Enhanced remedies in IP disputes under 93A


The march of dominance of Chapter 93A in intellectual property disputes continues unabated in Massachusetts. The reason? Chapter 93A provides enhanced remedies of an automatic award of attorneys’ fees and up to three times actual damages — far more favorable than the vastly more limited remedies provided by the various federal IP laws.

Generally limited IP remedies –

With respect to trade secrets, the only federal law providing civil remedies that may apply is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The CFAA, however, typically addresses liability for computer access without authorization and for improper purposes, and limits civil remedies to “economic damages” only.

With respect to trademarks under the federal law, the Lanham Act offers no punitive damages and limits attorneys’ fees to only certain, exceptional cases.

Originally published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - September 16, 2013.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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