According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Intellectual Property (IP) “refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” IP consists of four principle areas of law:
Trademarks: A trademark is any word, phrase, design or device that identifies the source of the goods identified by the mark. If the mark identifies services it is called a service mark.
Trademark Secrets: Trade secrets consist of any idea, process, formula or other information that a company or individual wishes to protect from infringement (i.e., from being stolen) by maintaining it as a secret.
Copyrights: Copyright protection arises upon creation of an original work in a fixed form; even more rights may be secured by filing a simple and inexpensive registration with the United States Copyright Office.
Patent: A Patent is a government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
Many tools are available to protect your intellectual property. Of course, the government makes available registration/application services for trademarks, copyrights and patents but that is just the beginning. For example, by failing to monitor your trademarks and patents and carefully draft your contracts and licenses, you risk losing or abandoning your trademarks, copyrights or patents. Trade secrets deserve special attention. Our job is to help you maximize the protection of these valuable assets.
If you are in need of an experienced intellectual property lawyer, look no further. Our law firm is prepared to help you with copyright litigation and trade secret laws.
Employment Agreements to Protect Intellectual Property
“How do you, the cautious employer, protect yourself from trade secret theft? One way is through employment agreements. Many of the court cases involving employee theft of trade secrets include employment agreements with intellectual property terms. We believe that courts are more likely to conclude that the actions by a former employee are or will be a misappropriation of trade secrets if employment agreements are in place that include terms to protect those trade secrets. Since many employers use non-employee independent contractors, the contracts for those non-employee contractors can include similar terms.” [read more]
Cease and Desist Letters – What Would Bill Murray Do?
“In the world of intellectual property, the “Cease and Desist” letter is king. These are letters from attorneys for the owner of a work or invention or trademark, sent to an alleged infringer of the owner’s intellectual property rights. The letters cite the legal basis for the owner’s claim, may threaten doom, destruction, and huge financial damages, and are often quite stern.” [read more]