Some of the more common types of intellectual property are patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights. Many Californians invest a significant amount of time creating their artistic works, crafting a recognizable logo for their brand, designing a much-needed product or coming up with the right recipe for success. Savvy individuals protect the integrity of those items by filing for the appropriate intellectual property rights to them. These protections remain in effect for varying lengths of time.
Remember the commercials about pirating music and movies? Remember when Napster got shut down? For many, pirating music seems like something that happened in the early 2000s, which many people did on dial-up internet and used services like LimeWire. This was long before you could easily just download music onto your phone. But are people still doing it?
The main issue that crops up when someone infringes on a trademark is that they may use it to make sales. For instance, they could use the logo of a famous company to produce knock-off items and sell them for far less. Every sale that they make potentially takes a sale away from the company that owns the trademark. They can potentially lose a lot of income over the issue.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) refers to intellectual property crimes as a "growing threat." They note that they devote a lot of resources to stopping it, but it's something that is happening more often and impacting more people. Why does the FBI look at it this way?
Trademark infringement often involves a mark being used without permission but not always. Sometimes, it just involves a very similar mark being used and harming the reputation of the first. This type of infringement can change the public's perception of the original mark. They once thought it related to something particular, singular or unique, but the second, very similar mark can make them stop thinking that even when the two are not the same.
Ask a business owner from 100 years ago what their number one asset was, and you would have probably been told it was their employees. That was true in a day when many people started and ended their working careers with the same company.
Kawhi Leonard has major ties to California and hoped to keep his intellectual property lawsuit against Nike in the state, but it appears that will not happen. A California judge recently allowed the case to move to Oregon, where Nike has its headquarters.
What drives your business? You can probably point to a number of things: your employees, your dedication to customer service, your cutting-edge products and services.
When your intellectual property is stolen, it's your very idea that is being taken by someone else.
A tech start-up from California's Silicon Valley accused a tech giant in China, Huawei, of stealing trade secrets from them. A court found that the Chinese company did steal those secrets.