When you think of your company’s assets that have value, you may readily think of your office building and furniture, computers and other technology, and additional tangible items right in front of you. However, intellectual property is right up there in terms of having monetary value. This is why if you have a potentially valuable asset that you can protect with a copyright, patent, or trademark, you do so. An experienced Lanham intellectual property lawyer in our office can help with that and also aid you in defending your rights if someone violates them.
Types of Intellectual Property Rights
We mentioned some examples of protections you can attach to creative works above but didn’t mention different types of assets that may fall into each of those broader categories. They are:
- Copyrights: Included in this category can be books, music (sheet and performed), architectural designs, and software programs.
- Patents: The S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) contends you can patent virtually anything, including machinery, medication formulations, chemical compounds, medical devices, as well as industrial processes.
- Trademarks: According to USPTO, examples of trademarkable creative or intellectual works include designs (as in graphic designs, such as a logo or font), slogans, sound (as in sound effects), colors, scents, and words.
Trade secrets, which consist of confidential information, such as a “secret recipe” or other proprietary information like the unique operational process you employ at your business that gives it a competitive edge, also fall under the umbrella of intellectual property that you can protect.
Types of Cases Lanham Intellectual Property Lawyers Work On
There are a few circumstances where someone with a desire to protect their intellectual or creative work or someone who already has one of these protectionary measures in place may require the assistance of an intellectual property lawyer. Situations where this may be necessary include:
- In applying for intellectual property rights: This may include, for example, knowing which forms to fill out for the protection you’re seeking, taking the necessary measures to assert or convey your right to the protected material, or researching whether an idea is patentable or if a copyright or patent indeed still remain in effect.
- Drafting policies and creating legally binding documents to minimize dissemination of intellectual property: This may include creating an access protocol for your intellectual property, like trade secrets, and also drafting non-disclosure agreements to ensure that proprietary information doesn’t get into the wrong hands once someone accesses it.
- Assess the validity of your intellectual property infringement claim: If you find unauthorized use of your logo or slogan online or perhaps a situation where someone includes your photography or words without your consent, you may want to file suit. Circumstances exist where fair use rules may apply, allowing someone to include your work as part of what they do without first seeking your permission.
- Seek prosecution of infringements of your intellectual property rights: Generally, it’s necessary to build evidence demonstrating infringement to substantiate your claim, including whether you took the necessary precautions, for example, to protect your trade secret from getting out. It may be necessary to send a cease and desist letter and give the alleged violator time to respond before taking any further legal action, like calculating damages and filing a lawsuit to recover them.
These three examples of situations Lanham intellectual property lawyers like ours handle are just some of the more common matters clients ask us to help them with. Since we also have estate planning attorneys on staff, it’s not uncommon for clients looking to draft wills, fund trusts, and do end-of-life or asset protection planning to also have us assist them in ensuring they make wise choices that will protect their intellectual property rights for future generations, even after they’re gone.
Why Having the Help of Lanham Intellectual Property Lawyers Matters
Your creative works can have tremendous value. Someone infringing upon those rights can deceive your customers or audience, tainting your name or brand’s image. It can also cause you to lose revenue that you worked hard to earn.
Given their extensive expertise in this legal practice area, GDH Law can provide competent guidance, no matter the stage you find yourself in. This includes as you’re looking to initially assert your right to protect your work or stop an unauthorized party from profiting off your back.
You can entrust our attorneys to handle your case from start to finish, providing you with sound legal advice along the way. So, if that’s what you’re seeking, please contact our Maryland law firm to discuss your needs with an experienced Lanham intellectual property lawyer. We’re eager to help.