Identifying The Penalties For Infringement

by | Jun 10, 2015 | Law


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Infringement is identified as the illegal use of materials in which the owner has registered through a trademark or copyright. To prove infringement, the owner must present valid documentation of the registration to the court. They must also provide evidence that shows how the violated used the material. However, the manner in which they used the material cannot fall under the fair use laws.

What are the Penalties for Infringement?

Copyright or trademark infringement is a violation of federal laws. At any time that infringement is proven, the violator incurs penalties according to the severity of the crime. The court begins by evaluating the exact value of profits earned by the violator. However, the court could rule that the violator must pay additional damages to the owner. If the reputation of the copyright or trademark owner is damaged due to this violation, the court could enforce harsher penalties.

Seizure of Illegal Material

Under these federal laws, the court could seize any materials that were reproduced illegally. For example, if the case pertains to the reproduction and distribution of movies, all copies found in the possession of the violator are seized and used as evidence. After all copies are recovered, the court calculates the total number of reproductions. The violator pays damages that could equate to no less than $200 with a maximum of $150,000 per reproduction of the material.

Criminal Penalty for Infringement

Anyone who is convicted of Infringement could face five to ten years in prison. If they generated any profits that exceed $2,500 for the sale of these materials, the charges are increased to a felony and their fines range up to $250,000. The fine for this infraction is determined by the total value of profits earned by the violator.

Copyright and trademark infringement is a serious crime. It presents an unfair situation for the owners and in some instances restricts access by fans and dedicated clients. To remedy the backlash due to these events, the U.S. government imposes laws that allow punishment on a state level. To learn more about these laws and infringement laws, contact Edward L White PC Attorney At Law today.