Intellectual property theft hurts small businesses

  • Article by: DEE DePASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 3, 2012 - 8:48 PM

Preventive action and diligent lawsuits keep threats at bay.

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edinawaterNov. 4, 1210:18 PM

There are four types of so-called intellectual property: trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. All the problems brought up in this article were about trademarks. Unfortunately our elected representatives are using the spectre of counterfeit goods to push treaties and laws related to copyright--specifically the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Copyright is an area of law that is already absurdly out of balance. There needs to be a frank discussion in this country about what copyright should really cover, how long it should last, and what laws would be appropriate to enforce it.

What we do not need are treaties under the guise of protecting counterfeit goods that mandate the U.S. impose ever more strict criminal sanctions on U.S. citizens, especially when those sanctions are on an unrelated topic. Even worse, ACTA would hand our nation's sovereignty over to a world-wide body to govern copyright law and it would mandate surveillance of all internet users to make it easier to track down offenders.

The article offers up examples of trademark infringement, then goes on to discuss the extraordinary cost of litigating patent cases (patents are completely unrelated to trademarks! And they are expensive to litigate because it is difficult to prove a patent was infringed and that the patent should have been granted in the first place).

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