Awards on Infringement Claims

In infringement actions, money is commonly awarded to the intellectual property owner under some combination of three legal theories:

Actual damages are the dollar amount the intellectual property owner lost as a result of the infringing activity. The loss may be in the form of lost sales, lost licensing revenue or any other provable financial loss directly attributable to the infringement.

Infringer’s Profits are the money made by the infringer as a result of the infringement. These damages are awarded only if they exceed the amount of actual damages suffered by the intellectual property owner due to the infringement.

Statutory damages are damages in an amount set by law, but generally, only a person who has registered a work with the applicable office before the infringement may receive statutory damages. Statutory damages exist because, in many copyright cases, actual damages and infringer’s profits are very difficult to prove.

17 U.S.C. § 504(c) specifically allows for statutory damages. For infringements that cannot clearly be proven as either innocent or willful, statutory damages may be from $750 to $30,000 per infringement depending on the circumstances. The amount will depend on the seriousness of the infringing act and the financial worth of the infringer.

Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney

Whenever you have questions about intellectual property, you should consult with an experienced Washington, D.C. IP Attorney at War IP Law, PLLC. We will take the time to answer your questions and, if needed, can take immediate action for you to protect your IP and defend against infringement claims. Call us today for a consultation.