If you own a company, it’s likely that you also own patents or intellectual properties. These can be valuable assets, and violation could result in someone taking profits that are legally yours, so it’s important to be vigilant for any infringement of your rights.
A patent, as long as it’s renewed annually, restricts commercial exploitation of an invention to the holder or anyone they’ve licenced. Even if you’re the licensee, infringement is likely to damage your trading and should be challenged.
Patents can only apply to physical products, but you’ll also own intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrighted text or images. Copyright theft in particular is rife on the internet, and at best this means someone else is profiting from your hard work, even if you don’t actually lose out.
A common issue is when two companies in a similar sector are using names that could easily be confused. The victory doesn’t always go to the bigger company — even if you’re taking on a giant, you should win if you can show you were using the name first, and there have been cases of large companies paying substantial damages to smaller ones.
Your patents and intellectual properties are valuable — watch out for anyone misappropriating them.