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Photo of attorneys E. Kelly Conway, Michael E. Gehring and Stephen G. Harvey

Another company is using my product design, what can I do?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2024 | Business Disputes

When it comes to innovation in the industrial market, product designs are the cornerstone of market success. However, discovering that another company is using your proprietary design without permission can be concerning and challenging to navigate.

What can you do if you find yourself in such a situation?

Assess and gather evidence

Compile evidence that confirms whether the company is indeed using your product design. This means comparing the specifications and product samples, and even reviewing available documentation.

Consult a trade secret lawyer

If you confirm infringement, consult with a lawyer experienced with trade secret laws. A trade secret lawyer may be able to provide advice and available courses of action to help you understand your rights and options for recourse.

Enforce your rights to your intellectual property

If you have protected your product with patents, trademarks or copyrights, you may be able to enforce these rights against the infringing party. Examples of such enforcement include sending a cease-and-desist letter, initiating legal proceedings or pursuing alternative dispute resolution.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to explore negotiation or settlement discussions. This could involve licensing agreements, royalty payments or other arrangements that allow the other company to use your design while compensating your for its use.

Review and strengthen your trade secret protection measures

Let this experience be an opportunity to review and update your intellectual property protection measures. You may implement additional security protocols, confidentiality agreements or trademark registrations to safeguard your designs and help prevent future infringements.

Discovering that another business is using your product design without permission can be concerning, but you may have legal options at your disposal. Remain vigilant in monitoring the market for any signs of further infringement or unauthorized use of your designs. Regular review of industry publications, trade shows and online platforms may help ensure the protection of your rights to your intellectual property.