Did Marie Nivelle commit tort of copyright/patent infringement?
The elements of tort of copyright/patent infringement are: act by the defendant and his/her intent to facilitate the infringement. The intent to facilitate infringement can be proved by three main elements. The first element includes the defendant’s act towards the promotion of infringement, thus facilitating its device virtues. The second element involves the defendant’s failure to investigate infringing uses. The third element includes the defendant’s business dependency on infringement’s high volume.
Marie Nevelle sold her product in San Diego County, under the name “Marie’s Louisiana Hot Sauce”. Indeed, this act was done by the defendant. The defendant was not forced or coerced to do this, thus she acted with intent. The defendant in this case promoted and sold her product to restaurants and supermarkets throughout San Diego County, under the name “Marie’s Louisiana Hot Sauce”, which had not been registered with the Trade and Patent Office. Marie Nivelle also failed to inquire whether there was a similar business operating in Los Angeles County, under the same trade name registered with the Trade and Patent Office. Moreover, the defendant relied on the business name to conduct her business.
Marie Foch will win a suit against Marie Nivelle for tort of copyright/patent infringement. Moreover, she will be awarded money damages.
Did Marie Foch breach the intellectual property right?
The elements that constitute the breach of intellectual property right include reputation or goodwill of the business/product and confidentiality.
Marie Foch registered her business name “Marie’s Cajun Louisiana Hot Sauce” with the Trade and Patent Office. As a result, the business gained significant reputation and goodwill in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The defendant had registered her business name to enhance confidentiality. Such non-disclosure would protect her product from unfair business practices.
The problem of intellectual property in the business product is another ethical dilemma that it has to be considered. In this regard, the defendant’s expertise, skills, and knowledge are the intellectual property that the other business competitor has to respect and preserve for the stability, growth and development. Such invaluable information acquired from the business owner belongs to her, while the stakeholder transacts businesses with the proprietor. Concerning the issue of intellectual property, it can be emphasized that the defendant must keep data or valuable information on her product from unauthorised people, thus enhancing confidentiality. In addition, no one should be allowed to use the defendant’s secret information on her registered product. This will make sure that the information does not leak to the unintended people. Therefore, it would result in the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people affected by the action, and the defendant stood a better chance of selling her product in San Diego Count, because she had registered the product.
There are specific legislative policy guidelines, which a business owner must formulate to deal with cases of information leakage. In this regard, the defendant must spell out the explicit rules that the workforce, business partners, and customers should apply to one another. However, the rules ought to be rationally accepted, because they aim at making sure that each party engaged in any transaction in the business gets some benefit from the deal. To this end, Marie Foch should not be denied the opportunity to explore new markets for her registered product, especially in San Diego County. It is was rather unfortunate that Marie Foch positioned herself as more direct and closer competitor to Marie Nivelle, but the latter had not fully complied with the patent and copyright law. Therefore, Marie Nivelle could not successfully obtain an injunction prohibiting Marie Foch from using the name “Marie’s Cajun Louisiana Hot Sauce” in San Diego County.
Marie Nivelle will lose the suit against Marie Foch. Moreover, the latter will not be awarded any monetary damages.