I suspect that my IP rights have been infringed. What can I do?

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When you become aware about the possible unlawful use of your rights by third parties,  should  precisely  identify  the  alleged  infringers  in  order  to eventually bring to an end to the infringing activity.

There  are  several  ways  to  enforce  your  IP  rights,  ranging  from relatively  simple  measures  to complex  litigation. Court proceedings are costly and lengthy and therefore other preliminary tools should be used so as to prevent subsequent litigation. In many cases private negotiation via legal professional is more effective and should be considered as a viable option,particularly for SMEs which often are faced with budgetary constraints.

It is a common practice to approach the person who is supposedly infringing your IP rights by sending a letter of demand, also known as “cease and desist letter". The letter will advise the alleged infringer that a court action may be taken  if  the  infringing  activities  do  not  stop  within  a  certain  period  of  time. It is to be noticed that you should avoid posing threats to the other party, or include false statements as this may lead to your legal liability. A previous consultation with a lawyer may be advisable in this respect.

In case a letter of demand does not result in cessation of the alleged infringement, further legal steps are available, such as customs actions, settlements (through informal negotiations, mediation or arbitration) and/or litigation (civil actions or criminal prosecution where available).

In any case, it is advisable to seek a proper legal advice, since the course of action will depend on the circumstances of each particular case.