Orange County Intellectual Property Attorney
If you are seeking legal assistance or advice regarding your intellectual property in the Orange County area‚ Mandour & Associates can assist you.
With experienced IP attorneys on staff and an office in Irvine, we are able to assist you with trademark issues, copyright issues and patent issues including an infringements or litigation that may arise.
Intellectual Property Law for Orange County Businesses
Intellectual property encompasses patents‚ trademarks‚ copyrights‚ and trade secrets. Intellectual property law is a system designed to protect the intangible property rights of creators‚ inventors‚ artists‚ and businesses. Intellectual property law rewards innovation‚ creation‚ and improvement with certain exclusive rights and offers a recourse for those whose rights are infringed.
Typically‚ patents‚ trademarks‚ and copyrights are protected by Federal Law. Trade secrets‚ on the other hand‚ are protected by state law. Our intellectual property attorneys are experienced and highly qualified in each area of intellectual property.
A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A patent gives the inventor the exclusive rights to use‚ make‚ sell‚ or import the invention into the United States. Inventions such as machines‚ manufactures‚ compositions of matter‚ processes‚ methods‚ and formulas are eligible for patent protection. There are three main categories of patents: utility patents‚ design patents‚ and plant patents. Utility patents include any useful invention or discovery such as a business method.
To obtain a patent‚ a patent application must be filed with the USPTO. Applicants must demonstrate that their inventions meet every requirement for patent protection. The invention must be non-obvious‚ novel‚ and useful. If an invention is already in use by others in the industry or is an obvious addition to the prior art‚ the invention will not qualify for patent protection.
In addition‚ the applicant must define the scope of the patent by asserting patent claims. The patent claims define the patent’s exclusivity. Only patent holders may duplicate the claims of their patents once granted. The patent claims are a critical stage in the patent process and must be carefully chosen. If the UPSTO accepts the patent claims as is‚ a patent will be issued. However‚ in some cases‚ the USPTO rejects the initial patent claims‚ requiring the applicant to negotiate acceptable claims.
Patent infringement occurs when someone other than the patent holder makes‚ uses‚ or sells an article that is identical to or the functional equivalent of every element of a patent claim. Patent infringement may be combated through a cease and desist demand and/or through a federal action for patent infringement. A patent infringement action may result in the payment of a royalty‚ enhanced damages‚ attorney’s fees‚ and/or an injunction. If you have been sued or believe you may have a claim for patent infringement‚ please contact us. Our experienced patent attorneys will help ensure that your rights are protected.
A trademark is any word‚ logo‚ symbol‚ or device used to identify the source of goods or services. In order to register a trademark with the USPTO‚ a trademark must be distinctive. Distinctiveness refers to the level of creativity used to create the trademark. A trademark is inherently distinctive if it does not simply describe a product or service‚ but is instead arbitrary‚ fanciful‚ or suggestive. A trademark that is descriptive is not eligible for trademark registration unless it has acquired secondary meaning‚ meaning customers have come to associate the trademark with the source of the goods rather than the product itself.
To obtain trademark registration‚ applicants must also demonstrate that they have priority over the trademark and that the trademark is used in commerce. While trademark registration is not a requirement‚ registering a trademark with the USPTO offers several advantages including the ability to bring an action for trademark infringement in federal court.
Trademark infringement occurs when someone other than the owner of the registered trademark uses an identical or confusingly similar trademark in commerce. If such use creates a likelihood that consumers will be confused as to the source of the goods‚ that party may be held liable for trademark infringement. Trademark infringement may be remedied by an injunction and/or damages and attorney’s fees.
Copyright Law in Orange County
A copyright is a set of exclusive rights vested in the author of an artistic‚ literary‚ musical‚ dramatic‚ choreographic‚ or architectural work to copy‚ distribute‚ create derivatives‚ perform‚ or display the works in public. In order to receive copyright protection‚ a work must be original and fixed in a tangible medium of expression.
Ideas are not copyrightable. However‚ expressions of an idea such as a painting‚ photograph‚ play‚ movie‚ sculpture‚ or other work may receive copyright protection. While a copyright registration is not required to protect copyrights‚ registration is advantageous and is a prima facie element of a federal action for copyright infringement
Trade Secret Law
A trade secret is any formula‚ method‚ process‚ or machine that derives economic value from remaining secret. While a trade secret could potentially be the subject of a valid patent‚ a trade secret’s value comes from its secrecy. By maintaining the secrecy of an invention or discovery‚ the trade secret holder is able to use its invention to create unique or improved products or lower manufacturing costs. Unlike patent holders‚ trade secret owners must constantly use reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy. To learn more about the steps you or your business should be taking to maintain your trade secrets‚ please contact us.
Trade secret misappropriation occurs when a competitor uses a trade secret obtained by improper means such as theft‚ bribery‚ or espionage. Nearly all states‚ including California‚ have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act‚ which offers a remedy to those affected by trade secret misappropriation.
Whether you seek advice or representation concerning trademarks‚ patents‚ copyrights‚ or trade secrets‚ our Orange County Intellectual Property Attorneys are eager to assist you. With experience in all areas of intellectual property‚ our attorneys will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected. To learn more about how we can help you to protect your intellectual property‚ please contact us.
Contact an Orange County Intellectual Property Lawyer
If you have any questions or are in need of legal assistance, please contact us.