Digital technologies and capabilities offer new avenues for sharing and creating intellectual property, such as art and computer programs. This world of what is covered by a patent, copyright, and trademark is truly in a time of rapid change. This means intellectual property crimes are experiencing a parallel time of fluctuation. As one of NY’s experienced intellectual property crime law firms, Koch Law has dedicated substantial time to monitoring and understanding these changes. Our knowledge of the current trends and changes in intellectual property crimes allows the New York City Intellectual Property Crime Lawyer in our office to best serve you, our clients.
Criminal charges for intellectual property offenses, in particular, are experiencing a shift that brings uncertainty to what is and what isn’t a criminal offense, and new avenues into sampling, parody, and digital sharing are further muddying the waters.
Understanding Intellectual Property Crimes
Intellectual property crimes in New York cover the theft or piracy of all types of intellectual property, including copyrighted materials and works, trademarks, patents; and licenses. These four categories of intellectual property actually cover a breadth of items and materials.
What is considered intellectual property? All of the following are protected or fall under intellectual property laws:
- Scientific inventions;
- Creative works, such as art, music, photography, and dance;
- Literary works, such as novels, blog posts, and poetry;
- Performances and productions, such as television, movies, and plays;
- Broadcasts, including radio programs and podcasts;
- Architectural designs;
- Engineering drawings or know-how; and
- Software and software programs.
Similar to identity theft laws, embezzlement statutes, and other white collar crime, intellectual property laws safeguard both a personal and financial interest. These laws in New York, and enacted by Congress at the federal level, are designed to give artists and inventors assurance that no one else can profit or gain from what they create.
However, working with an intellectual property crimes lawyer in NY, you’ll quickly learn that this is a part of criminal law with many gray areas. For example, there are some instances when using a very small portion of a copyrighted work is allowed, and in other instances, there are exceptions for the parody of a speech or performance.
In fact, the layers of nuance and types of law involved in understanding the criminal charges make it necessary to hire NY defense counsel with specific prior experience in intellectual property crimes.
New York Law on Intellectual Property Crimes
A number of federal statutes create criminal liability for individuals that specifically steal or misappropriate the intellectual property of another person. However, in the State of New York, these same laws don’t exist.
Rather, the New York Penal Law relies on general theft and larceny laws to criminalize intellectual property crimes. This structure is similar to how many New York cyber crimes, from cyber warfare to cyber extortion, are all prosecuted under the same set of computer fraud statutes.
The federal laws that cover theft, piracy, and other intellectual property crimes are:
- The Copyright and Patent Clause of the U.S. Constitution;
- The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution;
- The Copyright Act;
- The Lanham Act; and
- The Patent Act.
Each of these laws approaches intellectual property crimes from a different angle and can even criminalize very different behavior or actions. For example, the Lanham Act, individuals that don’t hold rights to a trademark cannot create or use counterfeit trademarks or present information that indicates or suggests an affiliation with the trademark. An NY defense counsel for intellectual property crimes, as at Koch Law, must be aware of each law and its implications when advising a client.
An NY intellectual property crimes lawyer must have knowledge of New York’s larceny laws and similar criminal offenses. Larceny in New York is defined as unlawfully taking the property of another person with the intent to defraud the owner of this property.
Property is the operative word for application of larceny laws to intellectual property crimes. In this New York statute, the term “property” includes personal property, real property, and any substance or thing of value. Intellectual property has significant financial value to an owner, making larcenies of particular interest to state prosecutors.
Defense Counsel for Intellectual Property Crimes
The top-notch legal team at Koch Law handles the defense of intellectual property crimes through extensive strategy and a comprehensive approach. Building your robust case in this manner always begins with a personalized free conversation called an initial consultation. Therefore, if you are facing charges of intellectual property theft or piracy under state or federal law, arrange a confidential consultation today. Schedule a Free Consultation with Koch Law