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Statute of limitations can preclude copyright lawsuits

Statute of limitations can preclude copyright lawsuits

| Aug 26, 2020 | Intellectual Property |

It is rare for any profitable creative or intellectual endeavor to be the product of a single mind. It is also unique for intelligent people to collaborate without clashing. Unfortunately, financial success often comes at a cost of the parting of ways.

Securing intellectual property (IP) rights prohibits others from profiting off the use of your idea. However, if an infringement takes place, it’s vital to take action before the statute of limitations runs out and litigation becomes virtually impossible.

Waiting too long to file a copyright infringement claim could be detrimental

A court’s recent ruling on an alleged dispute about the copyright rights behind a television show reportedly rested on the length of time it took to file a claim.

This particular lawsuit involved allegations of copying creative work. Despite a long-standing professional relationship between the parties involved with the show, the law’s limitations factored into the judge’s final decision.

Yet, waiting six years to bring the case to trial may have been the larger error in this case.

Potential consequences of using another’s person work without permission

As with any violation of the law, copyright infringement penalties may vary. Depending on the situation, civil or criminal consequences may include:

  • Statutory damages
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Restitution
  • Actual damages
  • Imprisonment

However, there is a three-year statute of limitations on filing a claim. If you wait longer than that, you could lose your opportunity to seek damages.

Explore your options sooner than later to protect your rights

Bringing an idea to fruition requires dedication, time and financial resources. Many times, copyrighted works stem from a unique expression of thoughts or feelings in the depths of someone’s soul. It’s only natural to protect something personal that you worked so hard to create.

We will never know whether a court would have identified a copyright infringement regarding the TV show. However, this case serves as a reminder to act promptly when your intellectual property is in jeopardy. When you rely on the financial benefits of your rights, you must learn about the options available to protect your rights.