SAN DIEGO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY
If you are seeking a San Diego Intellectual Property Attorney‚ Mandour & Associates can assist you. We have qualified intellectual property attorneys on staff with a wealth of experience in trademark‚ copyright‚ patent‚ and trade secret law.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property refers to a bundle of exclusive rights in inventions‚ brand names and/or source identifiers‚ creative or expressive works‚ and trade secrets. There are four core areas of intellectual property: Trademarks‚ Copyrights‚ Patents‚ and Trade Secrets. Each unique area of intellectual property has its own requirements for protection and offers distinct rights.
Often times a company’s intellectual property is its most valuable asset. Because our attorneys practice exclusively in the area of intellectual property‚ we can help you ensure that your intellectual property rights are protected.
A trademark is a word‚ slogan‚ name‚ logo‚ or other device that serves to identify the source of goods or services. A trademark identifies your company or brand name and communicates to consumers that this product or service originates from your business. The United States Patent and Trademark Office registers trademarks that have been used in commerce.
To register a trademark‚ you must file an application with the USPTO. To qualify for registration‚ a trademark must be distinctive. Distinctiveness refers to the level of creativity exercised to create the mark. In addition‚ the applicant must have priority over the trademark. Finally‚ the trademark must have been used in commerce in connection with the sale of goods or services. If the trademark has not yet been used in commerce‚ the trademark holder can reserve the mark by filing an intent to use application.
A trademark application may be Opposed by another party claiming that it has priority over the trademark or that the applicant’s trademark is confusingly similar to its own. Opposition actions are heard before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB). In addition‚ once a mark has been registered‚ a party may file a Petition to Cancel the trademark claiming that it was improperly registered.
Trademark infringement occurs when someone other than the trademark holder uses a mark in commerce that is confusingly similar to the registered trademark. If use of the trademark would cause a likelihood of confusion among consumers‚ the mark is said to be infringing. Trademark infringement may be remedied by an injunction‚ damages‚ and/or attorney’s fees.
A Copyright is a set of exclusive rights in the author of a literary‚ dramatic‚ sculptural‚ visual‚ or other type of creative expression. A copyright grants the author the exclusive right to copy‚ distribute‚ create derivatives‚ perform‚ and display the work in public. In order to receive copyright protection‚ the work must be original and fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In other words‚ the subject of the copyright must not exist only as an idea‚ that idea must be expressed somehow.
Copyrights may be registered with the United States Copyright Office. While registration is not required for protection‚ registration does allow the Copyright holder to file a federal action for copyright infringement.
Trade Secret Law
A trade secret is a method‚ machine‚ or composition that derives economic value from being kept secret. Whereas patented inventions are disclosed to the world‚ the holder of a trade secret must continuously use reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy or risk losing the trade secret. Unlike patents which are protected for 20 years‚ a trade secret is protected only as long as it is kept secret. Trade secret misappropriation occurs when someone uses improper means such as espionage or bribery to obtain a trade secret.
A patent is a group of exclusive rights granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) including the exclusive right to sell‚ make‚ use‚ or import an invention or discovery. Patents are awarded to the inventor or‚ in some cases‚ the inventor’s employer. Once an inventor has discovered something and reduced it to practice‚ he or she may qualify for patent protection.
To receive a patent‚ an inventor must file a patent application with the USPTO. In that application‚ the applicant must “enable” others reasonably skilled in the art to duplicate the invention. The applicant must also define the scope of the patent by drafting “claims.” A claim defines the invention. If an application for a patent is denied‚ it is often because the claims are too broad. Well drafted claims are crucial to patent protection‚ as reconstructing the claims of a patent without authorization is patent infringement.
United States Patent Law was recently reformed in the America Invents Act. Under the new approach‚ preference is given to the first to file a patent application. If you have an invention you would like to patent‚ Mandour & Associates employs skilled patent attorneys who have assisted in the drafting of numerous successful patent applications.
Patent infringement can occur one of two ways. Literal patent infringement occurs when every element of the claim is duplicated in the infringing article. Patent infringement can also occur under the doctrine of equivalents. When an article is the functional equivalent of a patented invention‚ but is not literally infringing‚ the patent has been infringed under the doctrine of equivalents.
A lawsuit for patent infringement may result in an injunction‚ payment of royalties‚ damages‚ and attorney’s fees. If you have been sued or believe you someone is infringing your patents‚ please contact us.
To speak with a qualified intellectual property attorney to discuss how to best protect your rights‚ please contact us. Our experienced attorneys have assisted numerous clients in obtaining registered trademarks‚ patents‚ and copyrights. In addition‚ if you have been sued or believe someone is infringing on your trademarks‚ copyrights‚ patents‚ or trade secrets‚ please contact us.