What should I do if my copyrighted work has been stolen or counterfeited?

copyright infringement

What should I do if my copyrighted work has been stolen or counterfeited?

intellectual property

No matter if you are a content writer, designer, musician, or working in any type of enterprise, it is surely hard seeing your established brand and hard work being infringed or, even worse, taken for free. For local companies in Hong Kong, valuable business assets are all protected by the Intellectual Property (IP) Department, such as registered trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs and even trade secrets. Imagine how copyright infringement could impact your business, brand reputation and revenue stream if you keep letting go of the ownership of your creative content.

copyright infringement

Before taking legal action…

In the most ideal situation, you successfully contact the alleged infringer and set things out. Think over asking them to take down the infringements, make compensation, or negotiate for additional authorization. If consensus could be reached privately to avoid any legal disputes, of course, it would be the best-case scenario. However, things often go beyond expectations. If the other party is unwilling to cooperate, or the severity of the situation has turned way too unacceptable, resorting to the law is always the most effective way to protect your intellectual property rights and interests.

However, before seeking professional legal support or going to court, you must double-check whether you have all the necessary and relevant evidence. The more information you have on hand, the better your odds in court. On the contrary, if you obtain legal help without sufficient information, chances are even the finest lawyers would not be able to help you win the lawsuit. If you lose the case, not only will your intellectual property rights be lost, but you will also be responsible for covering related legal costs. Therefore, a thorough investigation is the ultimate tip for success in the courtroom.

How can an infringement investigation help you win a copyright lawsuit?

Hiring a professional investigation team to provide you with strong evidence is definitely the most foolproof and wisest choice. Herald’s team conducts all-around intellectual property investigations by carefully looking through the background of the target company to search for relevant evidence that improves your odds of winning.

1. Target Company Background Check

Having a comprehensive grasp of the target company’s background indicates a more thorough understanding of the business concerned. From its address, scale, business nature, structure, source of funds to financial status and persons involved, etc, we collect every information needed for not only the court case but also for the formation of a long-term plan for future intellectual property protection. 

 

2. Business Site Visits/Approaches

As the saying goes: “know thy enemy,” our investigators can help inspect the working and office environment of the target company on-site to collect first-hand information on the spot. By analyzing the company’s operations and business modes, you can have a better understanding, especially the concerned infringing products or content. This also allows our team to assess your potential revenue losses due to copyright infringement.
 

3. Market Survey

In addition to on-site inspections, investigators will also spend time on online intelligence, from websites to social media platforms and e-commerce marketplaces, to collect significant evidence for the intellectual property infringement case. This would help to track down the selling process of the infringed goods with more insight into the target company’s customer base and supply chain.

intellectual property rights

4. Surveillance 

The situation in the process of following up on copyright infringement cases is ever-changing. As so, to make sure you are always getting hold of the latest information, our professional investigation team will closely monitor the persons involved in the case and collect business information by paying attention to every move of the target company. You can expect to have the most updated information whenever something new happens.
 
Copyright infringement is a serious crime in Hong Kong. Upon conviction, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 4 years with a fine of HK$500,000. Therefore, as with other crimes, when dealing with intellectual property infringement, you should take the case seriously and be fully prepared to fight for the best possible outcome. Before harnessing the power of a property lawyer’s legal representation, you could always benefit from hiring an experienced investigation team to collect relevant evidence for you.
 

 

Contact Us

If you are suffering from copyright infringement and wish to maximize the protection of your brand image and intellectual property rights, you are more than welcome to contact us. Herald’s distinguished investigators are here to cater to all your needs. By providing advice and formulating long-term response strategies with the collection of key evidence, we strive to help you achieve litigation success.

How to fight for custody of children when dealing with divorce?

How to Fight for Custody of Children When Dealing with Divorce

Nothing is easy about divorce. On top of the emotional challenges adults undergo personally, there’s the major issue that overrides it all: allocating custody of the children. In the end, parents’ top priority is making sure that the kids’ physical and emotional wellbeing remains as secure as possible, as agreed by the courts.

Ideally, both parents are on the same page when it comes to child custody matters. However, it’s not uncommon to have disagreements and disputes arise. Therefore, pieces of forceful facts and proofs are crucial materials for parents seeking custody of their children.

Know your options

Getting legal child custody refers to a court order that delegates control and care over the child (or children). The two most common forms of child custody are 1) sole custody, and 2) joint custody.

Sole custody

In the case of sole custody after a divorce, one “custodial parent” is assigned legal responsibility for the child’s daily care and making day-to-day decisions about the child’s upbringing—things like taking them to and from school, providing their meals, etc.

Sole custody may be assigned if it’s clear that the parents aren’t able to work together in a way that’s healthy for the child. It is possible to be obtained by showing how the other spouse is not fit to raise the child properly.

It’s important to note that, even in sole custody, the custodial parent can’t make major life decisions for the child without any involvement or agreement from the non-custodial parent – such as moving out of the country, etc.

Joint custody

Usually, the court will favour a situation where both parents have equal roles in the decision-making that determines the child’s welfare and upbringing. This is observed as the best way to protect the child’s interests in the long term.

