Remedies For Copyright Infringement: What’s In It For Me?

Written by William Miles | September 6, 2023


Let’s face it, nobody likes their work being copied. However, making a claim for copyright infringement can sometimes be daunting. So, before you embark on a claim, it’s worth thinking about what’s in it for you, and specifically, what remedies are available to a successful claimant in a copyright infringement claim.

Whilst UK courts may not award the same windfalls that you might hear about in the US, the remedies available if you win are still quite extensive – typically these are as follows:

  1. Injunctions (interim and final)

This is a powerful remedy which, typically in a copyright claim, would be an injunction to stop the defendant from carrying out infringing acts. Breaching an injunction amounts to contempt of court, which could result in fines or imprisonment.

  1. Standard damages or an account of profits

A successful claimant can opt for one of these remedies (but not both). Damages are based on the amount that it would take to put the copyright holder in the position in which they would have been if there had been no infringement (normally assessed by way of a reasonable licence fee). Whereas an account of profits is a restitutionary remedy, i.e. the defendant provides the claimant with the profits it has made as a result of the infringement.

  1. Additional damages

In certain cases, it’s possible to claim additional damages. For example, if the copyright infringement has been particularly flagrant (i.e. if the defendant knew that its actions would amount to infringement). Depending on the facts of the case courts can award additional payments which tend to be multiples of the standard damages.

  1. Delivery up, destruction and seizure

This is a vital remedy as it ensures that the infringing goods are taken off the market. Typically infringing goods are then donated to charity or recycled.

  1. Declaratory relief

A declaration that copyright subsists and has been infringed will often assist claimants in very public disputes or if they are dealing with multiple infringements of the same copyright work.

  1. Dissemination and publication of judgment

In addition to the declaratory relief mentioned above, this also assists with any adverse publicity and the court can order the defendant, at the defendant’s cost, to publish the judgment (e.g. with a notice on the defendant’s website).

  1. Costs

It would be rare to recover 100% of your legal costs but typically around 70% of your spending is ordered to be paid by the losing party.

  1. Interest

Interest can also be claimed on the amount owed, again to put you back into the position you would have been had the infringement not occurred.

  1. Other interim relief

This could include freezing injunctions, search & seizure orders, and disclosure orders. These are all very powerful remedies but they don’t tend to be granted lightly, so evidence is key.

Hopefully, by now you can see the merits in enforcing your intellectual property rights and, if you’re aware of an infringement which needs to be addressed, please just email or fill out the form below to arrange a consultation meeting.

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