Intellectual Property Overview
Trademark and Service Mark Registration and Disputes
Copyright Registration, Disputes, and Rights
REPRESENTATION NOTE FOR OUT-OF-STATE CLIENTS
Because most copyright, trademark, and patent issues are based on U.S. federal law, I am able to represent clients with intellectual property needs throughout the United States and worldwide, in addition to locally.
OVERVIEW: WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
Intellectual property ("IP") includes trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Intellectual property law ("IP law") seeks to protect exploitation of rights in creations of the mind, and to resolve related disputes.
Trademarks: A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name. A service mark applies to services rather than goods but is otherwise identical to a trademark. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances, domain names may or may not be used as a trademark or service mark and are subject to some special rules.
Copyrights: Copyrights protect rights of authorship in published and unpublished literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works, and in software.
Patents: Patents protect inventions, including certain business processes. A provisional patent is a lower-cost, temporary patent application that serves as a placeholder until a more formal patent application is filed. Patent attorneys are usually specialists practicing only patent law; accordingly, I do personally provide patent law services but am able to seamlessly arrange these for you via my association with a law firm focusing on patents while personally handling your other IP law needs, so that there is no need to engage multiple law firms to protect your IP.
Trade Secrets & Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements (NDA): While not always thought of as within the realm of intellectual property law, trade secrets and other confidential business information that may not be protectable or adequately protected by copyright, trademark, or patent, may often be protected by contract and by proper conduct as confidential information or as trade secrets.
Our services encompass both transactional registration and sale/transfer of copyrights, trademarks, and patents, as well as legal issues concerning infringement, fair use, and intellectual property disputes, including Internet domain name disputes. I also draft and review confidentiality, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and advise on the protection of company confidential information and trade secrets for employers and others.
Brief initial consultations via email or telephone are always without charge or obligation.
TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS
A trademark is, in essence, a brand name of, or image or slogan representing, a company, a product, or a service. If representing a service, then it is called a service mark. The familiar ® symbol represents a successfully federally registered trademark or service mark. Domain names may in some instances be used as trademarks.
Registration prevents others from using an identical or confusingly similar name or identity in the same area of commerce, thus protecting your good will and association with the name, logo, phrase, etc., in question.
The registration process involves at least two steps. First, I conduct a comprehensive search of federal, state, common law, and Internet databases and business directories to determine if the likelihood that a mark can be successfully registered. If we determine to file based on the search results, then I prosecute the registration with the USPTO up to a final determination, typically about a one-year process. [More / Fees]
Copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is a relatively simply procedure that perfects your right of authorship in a book, play, screenplay, film, song, computer program, game, etc.
Fees for filing a copyright application start at $400, inclusive of all needed advice, consultation, and standard filing fees. Where appropriate, a group of works registered together will often result in savings.
Legal advice to clients regarding fair use, copyright infringement, and optioning or purchasing book sub rights and other literary works or life rights. [More / Fees]
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