Intellectual Property Theft
Intellectual property is a type of property that is intangible and includes creations of the human mind. Inventions, artistic and literary works, designs, symbols, trade secrets, and names fall under this category. Like any other type of property, there are laws protecting intellectual property. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents allow people to receive recognition and compensation for their contributions.
When people take and distribute the intellectual property of others without their consent for personal gain, they commit intellectual property theft, a federal crime that may have severe repercussions. Anyone being investigated for intellectual property theft should discuss their situation with a knowledgeable intellectual property theft defense lawyer in West Palm Beach.
Federal Intellectual Property Theft Charges
These days, the majority of intellectual property crimes take place online. The internet makes an infinite number of copyrighted materials available for consumption. Things like movies, music, software, and other kinds of proprietary property are frequently subject to theft.
As the use of the internet continues to grow and the number of file sharing networks expands, these crimes are posing a growing threat. In all, intellectual property theft costs companies billions of dollars a year and drains jobs and tax revenue. The FBI prioritizes curbing this type of theft and teams up with several other federal agencies to do just that. A person suspected of federal intellectual property theft can expect an aggressive investigation and prosecution.
Examples of Intellectual Property Theft
Intellectual property crime is a federal crime which can result in decades-long prison terms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial penalties. Some specific offenses that can be classified as intellectual property theft are:
- Copyright infringement
- Trade secret theft
- Trademark counterfeiting
- Counterfeit drug trafficking
- Counterfeit labeling
- Recording in movie theaters
Another term that is often used interchangeably with intellectual property theft is internet piracy. This is a specific type of offense that occurs completely online.
What is Internet Piracy?
Internet piracy is a type of intellectual property theft that takes place exclusively online. It usually involves people using copyrighted material without the permission of the owner. Some examples may include:
- Using torrent software to download copyrighted material.
- Creating a website so people can directly download copyrighted material without the owner’s permission.
- Streaming copyrighted material without a license which gives permission from the content owners.
The penalties you may face for your specific case will vary upon the details of the case and any past criminal history you may have. This is also true of the defenses that may work in your favor. Some defenses to intellectual property theft charges in West Palm Beach can be:
- Lack of intent — the defendant did not knowingly steal intellectual property
- Lack of ownership rights by the plaintiff — the material was not protected by intellectual property laws
- Fair use — the copyrighted material was used for educational purposes
You won’t know the best route to take for your defense without gaining professional insight into your case. A federal defense lawyer who handles copyright matters can evaluate your story, investigate all the evidence, and present evidence that places you in a favorable light. At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, we can do just that. See how we can help you fight your federal charges for intellectual property theft in West Palm Beach by seeking a free consultation. Just call 561-622-5575 or send us an email.