What is infringement?
IP infringement is the violation or unauthorised use of an IP right. If someone is using your IP without you knowing or without your permission, this may be infringement.
Each IP right has its own legislation which determines:
- The action you can take against a person who infringes your right
- Your legal options
- Possible remedies.
Complaints can also be made about IP matters not specifically covered by legislation. For example, if someone intends to breach a confidentiality agreement, you may be able to stop them from disclosing or improperly using the information.
Why does it matter?
Effective enforcement of your IP right can help to:
- Maintain its legal value
- Deter potential infringers
- Retain the ability to attract commercial value.
How can I protect my IP?
Here are some helpful tips to avoid being caught out by infringement.
Create an infringement strategy
An infringement strategy is a plan of action you can take to prevent infringement of your IP.
To ensure you create the best strategy for your individual circumstances, we recommend you seek legal advice.
Minimise your risk
New technologies, greater use of third party service providers and increased reliance on online products and services increase your risk of infringement. Here are some ways to help prevent it.
Monitor the market
It requires a lot of time and effort to keep on top of what's happening in the market, but you need to stay aware of potential infringement of your IP.
In Australia, counterfeit goods pose a great risk to any business. Some sellers may try to imitate or copy products, such as clothing, handbags, shoes or cosmetics, and sell them for a lower price.
Counterfeit good can:
- Harm brand reputation
- Impact profits
- Discourage innovation
- Risk consumer health and safety.
If you've noticed that someone may be using your IP without your permission, you can take action to stop them.
Search existing IP
Another preventive step that you can take is to keep watch of new IP entering the market. You can keep up to date with proposed and accepted IP by regularly checking the:
- Australian Trade Marks Search
- Australian Design Search
- Australian Patent Search (AusPat)
- Australian Plant Breeder's Right (PBR) Search.
If you need help with monitoring the market, you can pay someone to do this for you. Speak to your legal representative for guidance on available services.