Texas Intellectual Property Lawyer
Any business owner can tell you that outside of their employees, the most valuable asset to their business is their intellectual property. It is the core foundation upon which a successful business is built, and protecting this information is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s patenting an invention, defending your trademark, or fighting against the theft of trade secrets, an intellectual property lawyer in Texas at Eddington & Worley can help you protect your business.
If you have questions about intellectual property law or are seeking representation for your business, call our Texas intellectual property firm today at (281) 595-1519 for a free consultation. Given below is a brief summary of different types of intellectual property laws depending on various permission processes.
What Are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights?
There is a large federal body and several state laws that protect different creative properties like inventions, music, paintings, films, photography, writing, and drawings. As an entire figure, this law represents intellectual property law. It includes trademarks, patents, copyright, and trade secrets, with each of them applicable to different situations and having various technical rules. When you want to get permission to use your creative works, you need copyright law. Trade secrets, privacy and publicity rights, and trademarks are relevant when you need permission to use various types of creative works.
People often confuse copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Yes, there are a few similarities when it comes to intellectual property protection, but they are not the same and they are used for different purposes.
What is a Patent?
A patent is like the property right for an inventor. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues this grant of property rights. Usually, a new patent remains valid for 20 years from the date of application of the patent filed in the United States. For special cases, the period may start from an earlier date when the application was first filed, subject to paying maintenance fees. The patent granted to the inventor is effective only with the United States, the US possessions, and the US territories. In some cases, the client may adjust or extend the patent terms.
According to the grant or the statute itself, the patent grant means the right or ability to exclude others from using, selling, making, or offering for sale, the invention that took place in the United States. The patent grant doesn’t restrict from making, using, importing, or selling, but gives the right to exclude anyone from performing these actions on the invention. Once the patentee gets the patent, he/she should enforce it with the help of a Texas patent lawyer and the USPTO
There are three types of patents:
These are for clients who discover or invent new, useful processes, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or machine, or anything new and useful for improving an existing process or piece of equipment.
These are for clients who invent original, authentic, or ornamental designs for an item of manufacture.
These are for clients who discover or invent and also asexually produce a new variety or a unique plant.
What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?
A trademark is a symbol, logo, device, or word used in relation to trading goods to make sure that the source of the product or service distinguishes them from the competitors. A servicemark is similar to that of a trademark. However, it distinguishes and identifies the source or root of the service instead of the product. The terms “mark” and “trademark” are usually used while referring to both servicemarks and trademarks.
Clients often use trademark rights to prevent others from using a similar logo or mark. It does not necessarily prevent them from manufacturing the same products or providing the same services under a different trademark. Those who want to use their trademark for foreign or interstate commerce should register their mark with the USPTO. You can learn about the registration process for trademark and basic information about this law from an ebook by the USPTO called “Basic Facts about Trademarks“. A trademark attorney in Texas can guide you through the process of applying for a trademark and will be you best bet at effectively protecting your mark.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is one way of protecting “original works of authorship.” It includes music, art, drama, literature, and various other intellectual works that are either published or unpublished. According to the Copyright Act of 1976, the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to prepare derivative works, reproduce the copyrighted work, distribute phonorecords or copies of their copyrighted work, display copyrighted work publicly, or perform copyrighted work publicly.
This law protects the client’s form of expression instead of safekeeping their subject matter. For example, you can copyright the description of a machine so that no one can copy the description. It does not limit others from writing their own description of making a similar machine and using it. The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress registers all copyrights. If you are seeking a copyright, or need to defend your already existing copyright, obtain an attorney who specializes in copyright issues.
What are Trade Secrets?
Trade Secrets are a type of intellectual property that make a business unique and sets it apart from its competition. One of the best examples of a trade secret is Google’s search algorithm. Over the years, Google has developed what is widely considered to be the most effective search engine. Their search algorithm is at the core of this success, and as such, is a closely guarded trade secret. If their algorithm were to be released publicly, any other search engine could copy it, greatly reducing Google’s competitive advantage.
While this example is highly specific, trade secrets as a whole encompass a wide array of intellectual property that a business may use to gain an economic advantage. This can range from things like sales techniques and practices, lists of clients and suppliers, manufacturing processes, advertising techniques, or any other confidential information that a business uses to gain a competitive advantage. Texas trade secrets lawyers work with the business to identify and protect this information by limiting the number of people within an organization with access to it, using confidentiality agreements, or obtaining a patent.
What Do Intellectual Property Lawyers Do?
Intellectual property lawyers have three major things to take care of: enforcing, protecting, and counseling. Client counseling involves protecting the intellectual property that a person wants to develop or already has. When it comes to trademark law, our attorneys will research different trademarks that the client proposes and check their availability. There are cases where the client already spent money, time, and energy in researching the availability of the trademark. In such situations, the lawyer may abandon or modify the existing trademark of the client. On the other hand, patent counseling involves technical background checks to understand the patent of the client and also assess its validity and the possibility of infringing on another patent.
Another crucial stage of protecting intellectual property is registering the trademark and also copyrighting or patenting to get the best possible rights available for the asset. For patenting or trademarks, our lawyers will work with you to prepare and fill out an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We will also reply to the queries put forward by the USPTO until they give clearance for the patent or registers the trademark.
Lastly, enforcement of intellectual property includes protecting the client’s intellectual property from infringing uses. This may lead to a litigation case if it goes to the federal court.
Some of the other ways in which our intellectual property lawyers can help your business will include due diligence relating to mergers and acquisitions, developing strategies for domestic and international intellectual property protection, and licensing. The lawyers at Eddington & Worley have the oral and written skills, business acumen, and negotiation skills needed to provide effective counsel in your intellectual property matters. There are also several international considerations when it comes to intellectual property law and we are ready to help.
How Can an Intellectual Property Lawyer Help My Business?
Our IP lawyers are capable of handling all legal matters associated with your business’s intellectual property. An example of this may include a client looking to protect industrial property. A qualified intellectual property lawyer can help examine the file, file a detailed application, and make sure the patent or trademark comes through as intended. The same lawyer can also help defend a prior patent or trademark to ensure the client’s legal rights are fully exercised. This can include handling the case before a patent examiner or putting together a legally binding licensing agreement.
Our IP lawyers are also trained to litigate legal matters associated with intellectual property. This includes representing individuals in the court of law including in front of agencies such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the International Trade Commission. These agencies are responsible for managing cases around patent law, copyright law, trade secret law, trademark law, general licensing, and competition claims.
We also offer the services of a subset of IP lawyers that focus on specialized fields and intellectual property laws associated with those sectors. This can include handling intellectual property in pharmaceuticals, computer engineering, biotech, the Internet, e-commerce, and nanotechnology.
Contact the IP Lawyers at Eddington & Worley Today
Intellectual theft is a prevalent concern and demands specialized legal attention from an experienced intellectual property lawyer. By understanding established legislation and regulation around protecting creative work, individuals can receive comprehensive assistance in staying safe. In general, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) believes intellectual property is anything that’s created by the mind such as artistic works, literary pieces, inventions, symbols, images, names, and even designs used for commercial purposes. This agency is responsible for setting the standard as a United Nations agency and works hard to establish clear-cut regulations.
If you have concerns about protecting the intellectual property which sets your business apart, we are here for you. We know the importance of this information and understand the negative impact on your business if your intellectual property becomes public knowledge. Call our offices today at (281) 595-1519 to receive a risk-free consultation with one of our expert attorneys. Don’t let your business become a victim, start the process of securing your intellectual property today.