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Pinterest sued by New Jersey resident over intellectual property

New Jersey businesses have the right to make money on the things that they make and sell. However, sometimes these things are not tangible. Often, businesses property includes intellectual property and, like all other forms of property, businesses have the right to profit from its intellectual property.

However, sometimes other businesses try to use a company’s intellectual property without permission. In these cases, litigation is likely to ensue. Recently, a New Jersey resident has sued California based Pinterest Inc. over intellectual property rights. Pinterest is a social media website.

According to the lawsuit — which was filed in New York — Pinterest is based on ideas that this New Jersey man came up with while attending Columbia Law School in 2005. The man claims that his design work was used as the precursor to Pinterest’s current design. Furthermore, the man says that he was kept out of the deal with investors that created Pinterest as it is today. While the man does not expressly claim in the suit that there has been a copyright infringement, he does say that his intellectual property was misappropriated.

Pinterest, on the other hand, claims that no wrongdoing took place. The company plans to fight the lawsuit.

Intellectual property rights need to be vigorously defended by their owners. Often times, these rights can be quite valuable to their owners and to the owner’s competitors. Like any other property, stealing intellectual property is wrong. Courts have the authority to punish those businesses that use, or profit from, someone else’s intellectual property. This punishment can include compensation to the intellectual property’s rightful owner.

Source: Bloomberg, “Apple, Brandywine, Pinterest: Intellectual Property,” Victoria Slind-Flor, Jan. 2, 2013

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