When one company benefits wrongfully off the work done by another company and/or takes steps to mislead customers by using deceptively similar logos, colors, and names it is called "Unfair Competition"

Trademarks:

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  • A trademark may be any word, group of words, logo, symbol, numbers, colors, sounds, scents, or shape of packaging that is used to identify and distinguish a producer’s goods or services.
  • A registered trademark may not be reproduced or counterfeited in connection with any sale, offer to sale, distribution, or advertising.
  • Anyone who infringes on a trademark may face a court injunction, be forced to turn over any profits from the infringement, pay damages, pay attorney fees, and treble damages
  • Unregistered trademarks may be indicated with a "TM" from trademarks or a "SM" for service marks.

Copyrighted Materials:

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  • Grants the authors exclusive rights over their literary works, graphs, pictures, sculptures, architectural works, computer programs, sound recordings, dramatic works, videos, films, and other creative works.
  • Must be in some tangible form of expression such as a writing, recording, or picture
  • The "idea" expressed in a copyrighted work is not protected.
  • Copyrights protect against reproduction, distribution, public display, public performance, and derivative works based on the original.
  • If a person has paid the author to do the work then the work becomes a "work for hire" and ceases to be the property of the author and ownership is transferred to the person who hired the author.
  • Copyrights last throughout the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years. "Work for hire" or anonymous copyrights last 95 years from the first publication, or 120 years from their creation, whichever occurs first.
  • An infringer may be liable for civil damages including reasonable royalties, injunctions, and attorney fees.
  • The trademark owner may lose their right to damages if the trademark lacks notice of registration (such as ®)

Unregistered Trade Secrets, Confidential Proposals & Work Papers:

  • A trade secret is any business or technical information, including such information as formulas, patterns, programs, devices, compilations of information, methods, or techniques that have commercial value because the information is not know by the public
  • An infringer may be liable for civil damages including reasonable royalties, injunctions, and attorney fees.

Patented Items:

  • Prevents others from making, using, selling or offering to sell an invention within the United States for a certain period of time.
  • Patents usually last 20 years
  • No patent exists until a government office issues it.
  • An infringer may be liable for civil damages including reasonable royalties, injunctions, and attorney fees.

Researching patents and patent infringement can be very time consuming and expensive. Copyright Infringement is on the rise and it is your right to know if your copyrighted material is being used unlawfully.  Ensuring that there are not pre-existing patents for the same or similar idea is very important and can save headaches, time and money. Most companies cannot deal with how well-funded, extremely advanced and will Intellectual Property Criminals are.  Legal ROC Investigators will help your business formulate a plan to Intellectual Property Theft and/or Copyright Infringement affecting your company.  Evidence speaks a thousand words in court and having an investigator that can develop evidence to protect you is invaluable.