Helping You Protect Your Business’s Intellectual Property
Intellectual property refers to product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. Intellectual property laws protect such things as inventions, trade names, trademarks, logos, unique processes, written works, artwork, music and other products derived from your original, creative thought.
Protecting your company’s intellectual property is essential to the success of your business.
- If you fail to protect your intellectual property and another person steals it, your company’s reputation is at stake. For example, a person can offer a product similar but inferior to yours on the market and label it with your trademark, causing the general public to confuse the inferior product with your product, which will damage your reputation.
- Moreover, failing to protect your intellectual property will result in a loss of earnings for your company. The person stealing your intellectual property will infringe on your market share and may even earn more than you if the person is able to market your product more effectively than you. The theft also results in dilution of your brand and competition with your company, both of which result in a loss of income to you.
- Additionally, if you go to sell your intellectual property in the future, the asset is devalued as a result of not being unique to you. You may also end up in the unsavory position of having to defend your right to ownership of the intellectual property when you go to sell it.
Our attorneys at Lobb & Plewe can help you with all of your intellectual property needs, including trademark protection, protection of your trade secrets, copyright protection, internet brand protection and domain name management, anti-counterfeiting, intellectual property litigation, and conducting periodic intellectual property audits.
We can help you identify your need for a trademark for your business name, logo, products, and services, and obtain trademarks for you by applying for registration of your trademark on both a state and federal level, as appropriate. We can also help you enforce and protect your trademarks against unlawful copying and use.
- Apply for trademarks at federal and state level
- Handle proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in connection with trademark applications, responding to USPTO Office Actions, and litigating inter-parties proceedings before the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board when trademark applications are opposed
- Devise an international intellectual property strategy to gain intellectual property protection in countries outside the United States where products may be sold or manufacturing outsourced
- Develop guidelines to assist clients in using trademarks properly
- Negotiate and draft trademark licenses and assignments
- Register for trademarks internationally where appropriate
- Prepare and file all registration, opposition, litigation, and post registration documents
- Monitor trademark registrations
- Oppose other parties’ applications and registrations for trademarks too similar to our clients’ trademarks
- Enforce trademarks and domain names
- Represent clients in trademark litigation in state and federal court
- Prosecuting anticounterfeiting claims relating to knockoff and copycat products
We can help you identify and protect valuable commercial information that provides your business with an advantage over competitors who do not have the information.
- Identify trade secrets
- Protect trade secrets through preparation of nondisclosure agreements for execution by employees
- Prepare intellectual property assignment agreements, requiring employees to assign any rights to work product to the company
- Devise exhaustive strategy, detailing other methods, for protecting trade secrets
- Prosecuting and defending claims for violation of California’s version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, including claims involving employees who allegedly leave and misappropriate valuable company trade secrets, as well as so-called “market share” claims brought by companies to attempt to prevent employees who leave from pursuing employment at competitor companies
Intellectual Property Audits
We can meet with you on an annual or more frequent basis to identify any new or additional intellectual property issues that may need to be addressed.
- Identify the extent of your current and planned intellectual property portfolio
- Determine what IP is adequately protected already and what needs to be registered with appropriate agencies
- Determine whether your IP is currently threatened by infringers and if so, create a plan for addressing the problem
Intellectual Property Litigation
With experience in federal and state courts, we have handled complex intellectual property lawsuits involving trademark, trade dress, and copyright infringement, as well as trade secret and computer software-related disputes, across the United States.
- Investigate and negotiate trademark claims
- Litigate trademark licensing issues, parallel trade, trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, false advertising, and Lanham Act violations
- Protect trademarks on an international basis where appropriate
- Handle all phases of litigation, including applying for injunctive relief, declaratory judgment proceedings, trials and appeals
Copyright And Copyright Litigation
In addition to securing copyright registrations to protect clients’ original works of authorship and handling development, licensing, and distribution for books, music, film, sound recordings, software, new media, photography, art, and multimedia, we counsel clients regarding the registration, licensing, policing, and enforcement of their copyright rights.
- Secure copyright registrations
- Advise clients with respect to development, licensing and distribution transactions
- Counsel clients on literary, personal, and syndication rights; unfair competition; and false advertising
- Represent clients in copyright infringement cases
Counterfeiting, which is the manufacture of an imitation of an existing product to be sold as genuine, is a serious problem for companies in many industries. We protect clients from counterfeiting as follows:
- Lead counterfeiting investigations
- Handle anti-counterfeiting actions ranging from a letter to complaints to search and seizure actions
- Assist with the registration of trademarks with customs authorities in foreign countries to assist with seizure of counterfeit products
- Counsel clients with respect to counterfeiting prominence and practices worldwide
Internet Brand Protection And Domain Name Management
We can help develop and protect your brand on the internet by targeting the most damaging forms of brand abuse occurring on the internet, including trademark infringement, diverted sales, association with offensive content, domain name abuse, traffic diversion, claimed affiliations, and counterfeit sales. We provide the following services to help protect your brand:
- Provide internet monitoring to help track and manage key forms of online abuse
- Collect and analyze relevant information based on the results of monitoring
- Counsel clients with respect to infringing domain name registrations and websites
- Represent clients in cybersquatting litigation
Defamation And Rights Of Publicity
We can help handle litigation involving statutory rights of publicity under California Civil Code section 3344 involving the misappropriation of individuals’ names, voices, likenesses, signatures, or photographs, as well as claims for defamation that involve the spoken work (slander) or written statements (libel).