When you invent a product, write a book, or develop a unique logo, you rely on intellectual property law to ensure no one steals your work. To ensure these legal protections, typically you must file a patent or trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or register your creative work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
Protecting your intellectual property entails more than filing the appropriate paperwork, though. When you want to license or transfer property rights or a person or organization infringes on what you own, our attorneys can guide you through these complex legal processes. When you encounter challenges with online copyrights, international infringement, or false advertising, our Phoenix intellectual property (IP) lawyers are ready to help.
Types of Intellectual Property
Patents can protect the use or design of unique inventions. An inventor can give up his/her rights for a specified time and license a patent to an individual or organization that will produce and sells the product or design. An inventor can either grant an exclusive license and transfer ownership rights for a patent, or grant non-exclusive licenses to multiple licensees and retain ownership rights.
A copyright gives the owner of a creative work the exclusive right to display, distribute, copy, perform, and adapt their property. Someone infringes on a copyright when they, for example, plagiarize, sell, or perform the work without the owner’s permission.
A trademark protects logos, names, and slogans used in business. A “usurper” may attempt to introduce cheap imitations of a branded product and copy the logo to entice unwitting consumers to buy the copycat version, while believing they are getting the real thing.
Legal Protections for IP
New and updated federal laws frequently change in terms of protections for intellectual property. Our Phoenix attorneys can help businesses with intellectual property navigate and understand their legal rights and responsibilities. Some laws are incorporated into broader packages, such as the criminal penalties for international copyright and trademark infringement included in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
Another federal law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects online service providers when their users infringe on copyright law. Copyright owners can alert providers of infringement so they can remove the infringing content.
The long-established Lanham Act, Chapter 22 of Title 15 of the U.S. Code, establishes standards for trademark registration; it allows trademark owners to sue infringers whom they claim copied a trademarked image or term, thus causing confusion among consumers and a loss of revenue. The Lanham Act also allows companies to sue for various other instances of unfair competition, including false advertising.
IP litigators are skilled at holding accountable for damages those who tamper with or wrongly use another’s property. Some legal issues arising from IP disputes include the following:
- False copyright management, when someone knowingly alters or conceals copyright management information with the intent to infringe;
- Misappropriation of trade secrets, which involves the taking and using of proprietary information that benefits the owner economically;
- Unfair competition or deceptive trade practices, which confuse consumers about a product’s source, such as bait and switch tactics or trademark infringement; and
- Civil conspiracy, when two or more people decide to engage in IP infringement, unfair competition, or misappropriation of trade secrets.
A Phoenix intellectual property attorney can employ suitable strategies to prevent someone from infringing on your IP. If the theft continues and irreparable harm is likely, an IP attorney can seek injunctive relief from the court.
Call Our Phoenix Intellectual Property (IP) Attorneys to Protect Your Work
Intellectual property law extends beyond registering an inventor or brand’s unique work, hoping competitors will get the message. People and companies may still steal your patents or creative property for their own benefit. If that happens, our Phoenix intellectual property (IP) lawyers can help protect your interests.
Whether you are a first-time inventor unsure of how to protect your work or a corporate executive who has discovered a competitor using advertising with your branding, we can help. Call Giles Law today to learn more about how we can protect your intellectual property.