What Is Intellectual Property Infringement?

Intellectual property infringement is the violation of a protected intellectual property right.  Intellectual property rights are the rights given to an inventor or creator for their original works.  This means that infringement is violating the right protected by a patent, trademark, or copyright.  Patents, trademarks, or copyrights give the inventor or creator the right to litigate against infringers, collect damages and stop the infringer’s activity.

Without the protection of a patent an inventor does not have any legal recourse in the event that someone makes, uses, sells, or imports their invention in the U.S. without permission.  Without trademark protection a user cannot stop another with an identical or similar trademark from using it in commerce.  Without the protect of a copyright the creator of a literary work cannot stop others from using the literary work.