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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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A company rival has copied my images and design and my game

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A company rival has copied my images and design and my game scoring points. After issuing him a letter to pay £40 for lost in sales somewhere in February 2014. He refused to pay but took the image of his site. He claim I have infringe his ip and he has evidence against me and that I am still using his ip. In reply, I ask him to point where I have broken his ip or copyright. He simply did not reply. He first sent me an email that I have copied his ip when I first my site. I bought some of his products before. But what he covers isn't his - he not the inventor of the materials. I have know from my research. And I know the owner of these materials.
He still had a couple of images on his site.
He has copied a scoring point I have invented for my game.
He also copied a unique "order button" I hired a designer to design for website.
This has done me some damage as I have had someone who bought the game of the rival website coming back to our site complaining the game does not work. I have had to send 3 emails to this person telling them that the rival firm is attempting to look like our
He sent his staff to buy one of my games and copied parts of my game. I have proof of this.
What should I do?
about my images?
my order button?
tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question. My name is***** can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

There are two main things you can do about this. The first is to inform any host of the websites concerned that they are hosting copyrighted materials in breach of your rights. Hopefully, this will be enough for them to take steps to shut down the websites, but that is a drastic step for them to take and they may require more evidence as to your ownership of the disputed items.

tdlawyer :

Secondly, you could issue proceedings through the Courts and take steps to enforce your rights this way. You would be able to seek an ijunction to prevent the continued use of your IP and you'd be able to claim damages for the infringement that has occured so far.

tdlawyer :

If you were prepared to go to these lengths, or at least appear to be prepared to do that, then you might be able to secure a deal with the individual that has done this to propetly compensate you and promise not to use them in the future. Otherwise, he in turn risks having to stop using the property that belongs to you on his customers websites, which in turn will put in him in breach of contract with them potentially. This is not something that he is likely to want.

tdlawyer :

Therefore, the best step to take is to contact a solicitor and get them to write you a detailed letter of claim threatening to issue court proceedings etc., if you need to. If this does not work, then you could contact the websites hosting these sites with your property on, and together, this approach is likely to force him to negotiate with you.

Customer:

Please be specific according to the scenario I have provided

Customer:

As I wrote I had already email the guy to take my images of his website.

tdlawyer :

You didn't say what the outcome of those emails was?

tdlawyer :

Did they reply?

Customer:

I wrote :A company rival has copied my images and design and my game scoring points. After issuing him a letter to pay £40 for lost in sales somewhere in February 2014. He refused to pay but took the image of his site. He claim I have infringe his ip and he has evidence against me and that I am still using his ip. In reply, I ask him to point where I have broken his ip or copyright. He simply did not reply. He first sent me an email that I have copied his ip when I first my site. I bought some of his products before.

tdlawyer :

I'm going to opt out to see if somebody else can assist you with this.

Customer:

ok. I need specific answers to my scenario. NOT generic answers as email him and take him to court. Please details with respect to my sitution

tdlawyer :

I will try to answer your question more specifically.

Customer:

ok. Thanks.

tdlawyer :

Okay, what is your biggest concern with all of this - the fact that people think this might be you responsible for defective games etc? Or is it the demand for the compensation or the threat that you're in breach of his IP?

tdlawyer :

Or is it that he is deliberately trying to pretend to be you?

Customer:

My biggest concern is him using my unique buy button and the threat that I am in breach of his IP

tdlawyer :

OKay. Then the only remedy to prevent him continuing to use your IP is to seek a Court injunction, unless, of course, he agrees to stop using it after you get lawyers to write to him. The continued use of your IP is a breach of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and this actionable by you. If he is using this with a view to persuading others to think that it is you, then this is also going to be "passing off" which is a common law wrong, and which again, is actionable by your in the Courts. There is no other way to prevent him other than by hopefully puersuading him to settle with you.

tdlawyer :

As for the threat that you're in breach of his IP, this, if wrongful (which it sounds it), actually gives you a right to claim against him if he is saying he will sue you etc.

tdlawyer :

In reality though, you would simply ignore his comments, as you know (I expect?) that you're not in breach of his IP?

tdlawyer :

Why not get a solicitor to send a cease and desist letter (aka - a letter beofore action) to him via his email in the first instance, in the hope of making him stop using yoru property? Then, if you wanted to afterwards, you could always sue him for compensation unless he agrees to pay you something for wrongfully using your IP.

Customer:

Ok. Should I list every item I believe he has copied from me to the solicitors

Customer:

Sorry my labtop went off. just put in a charger

tdlawyer :

:) It's okay. Yes, you should list all of your IP, which should be set out in the letter, so he knows exactly what you say is yours and what legal protection (e.g. design right, copyright, etc...) you claim to have in relation to it.

Customer:

I have asked on him two occasions to tell where he believes I have copied his material. So I can quickly take it off my site. The first time was in September 2012 and the second time was February 2014. He has failed to tell me on all occasions.

Customer:

Are you saying I could sue him for this.

tdlawyer :

If he is threatening to take action against you for IP infringement, and there is no basis for him to make those remarks, then you could, yes, as there is a legal wrong called "groundless threats" in the context of IP matters.

Customer:

I have contacted the government department for assistance on this issue. they say that unless he comes forward they wouldn't be able to do anything

Customer:

Also what the about some of the images he has copied but taken off his site. Can I still pursue him for lost of sales. As he admits using my images because I am using images that belong to a photo agency. But little did he know that I am a member of the agency.

tdlawyer :

What government department? What do you mean?

Customer:

The patents and copyright website

tdlawyer :

You can pursue him for using images that belong to you, or which have been licensed to your exclusively to use. If there were licensed to you, as one of many, then you're not likely to be able to sue for infringement.

Customer:

ok. what about the order button. I am not sure if this protected under designs. I am the owner of it. It was specifically designed for me according to my instructions. Can I pursue him on that as well

tdlawyer :

If you're the owner of it, then yes, you can.

Customer:

ok. Just to clarify your counsel is based on UK laws

tdlawyer :

Yes, English law, specifically.

Customer:

And do I need to be a registered company to gain credibility in the courts against this company or a sole proprietor

Customer:

as sole proprietor do I stand a chance to take this limited liability company to court

tdlawyer :

It makes no difference whether you're a limited company or sole trader etc... to being entitled to bring a claim.

Customer:

Thanks. Do you know roughly how much a solicitors letter will cost?

tdlawyer :

Depends on the lawyer really, but no more than about £100- £150 plus VAT on average I wouldn't have thought.

tdlawyer :

Does this answer your questions my friend? Is there anything else I can assist with?

tdlawyer :

Can I check whethery you're happy with the service today please?

Customer:

I am very happy with how you have specifically answered my questions. Would you be able to do a letter for me at some point in time

tdlawyer :

Thank you! Regrettably, we cannot do this as this is a question and answer site only. You'll have no problem finding a solicitor to do it for you though.

Customer:

ok. Thanks for your answers

tdlawyer :

Thank you! Hope you get this sorted quickly! Have a good weekend.

Customer:

thanks

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