Legal Issues: If my rights are infringed by others
What can I do if someone copies my invention or other creation?
Generally, as an owner of IP rights, you may take legal action against anyone who infringes your rights. Note that it is your responsibility to take such action. Someone who infringes on your IP rights may be accountable to you by way of an injunction, i.e., an order to cease the infringing activity or damages.
As a business tool, infringement litigation will help you protect and expand your market share. Before charging infringement, it's recommended that you ask an IP agent or lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation in order to ascertain whether infringement of your IP rights is actually taking place, that your own IP is in order, and to consider your probabilities of success in a potential litigation.
In many situations it makes good business sense for all parties that infringement litigation be avoided. Negotiating a sound licence agreement (in some cases even a sale of all your IP rights by way of assignment) instead of costly and disruptive infringement litigation seems to be a very popular business option. Let's consider the example where you may obtain a patent for an improvement to an existing patented invention, and the original patent is still in force. Hence, manufacturing or marketing the product with your improvement would probably be an infringement. This situation is often resolved by agreement between the patentees to grant licences to each other.