For shared custody, a high level of cooperation and communication is required between both parents to maximize life stability for the child or children. This includes deciding which home the child will reside in, predetermined visitation rights, time spent with each parent, etc.

Factors considered by the Court

When determining the type of child custody given, the court will always take the welfare of the child into primary consideration. Some of the factors the court will consider include (but are not limited to):

● How to best preserve the status quo
● The ages of the child/children and the parents
● The child’s / children’s wishes and views (if any)
● The parents’ financial statuses
● The parents’ characters, capabilities, personalities
● The accommodation that will be given to the child
● Keeping siblings together

Be prepared

When fighting for custody by going through court, being prepared as a parent is vital. This means doing your due diligence to gather all the required documentation and fact supporting details to show that you meet the requirements outlined above.

Proper preparation usually involves hiring qualified and experienced professionals that have you and your child’s best interest at heart. In order to provide you with the most obtainable information for your success in the legal process of custody seeking, we are committed to offering professional surveillance services to reveal the concealed.

Addictions and Habits

Despite the reasons, divorce, in most cases, is not a burden that could be overcome easily. Failure in relieving stress might result in substance abuse, i.e., drugs, alcohol and tobacco, which could potentially harm or affect the child in the future. Whether or not the Subject has convealled his addictions and bad habits, we would look for the hints during the surveillance on the Subject. By keeping the Subject’s activities on track, we could understand what the Subject used to consume and where the Subject used to spend his or her leisure time.

Mental State

Stability of mental health is equally essential to the parent and the child. The overwhelming stress of going through legal processes may undermine one’s mental capability to take care of a child. During surveillance, the Subject’s mobility and mental state will be captured. Investigators will pay extra attention to the Subject’s facial expressions and gestures when the Subject is interacting with the others. You may also get a glimpse of the Subject’s relationship with the neighbourhood based on the surveillance result.

Financial and Living Conditions

Parenting means more than patience, but also winning the bread for the family. Some of them may fudge on their occupation and financial situation. This could be revealed by our investigators in recording the regular visits of the Subject. When necessary, investigators will be dispatched to conduct pretext visits to obtain concrete evidence about the Subject’s workplace and living environment.

Remember that the court’s sole purpose is to find out what’s best for the child/children. Showing that you take this seriously by following all the necessary laws and procedures always helps. A professional investigator’s opinion is often considered valuable, given the fact that he or she is an independent, unbiased party that only speaks the truth based on facts and evidence. Surveillance result could show to the judge whether the other parent is fit for the child custody in all aspects.

Contact Us

The experienced investigators of Herald can help you garner supportive information through comprehensive surveillance on the Subject. If you are interested in our matrimonial investigation services or seek professional advice, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

5 Things You Must Know Before Hiring an Employee!

5 Things You Must Know Before Hiring an Employee!

Competition is fierce in Hong Kong and making false claims on education and employment history is a lot more common than you think. Considering how expensive, time-consuming, and labor intensive the recruitment process is for most companies, hiring the wrong employee will be an employer’s worst nightmare. Knowing how to protect your company during the recruitment process will significantly mitigate your risks.

To help your company avoid making the wrong hire, these are 5 things you must know before hiring an employee:

1) 78% of Job Seekers Lie During the Hiring Process

If you are under the impression that lying on resumes is an uncommon practice perpetrated by a few bad apples, think again. An article from CNBC reported that 78% of candidates who had applied for or received a job offer in the previous six months admitted they had or would have considered misrepresenting themselves on their application. Another research also found that Hong Kong’s job seekers have the highest rate of lying on their resumes in all of Asia.

While these numbers could be interpreted as job seekers exaggerating their talent or qualification in one way or another, it is still a warning sign for employers constantly making hires based on information that does not reflect a candidate’s ability and eventually paying for their mistakes with inflated wages and expensive benefits.

2) The Traditional Hiring Process Puts You at a Disadvantage

Most companies will employ a traditional hiring process that looks similar to this – resume and portfolio screening, phone screen, in-person interview cycles, sample work test (technical or sales pitch), and finally, a “culture fit” interview. The problem with this hiring method is the difficulty to truly evaluate a candidate’s ability and integrity after a long and expensive process.

While an honest and accurate resume, combined with interview performance and a sample work test, might give employers a general overview of the candidate’s ability, there are still many unknowns about the candidate’s past experiences leading to this job. Hiring a candidate who is dishonest about their background could not only spark safety concerns for other employees but cause significant damage to the company’s reputation.

3) Criminal Record isn’t the Only Thing to Check

Some companies will look at criminal records more strictly than others. A private school or childcare center will likely have to check a candidate’s criminal record more carefully than a restaurant would, as hiring a dishonest or unethical employee could implicate severe consequences. However, to fully evaluate a candidate’s integrity, their criminal record should not be the only thing that a company checks for.

The candidate’s background could be reflected in many aspects of daily life, including but not limited to credit rating, driving records, civil and criminal litigation records, medical history, and previous work-related insurance claims. In addition, an employee’s controversial comments on the internet could also damage their company’s reputation and should also be examined if necessary. With all this information in hand, employers will have a far better picture of what a candidate brings to the company and be able to make better decisions on their recruitment.

