Nardizzi & Associates is retained by law firms and businesses to investigate a variety of intellectual property matters. Whether tracking the theft of trade secrets, or assisting clients in litigation against infringers, the firm works to uproot the immediate problem and prevent future incidents from occurring.
Patent / Trademark / Copyright Infringement
Some case samples:
• Domain name disputes (UDRP & ACPA) : Our client operated a personal services company in the western USA, and sought to promote its trademark via a new website. The trademark domain name was registered to a cybersquatter. We obtained evidence showing bad faith on the part of a cybersquatter by tracing various physical addresses and expired licenses linked to the business, and demonstrating that there was never a legitimate business operation.
• Patent infringement: In a patent case involving bicycle design, a client sought proof that its design had been introduced prior to that of a rival. We identified witnesses who had been present at key trade show exhibitions where the design had been introduced. Interviews were undertaken, and several witnesses verified our client's first introduction of the design. The client accepted a very favorable settlement offer.
• Trademark & piracy: In a case involving trademark and piracy issues, investigators traveled to an island in the Caribbean, and obtained video footage of unauthorized merchants selling a version of trademarked software. Interviews with merchant workers revealed that military personnel had been employed by the opposing party to intimidate various vendors into purchasing the infringing version of the software. This evidence was set to be introduced in U.S. District Court when the other side settled on terms favorable to our client.
• Patent infringement: A client in the electronics industry suspected that a rival was conducting operations of a particular type at its Florida lab. Research of public records revealed maps and diagrams that outlined the rival firm’s operations. Interviews with former employees and vendors provided detailed explanations of several industrial processes that proved the rival was infringing upon our client’s patent.
Trade Secret Theft
Nardizzi & Associates is retained to track theft of valuable trade secrets that can be passed on discreetly via electronic media. Investigations may take place before litigation has begun, or in conjunction with a lawsuit over a nondisclosure clause in an employment contract.
• Trade secret theft: A client in the software industry noticed that its customers were receiving calls from a competitor who seemed armed with the client's cost data and project specifications. A former employee was found to be working for the competitor. He was interviewed and confessed that he had revealed proprietary information that belonged to his former employer. The confidential material was recovered, and customer relationships were mended.
• Trade secret theft: A former executive for our client, a manufacturing firm, was found to be marketing a new device in a public but closely controlled setting. Our client suspected that the executive was in possession of confidential research data and was trying to build a competing -- and possibly infringing -- device. We obtained covert video footage of the device and interviewed several witnesses who had experience with the new product so that our client could evaluate their next move.
Despite various government estimates, no one knows how much money is lost to counterfeit products each year. One number is known: the value of counterfeit and pirated goods seized worldwide by customs and law enforcement agents: $1.54 billion in 2005. From the Caribbean to Korea, the firm can analyze breaches in the supply chain to identify vendors, employees, or outsiders who operate counterfeiting operations.