. On the flip side, complications in managerial work can result in disputes.
Further, in cases of domain names, the chances of customers linking the brand with other famous brands, which could be helpful for growing the customer base and visibility, as well as the chances of being acquired by competitors, are also reduced.
Advanced methods for verifying passwords, biometrics, and double-factor authorisation reduce the chances of illegal access to passwords and essential product information. A detailed report regarding the hacker can be obtained in case of a data breach.
Further, the agreements with the employees should be drafted to maintain confidentiality and secrecy. A proper structure should be channelled to identify loopholes or breaches in the system earlier, reducing the risk of rapid mitigation of financial loss. Finding a balance between disclosing adequate information and safeguarding intellectual property rights is also essential. It is also essential to have a thorough selection regarding publication to protect the ideas and impressions of the firm’s intellectual property.
Legal options for protecting Intellectual Property
Infringement of a trademark is a cognisable offence, which signifies that the person infringing would be charged with both civil and criminal charges even though the trademark is not registered; thus, the Court, in case of infringement or passing off, awards injunctions (temporary and permanent) and damages related to the destruction of goods using infringement work. In criminal proceedings, imprisonment for not less than six months and up to 3 years is also possible.
In cases related to patent refrigerant, penalties have not been explicitly mentioned in the Indian Patent Act. However, the patentee’s rights have been mentioned in Section 48, which suggests they have the exclusive privilege to prohibit a third party from utilising or importing any of their patented products or services under this Act. Further, in case of infringement, an injunction is granted when the case favours the plaintiff, and a permanent injunction is granted when the trial has been completed. When the damages are proved, the profit or damages are reimbursed accordingly.
In matters of copyright infringement, the copyright owner may take legal action against any individual or organisation that infringes a copyrighted work. The copyright owner can seek remedies through accounting, damages, and injunctions by filing a civil remedies case in any court with jurisdiction.
Further, no court may try any offence under the Act that is not a Metropolitan Magistrate or a First Class Judicial Magistrate. If an artificial legal entity, such as a limited liability partnership (LLP) or private limited company, violates someone else’s copyright, both the company and everyone who, at the time the offence was committed, oversaw or accountable to the company for the company’s business operations would be held responsible.
Intellectual Property Litigation: recent developments
In cases where, due to the internet’s constant usage by a widespread audience and its accessibility, online infringement of intellectual property becomes very easy and challenging for the advocates to prove its jurisdiction. In a recent judgment of 2021, “H.K. Media Limited and Anr v. Brainlink International Inc., they decided on jurisdiction jurisdiction in matters related to I.P. infringement with the preview of cross-border disputes.
In the case of Samridhi Enterprises v Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. & Ors, the Court defined the intermediaries’ responsibilities under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“I.T. Rules”) was rendered by the Delhi High Court. The plaintiff further submitted that after giving notice, the defendant did not remove allegedly infringing listings from their website, which was in violation of the statutory requirements of the I.T. Rules.
The Court further dismissed the argument, which noted that an intermediary is only required under Rule 3(1) of the I.T. Rules to publish its rules, regulations, privacy policy, and user agreement before users can access its platforms. After a complaint is received, it does not require the active removal of anything that violates the law.
The Court additionally submitted that the intermediary’s only obligation under Rule 3(1)(b)(iv) of the I.T. Rules is to notify the user to refrain from hosting, exhibiting, or publishing any information that violates intellectual property rights. The Court also made it clear that the intermediary is not required by the I.T. Rules to take any particular action after receiving an infringement complaint, as this is merely a suggestion rather than a legal requirement.
In the case of Neetu Singh & Anr. v. Telegram FZ LLC & Ors. (2022), the main question was whether the intermediary—in this case, Telegraph—is liable for copyright infringement as the plaintiff, Neetu Singh, is a well-known author of books for competitive exams. During the epidemic, K.D. Campus, a coaching institute, started offering online classes. Without permission, they began disseminating the plaintiff’s copyrighted publications on the messaging service “Telegram.” The lawsuit alleges that her rights have been violated by Telegram hosting channels that share her copyrighted works. Thus, the Court had to determine whether Telegram could be held accountable for hosting channels violating Neetu Singh’s copyrights.
As a result, the Court decided that Telegram was required to remove these channels that had distributed illegal content by Section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. It was further mentioned that intermediaries are not allowed to host, display, change, upload, or share content that violates copyright, according to Rule 3 of the I.T. standards.
Conclusion:
This article emphasises the requirement of robust protection techniques, given the complex legal environment around intellectual property theft and infringement. Comprehending intellectual property rules to protect creative works and promote innovation is essential. A multifaceted strategy is required to prohibit infringement, from secure cooperation methods to continuous innovation. Both civil and criminal remedies are available for protecting intellectual property, allowing right holders to pursue compensation for infringement. This all-encompassing strategy seeks to protect creators’ rights in the digital era while encouraging innovation and creativity.