Forbes estimates that Intellectual Property theft will siphon $300 billion from the coffers of entrepreneurs this year, driving many completely out of business. How can you defend your business?
IP crimes are most often committed by business insiders: former employees, investors or even friends. Once IP theft has occurred, a victimized business will hemorrhage profits. The key to combating IP theft lies in proving a crime has occurred. The burden of this proof falls squarely on the shoulders of the victim. In other words, winning or losing an IP theft case depends on the quality of evidence presented. Obtaining professional compiled evidence is an expense that no IP theft victim can afford to go without. The best defense will be prepared by a seasoned, licensed Private Investigator.
Family-owned Midwest Rubber Service and Supply can attest to this. In 2012, the company saw a 50 percent drop in profits when a competitor started replicating their squeegees. The counterfeit products appeared on store shelves at a much lower price and nearly cost the family their entire livelihood. With the help of Private Investigators and attorneys, the company successfully recovered their business. There are many others business owners who never recoup their losses once IP theft has occurred. The majority of them do not understand IP theft or how critical evidence is to prosecution.
“Intellectual Property” refers to “creations of the mind.” These concepts are the cornerstones of a business, developed by the owner, and are protected as Intellectual Property. IP can include recipes, formulas, sensitive marketing information, customer lists, techniques, processes and more. Even unpatented inventions and software can be defended as IP with proper evidence. California is one of many states to have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. This means an IP theft a court ordered injunction can prevent an IP thief from disclosing their information, and victims can seek financial compensation for up to three years after the theft was committed.
In order to win their suit, an IP theft victim has to prove to a judge that the defendant has stolen their IP. Properly documented, legal evidence is all a judge examines. A PI can document service of Cease and Desist letters, prepare evidence of trademark and copyright, provide ironclad statements from witnesses, and conduct a forensic analysis of digital evidence. They may also prepare evidence that shows that the defendant knowingly committed a crime. A good PI is an expert in navigating the criminal justice system, and they will work on your behalf to build an irrefutable case. There is no playing catch-up in this type of case, and industry moguls already know this.
Louis Vuitton wasted no time in hiring a Private Investigator in their case against a Vancouver counterfeit purse vendor. Their PI gathered evidence while posing as an undercover buyer, winning them a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Similarly, Dr. Oz successfully used a PI to trace counterfeit skincare products from an online business front to a cosmetic surgeon. PIS Inc. assisted with the confrontation and surveillance for the show.
It’s crucial that business owners make the right moves at the outset of IP theft prosecution. Afford your business the same protections as the big dogs by hiring a licensed, verified Private Investigator to lead you through the complexities of an IP theft case. Whether your business suffers a fatal business blow due to IP theft depends on the evidence presented during prosecution – it’s your livelihood on the line.
Find a licensed, verified Private Investigator at www.findyourinvestigator.com