Logo for Calvin Law Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Understanding the 3 Most Common Types of Intellectual Property Litigation

Read Below

In this fast-paced era of innovation, protecting one’s intellectual creations has become paramount. But what happens when someone infringes upon your copyrights or trademarks? How do you navigate the labyrinthine paths of patents? Fear not as we embark on a journey to demystify the intricate realm of intellectual property litigation. In this blog, we will go over the three most common types of intellectual property litigation: copyright infringement, trademark disputes, and patent litigations. By understanding these key areas, you’ll equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence to safeguard your invaluable creations in this ever-evolving landscape.

Trademark Infringement

When one company makes unauthorized use of another company’s trademark, it is engaging in trademark infringement. This can be done in a number of ways, including using the mark on competing products, using a mark that is confusingly similar to another company’s mark, or using a mark in a way that dilutes its value.


Trademark infringement is a serious matter because it can damage the relationship between a company and its customers. If customers are confused about who is behind a particular product or service, they may lose trust in the company and stop doing business with it. In some cases, trademark infringement can also lead to financial losses for the company whose mark has been infringed.


If you believe that your trademark has been infringed upon, you should contact an experienced intellectual property attorney who can help you assess your options and take appropriate action.

If you are accused of trademark infringement, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to determine the best course of action and to protect your interests.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is by far the most common type that results in litigation. Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. This can happen in a number of ways, such as copying a copyrighted work, distributing a copyrighted work, or publicly performing a copyrighted work.


In the United States, copyright infringement is a civil matter rather than a criminal one, so you can’t be sent to jail or fined for it. However, if you are found guilty of copyright infringement, you can still face significant financial penalties. Depending on the circumstances, the copyright holder may be able to seek damages from you as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. As such, it is important to take copyright infringement claims seriously and consult with an experienced intellectual property lawyer in your area who specializes in copyright law.

Patent Infringement

Patent infringement is the unauthorized use or sale of a patented invention. This can occur when someone makes, uses, sells, or imports a patented product without the permission of the patent holder. Patent infringement is a serious matter and can result in costly litigation.


There are a few different types of patent infringement. Direct infringement refers to when someone uses or sells a patented product without the patent holder’s permission. Contributory infringement occurs when someone helps another person infringe on the patent by providing components or instructions for making an infringing product. Indirect infringement occurs when someone induces or contributes to another person’s direct infringement, such as marketing an infringing product.


In order to prove patent infringement, there must be proof that the accused party had access to the patented invention and that they copied it. There must also be proof that the accused party made use of the patented invention in their own products or services. The most common form of evidence used in patent infringement cases is a comparison between the accused party’s product and the original patented invention. If there is enough evidence of infringement, then a court may decide to award damages to the patent holder.

When to Seek Legal Help for IP Litigation?

If you believe that someone has copied your work without permission or is using your trademark or patent without authorization, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are forms of intellectual property that are meant to protect creative works and brands, respectively. If you have a strong case, filing a lawsuit can be an effective way to stop the infringement and receive damages.


An experienced intellectual property attorney can help you weigh your options and decide whether filing a lawsuit is the best course of action for your situation.

Common Strategies Used in IP Litigation

There are a number of common strategies used in intellectual property litigation. In copyright litigation, the most common defense is Fair Use. Another defense is to assert that the other party’s intellectual property is invalid. This can be done by challenging the novelty or originality of the other party’s intellectual property or by asserting that the other party’s intellectual property is not new or different enough from what has come before.


Another common strategy is to assert that the other party is infringing on your intellectual property. This can be done by showing that the other party is using your intellectual property without permission or by demonstrating that their use of your intellectual property is unauthorized. Lastly, another common strategy is to assert that you are not infringing on the other party’s intellectual property. This can be done by showing that you are using your own independent creation or by demonstrating that your use of the other party’s intellectual property is fair use.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand the three most common types of intellectual property lawsuits so that you know what steps to take if you ever find yourself in one. With this knowledge, it should be easier for you to prepare yourself for any potential legal disputes related to your IP and ensure that your rights are protected. By researching other resources on IP protection and engaging the services of an experienced business attorney, you can arm yourself with the knowledge needed to get through any potential disputes successfully.