Your small business benefits from having its own property, ideas and ideals. You don't have many, but the patents you do have support your business and your intention to grow it in the future.
If your intellectual property is stolen, it can mean big trouble for your business. Depending on the items taken from you, it may mean that you're no longer the front-runner in the industry or lose your competitive edge.
You invented a new toy for children, and you were very excited about the potential it had as a product that could make you thousands, if not millions, of dollars. You designed it well and even had your own chemical formulas created specifically for the toy. You patented the chemical because it was unique, which is why you were surprised when another company came out with an almost-identical product.
The dilution of your trademark is a serious offense that you must take legal action against. When trademarks are diluted, it means that someone else is using a similar, or the same, mark and hurting your reputation -or hijacking your brand and customer base.
As an artist, you love creating work and sharing it online. The problem is that it's too easy for others to steal your work. Even if you use a watermark on the image, people with programs like Photoshop can remove that watermark and use your imagery as their own.
Trademark dilution is a term you may not have heard before. It refers to using a trademark in a way that "dilutes" the owner's trademark. Dilution doesn't just happen when someone infringes on a trademark directly. Parodies of trademarks could result in dilution as well.
You were using the internet, browsing to see what kinds of things people had made recently. It was shocking, but you came across identical photographs and information about a product you created and own the rights to. The company claims to be the designer and sells the product for less.
There is little worse than realizing that another company has been using your trademark to promote its copycat products. Your customers have been leaving negative feedback stating that you sold them cheap, dangerous items. The trouble is that those aren't your items and they're not your customers. It's driving your business into the ground.
Intellectual property has, in many ways, become the most valuable commodity that anyone can buy or sell. The more our world evolves technologically, the more important information and ideas become -- and the more important it is to understand what legal means are used to protect those things.
The Internet is the hardest type of media to police. It sometimes appears that Internet users believe all data is free for the taking. But just because something is on the Internet does not mean it is exempt from copyright or plagiarism laws.