Why Businesses Should Monitor Infringement of Their Intellectual Property

By August 27, 2012Uncategorized
While reading the August 11, 2012 LosAngeles Times, I came across an article that struck home for many of our clients.

Google recently announced its plan to alter its search algorithm to protect U.S. copyright owners.  In their search algorithm, Google will now incorporate whether a website has had Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notices (DMCA Notices) filed against it.  This action was taken largely in response to outcry from Hollywood – an industry that has struggled to address piracy issues online.  However, the implications of this change will reach far beyond Hollywood and have an effect on all businesses that count intellectual property as an asset.

This recent change highlights two important aspects of copyright protection that all businesses should consider.  First, businesses must take the appropriate steps to protect their intellectual property.  The most important step a business can take is to properly register their copyrightable material as it is created.  Second, businesses must protect their intellectual property as they become aware of infringement online.  To protect a business’ rights it is necessary to properly file a DMCA notice with the infringer and their web hosting company.

Why is this important?  Google has decided that infringing sites will be downgraded in their search results.  Infringers will now see their search engine optimization (SEO) decreased for their infringing actions.  But, this will only happen if a business chooses to register and protect its intellectual property.  Our firm works with our clients to understand the U.S. Copyright registration process and protect their rights if infringed.