4) You Have the Right to Investigate

As an employer, you have the right to investigate before deciding on a hire. You are spending a tremendous amount of time and money on recruitment, and it only makes sense to take effective measures to ensure a candidate is right for your company. This is especially true when hiring someone for a senior management position. You are offering huge wages, benefits, and responsibilities to someone who was unknown to you until very recently. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Hiring a professional pre-employment screening service will allow you to conduct investigations and gain access to information in a safe and risk-free manner, while saving tremendous costs. Aside from performing background checks, a professional service could also conduct a comprehensive investigation to verify the candidate’s claims on education, qualifications, and past employments upon obtaining the candidate’s consent letter.

5) Pre-Employment Screening is a Growing Trend

Most companies would not have the resources to perform thorough investigations, especially if it involves education and employment records overseas. However, hiring professional consultants can guarantee a quick and definite verification.

The labor market is constantly changing, but most companies are still using the same recruitment process that was invented decades ago. This inability to adapt is causing older businesses to miss out on the best talents and hindering their growth while their competitors enjoy newer and more effective ways to make hires. Hiring a pre-employment screening service is becoming a global trend. And not only big corporates benefit from them, more and more small businesses are beginning to see reduced costs in their hiring process after shifting towards this device.

Herald Business Consulting is an innovator and an industry leader in providing pre-employment screening service for employers in Hong Kong. Our service has helped Hong Kong businesses save hundreds of thousands of dollars from making the wrong hire, and we can help you too. Use our pre-employment screening for your next hire and gain a significant edge over your competitors.

Contact Us

Herald Business Consulting’s experienced investigators can help you perform thorough pre-employment screenings on potential employees and protect your business from unnecessary risks. If you are interested in our pre-employment screening service or need professional advice, do not hesitate to contact us here.

How Do I Protect My Business with Corporate Investigations?

How Do I Protect My Business with Corporate Investigations?

Business competition has never been fiercer than in today’s increasingly globalised and digitised market. This has led to a worrying prevalence of frauds, infringements, and malpractices that can pose a dangerous threat to a business’s rights and interests.

By hiring a professional team or consulting agency to conduct corporate investigations, businesses can effectively neutralise these threats and safeguard the continuation of their own growth.

What are Corporate Investigations?

Corporate investigations are a series of search, audit, and background checks that can assess the potential risk that a third-party person or organisation could bring to your business. Through comprehensive corporate investigation services, businesses could prevent frauds and infringements and hence effectively protect their rights, intellectual properties, and revenue.

What kind of Corporate Investigations do I need?

Depending on the size, scale, and industry of your company, as well as your specific goals, you might want to utilise different types of corporate investigations to protect your business from harm.

Among all kinds of corporate investigation services available, the three most widely employed by businesses across all sectors are due diligence, pre-employment screening, and intellectual property investigations. Each of these serves unique functions and provides advantages that could help you save a tremendous amount of money in the long run.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is an investigation, background check, or audit conducted to confirm the facts or details of a certain matter of concern. Before businesses establish a tie with one another, it is crucial to administer the process of due diligence to substantiate that the trade, investment, merger, or acquisition is indeed worth the money.

A comprehensive due diligence and compliance service that includes pre-IPO checks and full individual and company background checks can let you become better informed about your potential client, vendor, or business partner. This will help you by mitigating risks, preventing crises, and inspiring confidence as you make critical business decisions.

Pre-Employment Screening

Nowadays, it has become much easier to forge certificates and fabricate work experiences, not to mention that recruitment itself is already a time consuming and costly process, from screening resumes and portfolios to overseeing interviews and negotiating compensation before eventually making a hire. On top of that, hiring someone for a senior management position is even trickier. Their salaries and benefits make them a huge investment for businesses, but it is difficult to get a full picture of a candidate’s background, ability, and aptitude with just a few rounds of interviews.

In light of that, a professional pre-employment screening service can help you dig deep into a candidate’s background, conduct, and qualifications to ensure that they are indeed the right one for your business, and hence save you a ton of time, money, and trouble.

Intellectual Property Investigation

In today’s technology-oriented and highly globalised market, intellectual property has become an invaluable part of any business’s asset. Everything from trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs to trade secrets are all under the protection of the law. That being said, others could still take advantage of your IP without your knowledge or approval.

Competitive infringements from your business rivals could impair your source of revenue as well as damage your brand’s integrity and reputation. Thus, a thorough intellectual property investigation that includes background searches, business site visits and approaches, market surveys, and surveillance can significantly mitigate these risks and protect your business from harm.

Contact Us

Herald Business Consulting’s comprehensive services can help you get to the bottom of any situation and protect your business from unnecessary risks. If you are interested in any of our services, do not hesitate to contact us here.

Pre-Matrimonial Investigation Services & Why You Need Them

Being in love and getting married is a wonderful, magical time and yet too many people walk into their wedding without being properly prepared. Getting married is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. And like any important decision, you don’t want to make it without all the information.

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