IP Infringement: Investigation and Counter-Measures
Hua may lodge complaints with administrative and law enforcement agencies with respenct to activities which are found to potentially infinge the IP rights of our clients. Whether on-line or off-line, Hua will use its resources to conduct an investigation of and take countermeasures against infringing conduct in any context where it occurs. At Hua’s disposal are various lawful means of restraining and limiting such conduct , including but not limited to cease-and-desist letters, contacting local law enforcement or agencies to confiscate infringing products, or to send takedown notices of infringing web content. In instances where infringement is criminal in scope, we advise our clients in the corresponding course of criminal prosecution.
Trademark Registration Investigation
Enterprise Trademark Investigations: These are conducted in order to gain an understanding of the business of a particular trademark registrant, the circumstances of a trademark’s registration and use, and the reasons and objectives, when ascertainable, behind the mark’s registration. Client’s may seek this service to adduce effective information in trademark opposition, dispute, cancellation, or litigation contexts.
Investitgations into trademarks registered to individuals: Investigation into this kind of trademark often requires an initial identification of the trademark applicant., followed by a determination as to whether such trademark is in use or not, as well as the motives and objectives of such registration. This class of registrations is particularly rife with malicious filings.
Trademark Infringment Investigation
Hua also initiates investigations into activities which may infringe our clients’ trademark rights. Investigations typically entail ascertainment of details of the infringing party, instances of known use of the infringing trademark, circumstances regarding production and marketing of infringing products, and other lawful means to elicit evidence of infringment.
Patent Infringement Investigation
Hua and it affiliates are especially experienced in investigations into activities possibly infringing a patent or exclusive patent license. These investigations focus on finding out the pertinant details regarding the infringing party, as well as the concrete situation, such as schematics, production, and sales, as related to the directly or equivalently infringing activities.
Copyright Infringement Investigation
Copyright infringement, including electronic and non-electronic infringment, requires meticulous tracking and expertise to locate a specific violation or offender. Hua can inititate investigations into copyright infringement in both non-electronic, physical instances and in cyberspace, in order to obtain the evidence necessary to take legal action against copyright violators.
Trade Secrets Investigation
A trade secret is exclusive, proprietary business information, which is intentionally kept from public disclosure, and which forms the basis of economic advantage over competitors. Though not protected from methods such as reverse-engineering, trades secrets obtained through other means may be ill-gotten. Hua can investigate the nature of trade secret acquisition and help determine whether any improper conduct was involved.
Hua takes a proactive approach in assesing conduct involving manufacturing and sales of counterfeit products. We make sure no stone is left unturned, and examine all elements of a counterfeiting scheme, including sales, outlets and distributors, factories, underground assembly sweatshops, and logistics supply channels. Furthermore, we use all possible means to ascertain the market share of a counterfeit product, which may later be used to calculate damages.
Domain Name Disputes
Determining domain name registrations, including such items as registrants’ information, contact information, motivation and objectives for registration, scope of use of domain names and webpage content, assessing whether a registrant’s registration and use are malicious, is the focus of Hua’s domain name investigations. In the event that a domain name registration and use constitutes infringement, we represent clients in their resort to legal proceedings, including issuance of injuncations against use, cancellations of domain name registrations, or registration and use of the same domain names by rights holders. In instances where the rights of a client are actually impaired, Hua advises clients in seeking compensation.
Monitoring and Investigation of Internet-based Infringement
We monitor sites known to traffic in counterfeit wares and continue to be vigiliant in rooting out new platforms for illegal file-sharing. Upon detecting a file, or offer of product which possibly infinges a clients’ IP, we move quickly to procure direct evidence of such infringement. Through this service, we seek to obtain the addresses of product sellers, whether these are natural persons or enterprises, ascertain the existence of physical retail outlets, manufacturing centers, or transportaion and warehousing facilites. We represent clients in instituting countermeasures such as restraining and eliminitating infringement, including the removal of on-line infringing content, issuance of warning letters or subpoenas, or in resort to administrative procedures and litigation.
In addition, we provide long-term Internet monitoring services for e-commerce owners or online service providers so that they may discover online infringing conduct by Internet users or other e-store owners and forestall or suspend in a timely manner potential online IP disputes.
Customs Recordation of Intellectual Property Rights and Their Protection
Hua and its affiliates represent clients by recording their intellectual property with the General Administration of Customs inChina. In addition, Hua works closely with key customs branches and customs agents tasked with enforcement of laws and regulations and conducts training sessions regarding product identification. This training is a key methodology in our work to protect IP rights, and can significantly enhance customs agents’ efficacy in detecting infringing prodcuts and removing them from the stream of commerce.
Competitive Product and Service Investigation
Product and Brand Investigation: Via public opinion surveys and polls, and by subjecting the results of these to statistical evaluation, Hua and its affiliates conduct market investigations and compile consumer data, product information, and brand analysis in order to identify target markets. This data is used to test the impact of marketing initiatives on consumer-purchasing behavior, and to formulate precise forecasts of likely consumer reaction.
Hua and its affiliates also have well-established programs designed to observe and monitor consumer purchasing behavior. By staking out relevant commercial establishments, and Hua helps clients ascertain and evaluate consumers’ reactions, taking into account the subtle variations within different markets. This approach aims at appraising the effects of pricing policies, packaging, displays, stock assortments and to gauge new product interest. This information in turn helps in determining which products are competitive, complementary, and unique.
Services Investigation: In this investigative scenario, a target company provides servies to our investigator, who poses as a customer, in order to obtain information relevant to the target’s actual business operations and services. Such an investigation enables our clients to become educated with respect to the actual services of a target and top become better positioned to remain competitive in its services.