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Suing for unauthorized use of online business pictures

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Business & Commercial Law

The rise of e-commerce and online businesses has increased the need for vigilance in protecting intellectual property. One common issue that online business owners face is the unauthorized use of their images and photographs by other companies. This practice diminishes the original creator’s rights and can harm their business.

When another company uses your online business pictures without permission, it infringes upon your intellectual property rights. These rights are protected under various laws, including copyright and trademark laws, depending on your intellectual property’s nature and registration status.

Understanding copyright and trademark laws

Copyright law protects original works of creatorship, including photographs, as soon as they are authored and fixed in a tangible medium. For online business owners, this means that your pictures are protected the moment you take them, regardless of whether they are registered with the copyright office.

However, registering your copyright can give you more legal benefits, like being able to sue for copyright infringement in a court of law. You can still sue for damages without registration, but the process can be more complicated and less financially rewarding.

On the other hand, trademarks protect names, slogans or symbols used to recognize goods or services. If your business logo or other branding elements are used in your pictures, they may be protected under trademark law.

Like copyrights, trademarks do not need to be registered to be protected, but registration provides stronger legal presumptions and additional remedies. An unregistered trademark, often called a common law trademark, is still protected, but proving infringement can be more challenging.

While registered and unregistered businesses have protections, registering your intellectual property can strengthen your legal position and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Understanding your legal rights is crucial for protecting your online presence and brand. Under technology law, you can take legal action if another company uses your online business pictures without permission. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.