Intellectual property rights are a Bundle of exclusive or non-exclusive rights which are typically owned by the creators of both artistic and commercial works. Artistic works and performances are covered by Copyright laws These laws protect creative works, such as books, movies, music, paintings, photographs, dance, and software, and gives the copyright holder exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time. (Please see our Resource Page link to the U.S. Copyright Office for general questions)
A second category is sometimes referred to as "commercial properties", as they are typically created and used for industrial or commercial purposes. A Patent may be granted for a new, useful, and non-obvious invention and gives the patent holder a right to prevent others from using the invention without a license from the inventor for a certain period of time. A Trademark or service mark is a distinctive sign, name or “mark” which is used to prevent confusion among the various products in the marketplace. Such marks generally cannot be merely descriptive of the goods or services, and the strongest marks are those which are completely new words in the language, such as “Xerox,” “Snapple,” and “Reebok" (each of which are registered trademarks.
These marks typically receive the strongest deference from the courts in enforcement actions. The rights trademark holders can also be applied to a Franchise, to protect the form of appearance, style or design of an establishment from being copied (think of the interior of a"Subway" restaurant for example). Our IP clients include many small to mid-sized businesses that have designed logos, websites, and business names that need to be protected, along with independent record labels, songwriters, authors, and musicians. We work with all of our business clients to assist in identifying and putting into place protection for the valuable IP that they have created, or will be creating.
Protecting intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets is an essential part of establishing and operating any business.