Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, which can include movies, trademarks, patents, music, and software. Therefore, intellectual property theft involves stealing an idea from another person or business. This may include copyrights, logos, and inventions. A lot of these cases of intellectual property theft happen online as well. While some of these items are not tangible, stealing them is considered a crime in Louisiana.
If you face intellectual property theft charges, you may worry about the potential penalties and the impact they can have on your future and career. Our knowledgeable lawyers at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm are committed to open and honest communication. You can rely on us to inform you about the entire legal process while we represent you and fight for your rights.
What Are the Types of Intellectual Property?
When dealing with intellectual property and IP theft, it’s important to know the different types, which may include the following:
- Copyrighted Material: Copyrighted material most often involves creative works like videos, songs, and software. People copyright these materials to avoid others using them without their permission.
- Trademarks: Companies typically trademark materials like slogans, logos, and designs to distinguish their brand from others.
- Patented Material: Inventors seek patents from the government to prevent their inventions from being stolen. These typically last for 20 years.
- Trade Secrets: Companies often have trade secrets, or confidential information, that give them a competitive edge. Businesses often include trade secrets in their non-disclosure agreements to protect this information from leaking.
Companies and individuals may violate these intellectual properties in several ways, including:
- Stealing trade secrets
- Creating a logo to look like another company’s to confuse consumers
- Recording music or video without permission to use copyrighted material
- Marketing another party’s patented invention as your own
- Making and selling patented items without a license
Like physical property, intellectual property can be stolen from its rightful owner. States have passed more laws on this issue because IP theft has become more common. We understand these cases can be complicated, so we are here to help you understand the potential punishments for stealing intellectual property.
What Are the Penalties for Stealing Intellectual Property in Louisiana?
If you face charges for stealing intellectual property, you may face potential consequences. According to Louisiana law, the penalties for intellectual property theft include:
- Property Valued Under $500: Stealing intellectual property valued under $500 could result in up to $500 in fines and up to six months in prison.
- Property Valued Over $500: For stealing intellectual property valued over $500, the potential penalties include imprisonment for up to five years and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additionally, IP theft charges may result in confiscation of property, monetary damage orders, and cease and desists because some types of IP can be bought and sold like tangible property. We understand these penalties seem daunting, but we may be able to curate a strong defense and cast doubt on the charges against you to get them reduced. In the best-case scenario, we may get your charges and penalties dropped entirely.
Consult a Reliable Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyer at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm Today
With foreign and domestic governments prioritizing IP protections, the potential penalties of intellectual property charges can be highly concerning. The stresses of the legal process may be overwhelming to handle on your own, so you deserve top-notch representation by your side from start to finish. We provide consistent communication about your case and use our skills and resources to build the strongest defense possible.
At John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, we have years of experience working on IP theft defense cases in Louisiana. We have extensive knowledge of state and federal laws and how the trial process works for these cases. Our dedicated and driven lawyers fight tirelessly for your rights and implement innovative strategies to better your chances of reduced charges. You can call us at (318) 377-1555 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case consultation.