The internet has brought new and varied ways for people to infringe on your intellectual property (IP) that didn’t exist a few decades ago. Most people who infringe on IP belonging to others do so for their own profit. In some cases, it’s solely to harm the other party.
Either way, a lot of damage can be done to your business and your brand before you even realize what’s been happening. Let’s look at some examples of online IP infringement.
This is where someone registers a domain name that’s similar to someone else’s (usually a well-known site) – maybe off by just one letter or with letters reversed. They count on people mistyping and ending up on their site, where they may offer similar or counterfeit products or services or even have viruses that can cause serious damage.
Also known as domain squatting, this is where someone takes a domain name associated with a company or one of its products before that company is able to get it. Then they’ll sell it to the company and make a nice profit.
We’ve seen this done in the political world when a candidate’s staff fails to nail down all domains using the candidate’s name. They may get JaneQSenateHopeful.com, but not .org or .net. Other candidates or their supporters will take those and direct people to their candidate or simply use the site to disparage their opponent. Typosquatting and cybersquatting are both types of rogue websites.
Trademark infringing listings
This is when a popular product appears on the front of an online marketplace to attract buyers. However, the product isn’t sold on that online marketplace, and the company that makes that product has not agreed to sell it in the online marketplace. The trademark infringer may sell similar or even counterfeit versions of the product.
If your IP has been stolen or misused, it’s essential to find out what legal recourse you may have. This can help you recoup your losses, protect your reputation and seek justice.