Protect Your Intellectual Property


We continue to witness incidents where individuals, businesses or organizations are using the intellectual property of a tax-exempt organizations without their knowledge or consent.  In order to protect registered intellectual property, a right holder cannot simply acquiesce in the diminishment of its proprietary interest.

The Lanham Act, enacted in 1946, was created by Congress to protect the rights of those who register trademarks and other symbols that constitute intellectual property.  If someone infringes on the rights held by another, the Act gives the organization the right to sue.  Other causes of action, such as unfair competition, and allegations of the violation of certain laws of various states, which prohibit the use of intellectual property of a charitable organization without its express written consent, may also offer some relief.

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Fundraising & Nonprofit Report May 2012