We seek to protect your intellectual creations in the technology, media, and design industries so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. To do that, we try to meet with you during the creative process so as to ensure that your works are eventually protected before or while they go to market. Even after your technology, media, or design creations have seen the light of the marketplace, we will develop a strategy with you so that you can properly police third party use of your creations. That way, you won’t lose what you have worked so hard to create.
When you are an author of an “original work,” your work is generally entitled to copyright protection under the U.S. Copyright Act. However, you generally still need to have a registered copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to enforce your rights in federal court. An “original work” can include software, paintings, writings, dramas, and musical works. As a copyright owner, you have the right to stop others from partially or completely reproducing your copyrighted materials. Still, others have the right to “fair use” of your work.
As a result, we counsel you on how to use copyright law so that you receive maximum returns for the authorized and unauthorized use of your creative works. We also guide you so that you do not take actions that may be construed as copyright infringement, including compliance with open source software licenses (Apache, GPL, LGPL, MIT) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Trademarks serve to identify a business as the source of its goods or services. These words, symbols, or designs become more valuable as business grows. Trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) generally receive more protection than trademarks that are not registered. That is precisely why most businesses who intend on receiving venture capital money or who intend on going public eventually have a registered trademark. For these reasons, we advise our clients on how to select a mark that is a viable candidate for registration.
Even when our clients have already used a trademark that cannot be registered with the USPTO, these marks still receive protection under what is called the “common law.” We advise our clients about their rights under the common law, and how to stop others from infringing their common law trademark rights. In addition to ensuring that our clients’ trademarks are properly protected, we advise them concerning the licensing of their trademarks for use by others via franchise agreements and otherwise. We also draft and negotiate appropriate licensing and co-existence agreements that fit our clients’ particular needs.
Today’s highly fluid global economy is synonymous with increased employee mobility and spin off companies. That is why trade secret protection is of the utmost importance. Trade secrets are recipes, formulas, devices, techniques, patterns, data compilations, and methods which are essential to the survival of a business but which are not subject to patent or copyright protection. We advise our clients as to what qualifies for trade secret protection, and then we assist our clients to develop and implement trade secret policies and procedures tailored to their business.
With the necessary safeguards in place, our clients can then protect their own enforceable trade secret rights through all means, even by seeking an injunction or damages under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act or the Economic Espionage Act. Finally, we advise our clients on how to leverage their trade secret so as to generate revenue streams and open new markets. These contracts may be simple licenses or joint ventures that provide product and market access to both parties.