Focused On Business Law

Attorneys Sara Bradley, Marinda Neumann and Lindsay Nakagawa.

Protecting Copyrights, Trademarks And Other Intellectual Property

Protection of intangible property such as copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and other types of intellectual property (IP) is important but often neglected. Intellectual property may rank among your business’s most valuable assets. Failing to properly secure and protect it can result in significant losses of revenue and goodwill.

At Neumann & Associates, Inc., our lawyers are committed to safeguarding your intellectual property. We apply a strategic and creative approach to leverage the various legal tools available for doing so. Drawing on a wealth of experience in all aspects of business and commercial law, our attorneys are in a strong position to partner with you in helping your business thrive. Protecting your intellectual property is one critical building block in the success of your business.

Types Of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property can take many forms. We address a wide range of it, including:

  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • IP licensing
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) management
  • Third-party liability assessment
  • Technology and software licensing
  • Trade secrets
  • Creative expressions, taglines, logos and business names

Different tools for protection and enforcement are available, depending on each type.

How We Can Protect Your Intellectual Property

Our lawyers can analyze your business’s intellectual property to develop a plan for preventing infringement and enforcing your IP rights. That plan may involve:

  • Identifying copyrightable material and analyzing its strength
  • Registering trademarks to secure ownership
  • Licensing for royalties
  • Drafting confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements to protect assets
  • Assigning intangible assets for valuable consideration
  • Protecting against IP infringement or misuse
  • Enforcing IP rights against infringers
  • Advising to avoid infringement claims

Understanding Copyrights

A copyright is a type of protection for an original work of authorship that is more tangible than just an idea. In order for something to be copyrighted, it must be written down, typed, created, published, etc. Examples of copyrightable works include:

  • Music
  • Songs
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Software
  • Architecture
  • Movies

When you create a work and put it into the world, your work is automatically copyrighted. That means you have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display and license the protected work. Registering your copyrighted work provides greater protection against infringement. Our lawyers can help you do that.

Understanding Trademarks

A trademark is a word, slogan, image or logo that signifies goods and services provided by a specific company. It distinguishes that company from others. Now, more than ever, businesses in the global marketplace must protect and differentiate their products and services from the competition and may choose to do so through a trademark.

Before using a trademark, you must ensure that no one else is using it. This requires more than a Google search or request through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Additionally, while not necessary, registering your mark with the USPTO will grant you the right to use it on or in connection with the goods or services described in the registration. Registration can be a lengthy process, taking up to a year. Our experienced attorneys can properly guide you through the process, ensuring that you don’t miss any steps or make costly mistakes.

Copyright And Trademark FAQ

Here are some common questions about copyrights and trademarks.

What is the difference between copyrights and trademarks?

Copyrights protect original creative works that have been put into form in some way; that is, they are more tangible than just an idea. A trademark is a distinctive word, slogan, image or logo that signifies a brand and distinguishes it from competitors. Our office can help your company with both copyright and trademark protection and licensing.

What are the most common types of trademarks? 

Trademarks can be further broken down into categories such as suggestive marks, service marks, arbitrary marks, descriptive marks and trade dress. Our lawyers can walk you through these distinctions and explain how they are relevant to your trademark.

What happens when a trademark becomes generic?

When a trademark starts to become a generic term for what it represents, and the trademark owner doesn’t take steps to protect the mark or prevent infringement, it can become generic and lose its legal protection. “Trademark erosion” is another term for this process. Examples of generic trademarks that have lost their protection in the U.S. include aspirin, trampoline, saran wrap, band-aid and granola. Our lawyers can help you take steps to prevent erosion of your trademark.

Your Partners In Intellectual Property Protection

For more information about how we can work with you to protect your IP rights, please contact us online for a free consultation. You can also call our office at 619-650-6774.