Managing and defending IP (intellectual property) has long been a crucial activity for many organisations, but as competition intensifies and the cost and complexity of innovation increases, deterrence of IP infringement has become a critical component of business performance.
Apple v Samsung
The recent court battle of Apple v Samsung, involving over 50 lawsuits in 9 legal jurisdictions and relating to a multitude of design and product-related patents, is a perfect example of the use of IP as both an offensive and defensive business strategy. The courts took the infringements very seriously, awarding both billions of dollars in damages and limiting the sale of products in certain markets, but this masks the true intent of the participants; this was a hard-bitten fight for leadership of the near $400bn (2013) global smartphone and tablet market. With super-profits at stake, the competitors used every weapon at their disposal to gain an advantage.Consider the following examples:
A former employee of yours goes to a competitor. Within days, a video appears on your competitor's website that leads you to believe your former employee revealed confidential IP to your competitor.
Your trademarked logo is showing up on the Facebook site of another company that operates in a business similar to yours. You believe that company is infringing on your trademark with its social media presence.
Your company operates in a highly competitive market, and you want to stay aware of possible IP infringements by your competitors AND you want support for freedom to operate decisions for your own efforts.
On-going IP protection
The Apple v Samsung case demonstrates the increasing importance of IP to profitability and market share. So whilst many organisations instinctively seek IP protection via the patent process or trademark protection, the IP protection process cannot be considered a one-off event. Monitoring IP infringement is an ongoing activity and a particularly important one in a globalized marketplace.
The role of web-based evidence
Evidence is not always easy to come by, particularly as most IP infringers don’t want to shout about it. However, they do want to promote their products, which is why evidence collected from the web is becoming increasingly useful. Legally admissible evidence collected via the web can be a cost effective way to bring an action of IP infringement, although you must also guard against the immediate disappearance of the evidence from the live web. This is where legally defensible web archiving comes into it’s own. Recording an ISO standard copy of the original web evidence provides you and, in the event of litigation, the court with the information needed to reach a swift and accurate judgment in your favor.
Find out more
If you’d like to find out more about on-going IP protection and the collection of web-based evidence of IP infringement in a cost effective manner, contact us.