Copyright Litigation

As with trademarks and patents, copyright litigation is centered on infringement and violation of the copyright holder's rights.  However, copyright litigation can be particularly complex and involved due to the fact that it is not necessary for the copyright to be registered for an infringement to have occurred (although it is necessary for the copyright to be registered before an infringement suit can be initiated, nonetheless the complained of infringement can have occurred before said registration).  Hence, much of a copyright infringement suit can revolve around establishing and proving one's right to the copyright.  Copyright infringement suits can become further complicated by the criminal charges that can be attached in certain circumstances.  For these reasons, when contemplating a copyright infringement suit, it is important to contact an attorney with extensive experience in intellectual property law as well as experience in criminal law to assist you to affirmatively establish your right to the copyright and to advise you as to what remedies to pursue.  Such remedies can include:


  • Injunction: As with other intellectual property infringements, the most common and effective remedy is the imposition by the Court of an injunction against the offending party preventing further infringement.  Injunctions are operative throughout the United States and are enforceable through contempt hearings.  Such contempt hearings can be advantageous to the copyright owner in that, if the offending party engages in a new activity that the copyright holder believes infringes upon his copyright, the copyright holder, rather than having to go to the expense and trouble of initiating a new infringement suit, may bring a contempt hearing before the Court to determine whether the offending party has violated the injunction.
  • Impoundments and Destruction: Pursuant to 17 USC §503, at any time during the pendency of a copyright infringement suit, the Court may order that all copies and phonorecords that infringe upon the copyright, all articles used for the reproduction of the same, and the records documenting the manufacture, sale, or receipt of said copies and phonorecords be impounded.  Further, the Court may, as part of it final judgment or decree, order that all copies and phonorecords found to violate the copyright and the articles used to reproduce the same be destroyed or otherwise reasonably disposed of.
  • Actual Damages and Profits: The copyright holder in an infringement suit is entitled to recover any actual damages sustained due to the infringement.  The copyright holder is further entitled to recover any profits that the offending party gained as a result of the infringement and are not factored in the calculation of actual damages.
  • Statutory Damages: In the alternative, a copyright holder may choose, any time before the final judgment, to recover statutory damages rather than actual damages and profits.  The amount of the statutory damages is subject to the discretion of the Court and depends on a number of variables but under no circumstances shall be less that $200 or more than $150,000.
  • Costs and Attorney's Fees: The Court in its discretion may award either party recovery of full costs and/or reasonable attorney's fees.
  • Criminal Penalties: Although not strictly a remedy to the copyright holder, one possible course of action that should be considered is the bringing of criminal charges for willful infringement of the copyright.  Such criminal infringement of a copyright is punishable, depending on the particular circumstances, by up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000.


The variety and complexity of remedies available, the issue of potential criminal charges, and the complexity of establishing copyright ownership all necessitate that you have skilled, talented attorneys to represent you in your copyright infringement suit.  The Wilson Legal Group has over a decade of experience defending and protecting clients' rights to their intellectual properties.  Further, our experience in criminal defense gives us a special insight to the criminal process that may be involved in your infringement suit and makes us uniquely qualified to help guide you through the whole process.  Our attorneys are driven to give you the strong, competent representation you need and will work tirelessly to secure the rights and profits you are entitled to.


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16610 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1000

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+1 (972) 248-8080


The law office of Wilson Legal Group P.C. represents clients nationwide and local clients from Dallas and other Texas areas, including Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Arlington, Carrollton, Plano, Allen, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, Denton, McKinney, North Richland Hills, and all cities within Dallas County, Tarrant County, Collin County, and Denton County.

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