Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Neither Wilful Blindness Nor Obtuseness Are Defenses To Copyright or Trademark Infringement

I have a client that came in with a complaint that both its copyrights and trademarks are being infringed on by a competitor. Adding to the fun, the competitor is a former sales manger that broke off and is now selling a similar line of products.

So I investigate and yep, the copyright and trademark infringement is pretty blatant, including taking photos from my client's website and then using the photos, many with the product trademark logos intact, on their site to claim the products are coming from them.

So I write a gentle yet firm nasty-gram to request they remove the infringing images from their website and sales brochures.

They write back claiming they're very concerned about such claims but they investigated and can find no infringing photos on their website and could we please point out the issues?

This should be fun.

So I go ahead and list their various trademark and copyright infringements evident on their site and even helpfully print out pages of their website to include with the reply showing the numerous infringements. Most of these photos are straight off my clients website and they even kept the same html tags in their code

Hilariously enough, one set of photos on their website is not only directly from my client's website, but depicts one of my clients current employees operating the product.

Kind of hard to claim a complete lack of knowledge considering the sheer volume of material taken. It's not a one-off oopsy, nor a use that could be considered fair use, but a wholesale ripoff that's going on and that is going to be stopped.

Their response to this current letter should be interesting.

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