Owning a business and being an artist are both challenging feats. There are many considerations that must be made and failing to do so can result in unintended and unwanted consequences.
For instance, as one recent case highlights, failing to police one’s intellectual property or improperly using the intellectual property of another can have serious financial consequences.In that case, video game maker Nintendo filed a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit against an Arizona couple. The claim alleged that the couple had essentially stolen Nintendo video games and created unofficial copies of them that were available for free download online. The website received approximately 17 million visits per month and was viewed as one of the top emulation websites at the time.Though it appeared that the matter was headed to trial, the parties ended up reaching a settlement agreement. Through that agreement, the couple agreed to pay Nintendo more than $12 million in damages, which is much less than the compensation Nintendo originally asked for.
Nintendo and other video game creators are carefully policing the illegal use of their intellectual property so that they can profit off of their own use of those games by utilizing existing technologies.As one can see, the stakes are extremely high when dealing with intellectual property. Those who own intellectual property may find themselves taken advantage of in a way that causes them to miss out on profits. On the flipside, there are many businesses that utilize logos and colors, slogans, words, and even video games that illegally infringe upon the rights of others.
While some of these products can be legally licensed or even bought outright, failing to do so could result in a lawsuit that results in significant damages like those seen in the Nintendo case.