What is Infringement?

Infringement is a violation of a law, right, or obligation. It's also the unauthorized use of any Intellectual Property including patents, copyrights, or trademarks. Infringement of intellectual property is also known as piracy, and is, put simply, the crime of theft.

Criminal Infringement

In most cases, copyright infringement, patent infringement, and trademark infringement are civil law matters. The owners of the rights sue the infringers for damages. However, it is possible for criminal charges to be brought in infringement cases.

Criminal charges are brought when the accused knowingly and willingly:

  • publishes someone else's work as their own
  • makes, distributes, or sells an unauthorized form of the creative work
  • makes, distributes, or sells unauthorized copies on the internet

Penalties for Infringement

Penalties for infringement differ according to jurisdiction. If you are involved in an infringement case, you need an attorney specializing in any or all aspects of intellectual property law to work on your behalf.

Trademark Term of the Day

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, is responsible for managing the registration and maintenance processes related to patents and trademarks.

Category: Trademarks

Share this page with a friend