What does crowdSPRING do when someone reports a possible violation of intellectual property?

Allegations of intellectual property violations are fast-tracked and always assume the top priority for our customer service team. Here's what we do:

First, assuming we don't need additional information from the person reporting the possible violation, we acknowledge in writing that we've received the report. If we need additional information, we ask for it.

Second, we send a written notice of a possible violation to the person who is accused of violating another's intellectual property rights. In that notice, we provide specific links to the accused designs, the alleged infringed design, our Standards Of Conduct and User Agreement. In most cases, we require a written response within 24 hours. In some cases, where waiting that long would harm the Buyer or the owner of the alleged original copyright, we request a response in a much shorter time frame. In very rare cases, we act immediately because any delays could harm the Buyer or the owner of the alleged original copyright.

crowdSPRING will NEVER allow any project to be completed where there is a pending claim of an intellectual property violation. In some cases, we temporarily suspend accounts of all people involved until we can adequately resolve the issue.

In cases where we act immediately and withdraw a design, we make an effort to give the accused Creative an opportunity to respond and we will restore the design if they present a compelling response (many accusations of violations turn out to have no merit). We always give the Creative a chance to voluntarily withdraw their entry and tell them that if they choose not to do so, a three-person panel at crowdSPRING will evaluate all of the facts and will issue a decision.

When we notify the accused Creative, we tell them:

"We take the protection of intellectual property very seriously. The standards of conduct were developed in collaboration with the crowdSPRING community. If you violate the standards, you will permanently lose your right to work on crowdSPRING."

Third, we follow-up to make sure that we've received a timely response from the Creative. If the time to respond has expired, or the Creative has responded, a three-person panel at crowdSPRING meets, reviews all of the available facts and decides (by a vote). Most decisions are unanimous.

Fourth, after the panel issues its decision, both the person who submitted the initial notice of possible violation and the accused Creative are informed of the panel's decision. If the panel has found a violation of intellectual property, the offending design is immediately withdrawn by crowdSPRING.

Last updated: 29-Oct-10 11:54 p.m. GMT

Tags: ip, policy, protect, report, violation

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