As a business owner in Houston, Texas, you may own one or more creative works such as original documents, computer programs, recordings or other tangible intellectual property that are essential to your company’s bottom line. You should have exclusive rights to these, including the sole authority to copy, distribute, perform, display or otherwise use them. In fact, if the work is protected by copyright law, this is exactly the case. We at The Jackson Law Firm have provided advice to many who are unsure of their legal rights regarding their copyrighted works.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright infringement occurs when your business’s property is used by another company or person without obtaining your permission. For example, maybe a rival company is using a logo design that consumers could easily mistake as your own. When a copyright has been infringed upon, and you have suffered damages as a direct result, you have the right to recover these from the other party. This could include lost revenue to your company and damaged reputation. In addition, that person or company must turn over the revenues garnered from the use of your property.
Alternately, you may choose to recover damages in an amount that is specified by the statute, rather than calculating actual damages based on the level of harm your business sustained from the infringement. If the other party cannot show that the infringement was not intentional, a court can decide to order them to pay just $200. If the infringement was not accidental, the court has discretion to award you up to $30,000 and no less than $750 in statutory damages. However, if you are able to prove that the theft of your intellectual property was willful, your award may be as much as $150,000. For more information about assets and disputes, please visit our web page.