Jump to Navigation
Serving the Community for More Than 45 Years

The fine line between copying and tweaking

Directly copying the competition may not only be a poor business decision, but it could also be illegal. You could be violating copyright laws and trademarks. This gets especially tricky when copying ideas and other types of intellectual property. You must be very careful and could run into all manner of legal issues if you steal what is owned by someone else and use it to make a profit.

However, it's often hard to define exactly what is stealing and what is not. Some people, often referred to as "tweakers," tend to walk this line.

The name refers to the process of taking something that exists and tweaking it to make it better than it is. This is not inventing in the same way that coming up with a brand new product is, but it is just building on other people's inventions. When done without violating copyright laws, this is legal.

For example, some people point to Steve Jobs and Apple when talking about this process. Apple did not invent many of its most prolific products. A tablet computer came out years before the iPad, for example. However, Apple was very good at taking a product that was already on the market and tweaking it to make it more attractive, more user-friendly or more useful. They also branded the products incredibly well. They're often given credit for changing the game with electronics, despite not inventing these devices.

However, it can be easy to get too close to that line when doing this. If you do, and if you're facing charges and lawsuits as a result, you must know your defense options in Maryland.

Source: Social Triggers, "When Is It Okay To Copy Your Competitors?," accessed May 26, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A.
Clinton Office

8808 Old Branch Avenue
P.O. Box 219
Clinton, MD 20735
Phone: 301-856-3030
Fax: 301-856-4029
Map and Directions

Dunkirk Office
2960 Penwick Lane
Dunkirk, MD 20754
Phone: 301-855-3100
Fax 301-855-8251
Map and Directions

Crofton Office
2200 Defense Highway
Suite 304
Crofton, MD 21114
Phone: 410-451-1777
Fax: 443-292-4614
Map and Directions

FindLaw Network