5. Enforce your rights
Once you are the owner of formal intellectual property (IP) rights, you are responsible for monitoring possible infringement of your rights.
If you suspect that someone is infringing on your rights, you should consult an IP professional to do the following:
- check if your IP rights are being infringed
- assess the damage
- determine a suitable course of action to enforce your rights
Seek legal advice
Laws on the enforcement of IP are not the same in every country, so it is always a good idea to seek legal advice before deciding what to do next. This will help you make an informed decision and know what to expect as a result of taking action to stop infringement.
There may be repercussions to accusing someone of infringement. For example, the alleged infringer could start court proceedings against you and protest your allegations. The infringer may oppose or even invalidate your IP.
Litigation in court is usually the last option to settle a dispute, so it may be valuable to seek alternative dispute resolutions like the following:
- negotiated licensing
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center is a neutral, international and non-profit dispute resolution provider that offers time- and cost-efficient alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options. WIPO mediation, arbitration, expedited arbitration and expert determination enable private parties to efficiently settle their domestic or cross-border IP and technology disputes out of court.
- Panel of Trademark Mediators: The International Trademark Association offers parties access to an international roster of qualified mediators with specific expertise in trademark and related unfair competition issues, combined with a deep understanding of the business drivers underlying these kinds of disputes.
- Find a trade commissioner: Global Affairs Canada offers free, expert advice on exporting, international collaboration and investing from trade commissioners.
- Canada Border Services Agency
- ADR Institute of Canada
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Innovations & Intellectual Property Committee
- Canadian Bar Association
- Find an IP Professional search tool – Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
- IP infringement and enforcement (Canadian Intellectual Property Office)