Sometimes great business opportunities and relationships can spring out of difficult situations. One day we got a frantic call from one of our service oriented business clients. One of their employees had sent out an important document that was full of possible copyright infringing material taken directly from a competitor’s document. Our client was now getting concerned calls from her most important clients pointing out this possible infringement and saying that the competitor and the competitor’s vendor who owned the copyrighted material were very upset and considering legal action.
Our client was absolutely mortified by this oversight and wanted desperately to rectify it as soon as possible. We first took the time to calm our client down. Of course, we remained mindful that litigation was always possible. We then provided a few different options as to how to proceed. While some attorneys may have focused only on the technical legal issues, we offered our client a more pragmatic approach. We proposed that our client simply reach out to the vendor whose copyrighted material was possibly infringed upon, apologize and explain that mimicry is the highest form of flattery. Furthermore, that their firm was not equipped to produce content as good as the vendor, and that in the future they would like to work with the vendor to create content.
What had been a terrible day for our client ended with a new business relationship and the opportunity to create even better marketing products in the future. It also avoided threats and the march toward expensive litigation.