Is intellectual property theft a criminal charge?

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Is intellectual property theft a criminal charge?

A person in Canada had registered a trade name of a large franchising company in the US. When the US company discovered it, they went to court. I want to know if this is a civil matter or a criminal matter?

Asked on June 20, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This can become a criminal matter, and even a federal criminal matter if the piracy or theft was across state lines, which it appears to be. If the issue is only a registered trade name, and not the actually piracy or theft of physical property from the company, then this will only be a Civil matter over the rights to use a company's trade name.


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