An important aspect of every business is its intellectual property. However, to whom does the property belong? Does the company hold possession of the property or does the employee who created it hold possession? What happens if another company takes your idea and capitalizes on it? These are situations that many companies come across in Massachusetts. Protecting your assets or intellectual property is best done with the help of an experienced business law attorney in Massachusetts.
Defining Intellectual Property
Intellectual property includes trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents. Oftentimes, intellectual property is used improperly by employees or former employees. They might sell your company’s ideas to competitors in an effort to harm your company for one reason or another. Or, a competitor might simply take an idea they’ve learned about from your company and try to pass it off as their own. This will lead to an intellectual property dispute between you and your employee or you and a competing company.
Examples of Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property disputes can spring from just about any of the aforementioned types of intellectual property, but the most common examples of these disputes include the following:
- Creating a logo with the intention of causing a consumer to believe he or she is purchasing a product that is the same as the original
- Using a logo of an original product for a new product
- Manufacturing a product by using the instructions found in the product’s patent without having permission from the holder of the patent
- Making copies of television shows, movies, and songs to sell them for profit without having permission from the owner of the copyright
- An employee is bribed by your competitor to disclose trade secrets or other information about your company
- You believe your service or product is protected by intellectual property laws when in fact it is not
The Value of Mediation
Mediation is a highly valuable alternative dispute resolution method available to companies involved in intellectual property disputes. Mediation is not only efficient but also affordable for even the smallest of companies. You should always have an attorney represent you during mediation, but you won’t have to spend as much money or time as you would filing a lawsuit.
Mediation is led by the parties involved. You and the person with whom you have the dispute dictate how quickly the process moves along. There’s no timetable for you to follow and you schedule the dates when you will meet to negotiate a settlement. If you want to begin mediation tomorrow, you can do so. You don’t have to wait for the court to schedule hearings months or years from now.
When you use mediation to resolve an intellectual property dispute, you are able to keep the relationship amicable between you and the other party, especially if the other party is an employee. If you truly don’t want the relationship to end because of this dispute, mediation is the best option to resolve the matter.
Resolutions for Intellectual Property Disputes
There are a handful of resolutions that can help settle intellectual property disputes between you and an employee or another company. Some examples of these resolutions include the following:
- Monetary damages can be paid by the party that violated the intellectual property to the party that suffered losses
- A cease and desist order can be issued to the violating party
- The products in question could be confiscated so no more are sold
The resolution you reach depends on how you and the other party handle mediation. It might take one negotiation meeting or multiple meetings to come to a resolution. However, the role of the mediator is to help move the process along smoothly until both parties come to an agreement that they can live with once it is signed.
Speak with a Massachusetts Intellectual Property Dispute Attorney Today
Has your company’s intellectual property been violated or stolen by another company? Are you concerned about an employee selling trade secrets? It’s in your company’s best interest to work with an experienced Massachusetts business law attorney from the team at Shapiro Mediation Services. Your company’s intellectual property is vital to your bottom line. For some companies, the theft of intellectual property could force them to cease operations.
Don’t risk losing your business when a business law attorney with mediation experience can fight for the rights of your company and its intellectual property. Call our office at (339) 298-7733 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your situation today.