There is no point in having an intellectual property right ("IPR") unless it can be enforced
IPR are monopolies or other exclusive rights granted by the state to encourage investment in research and development, design, distribution and the arts. They are an alternative to subsidy. They are very much a feature of free enterprise. In eastern Europe during the socialist era where the state owned the means of production, distribution and exchange anywhere inventors got inventors' certificates which entitled them to better housing and other perks instead. Consequently, as a general rule it is up to each IPR owner to make his or her own provision for the enforcement of such rights.
The exceptions to the rule are counterfeiting and piracy in that members of the World Trade Organization have agreed to criminalize manufacture and distribution on an industrial scale of branded goods and films, records, games and similar copyright works.
Enforcement litigation is risky and expensive, particularly in common law countries such as England and the USA. IPR owners can reduce those risks and costs by granting exclusive licences so that infringement becomes their licensees' problem, joining collecting societies in the case of owners of certain types of copyrights, rights in performances and related IPR or taking out insurance. Search this blog and its sister blog IP/it Update and related websites for more info.
Call John Lambert on +44 (0)870 990 5081