The violation of someone’s intellectual property rights often involves complex factors and can have a devastating impact on the income of a creator or business. From interstate and international copyright violations to the complexity of pushing back against the fair use or property claim, helping your clients deal with the theft of their intellectual property is more complex than certain other areas of law.
Given that there are typically fewer intellectual property cases than criminal cases or standard personal injury lawsuits in any given jurisdiction, many attorneys don’t have the necessary experience handling these complex cases to confidently approach them and win.
Working with an outside lawyer can give you an edge
No practicing attorney wants to send a potential client off to another office, but you are not helping them or your professional reputation if you take on a case that falls well outside of your area of expertise.
Working with an outside consultant or bringing on an attorney from another firm to help you can drastically improve your chances of success when litigating an intellectual property case. That way, you can still retain your clients without running the risk of providing inadequate counsel.
How familiar are you with copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks?
Intellectual property laws extend rights to those who create new ideas, products or media. When someone else uses a character, image or protected trade secret for profit, the original creator can face financial hardships as a result.
So many parts of these complex cases are open to interpretation that it can feel nearly impossible to confidently create a strategy if you don’t have experience. For example, just because somebody theoretically has copyright protection doesn’t mean they have the right to take legal action against another person.
Fair use, parodies and even the simultaneous creation of similar but distinct works could all factor into a copyright case. Instead of trying to familiarize yourself with the whole separate area of law and then develop a successful strategy, it makes more sense to partner with a professional who has direct experience in arguing these complicated cases.
Your clients will respect your honesty and humility
Asking for help can be a humbling experience, especially if you are an experienced professional. However, knowing when to ask for help is the sign of a truly intelligent person who puts the best interests of their clients above their own ego.
Your clients may have come to you with this case because a friend referred them or because they have worked with you in the past. They trust you to put their success in court first. You have a fiduciary duty to anyone who hires you to do the best that you can for them and to put their interests before your own. When it comes to complex legal cases in areas that you have not obtained much experience, the best approach could very well be admitting that you want to work with an outside professional.
If you have a client who is opposed to that approach, it may still be possible to have an outside professional help you build the case and educate you about what is necessary to successfully litigate the issue in court. Before you turn away a client or potentially make mistakes that could damage your reputation or cost your client an important case, you may want to consider retaining the help of an attorney who has more experience in this area of law.