Q: As a 3rd-party representative, do I have any legal right to enforce copyright of the company's IP which I represent?
I am a representative for a gaming company's game. I have legal permission to use their IP and game contents and materials for my own use. However, many other entities have created illegal content using the company's IP and game materials without legal permission to gain their own profit. Not only does it affect the company's business, it also affects my 3rd-party partnership business with the company by stealing the customers by publishing and using the same materials I have access to. Often, they copy and paste bits of my website for their own personal use. Do I have the right to report this as copyright infringement even though I am a 3rd-party, licensed to use the company's game materials and IP? They company is based in KR, and the illegal content is hosted in the USA, where my business is located. It is easier for me, a USA citizen, to file a report against another USA company, rather the KR based company.
A: Probably not, unless your license agreement expressly allows you the right to enforce, or you are the exclusive licensee. Oftentimes the intellectual property owner retains the right to enforce or license the IP to others (non-exclusive license), though sometimes there is contractual language that allows a non-exclusive licensee to take certain enforcement action or give the licensee certain benefits for the owner's lack of enforcement. For example, sometimes a license agreement may allow the licensee to pay less royalties if the IP owner doesn't take action to enforce (because, as you correctly observe, that negatively affects the value of the licensed IP). So, unless you already have the right to enforce, are an exclusive licensee, or can secure a new contract that gives you the right to enforce, you probably cannot take action against a putative infringer. Good luck!
Will Blackton agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.