Enforcement & Litigation of Intellectual Property
With our litigation attorneys’ extensive trial experience and our intellectual property attorneys’ unique background and technical knowledge, War IP Law is uniquely qualified to assist businesses with enforcing their patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights, as well as defending clients against infringement claims.
Our intellectual property law attorneys are experts in patent law and have battled intellectual property cases in state and federal courts throughout Washington DC, as well as in adjacent states’ courts. We have gained significant experience defending Washington businesses against patent infringement claims brought by non-practicing firms in recent years.
Additionally, the ip attorney in our law firm represents clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in ex parte reexamination and inter partes review processes. Also, we have experience coordinating patent post-grant review hearings with concurrent federal district court action.
Understanding intellectual property
Intellectual property is a broad term that refers to the collection of intangible assets that a business or individual owns and legally protects against unauthorized use or application. A non-physical asset is one that a business or individual possesses.
Intellectual property refers to the idea that certain products of human intellect should be protected in the same way as physical property, referred to as tangible assets, is protected. The majority of industrialized economies have legal protections in place to safeguard both types of property.
Because intellectual property is so valuable in today’s increasingly knowledge-based economy, businesses are cautious about recognizing and preserving it.
Additionally, developing valuable intellectual property necessitates significant investment in brainpower and skilled labor time.
This leads into significant investments on the part of companies and individuals that should not be accessed by others without their permission.
Extraction of value from intellectual property and prohibiting others from doing so is a critical function of every business. Intellectual property comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
While intellectual property is an intangible asset, it can be significantly more valuable than the actual assets of a business. Because intellectual property can provide a competitive edge, it is jealously guarded and protected by the companies who control it.
Forms and contracts
Documents to Collect When Trademarking Your Business Name
You may be unaware at first, but your business name serves as your primary brand. Customers and partners will always associate your products or services with your business name; this is why it is critical to conduct extensive trademark research prior to settling on a business name.
Bear in mind that in many states, business registration automatically registers the name as well. However, if your business is called Garden Depot LLC and you sell goods under the name “Garden Depot” (without the LLC), you are technically using a fictitious business name. Likewise, a sole proprietorship – which is registered in the owner’s personal name – typically operates under a DBA (or “doing business as…”).
Ensure that you fully understand the state’s laws and regulations governing business name registration.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement
Nondisclosure agreements, in general, are contracts in which one party (typically an employee) promises to maintain the confidentiality of a secret disclosed to him or her during the course of employment or another business transaction. If you enter into a nondisclosure agreement with someone who later uses your confidential information without your permission, you can petition a court to enjoin the person from violating the nondisclosure agreement. Additionally, you can frequently sue the offender for any damages caused by the breach of confidentiality.
The incorporation of nondisclosure agreements into employment contracts has increased in lockstep with the growth of high-tech and information-based industries. Entrepreneurs and employers should understand how to use them properly.
Filing for Transfer of Trademarked Business Name
When forming a corporation, limited liability partnership (LLP), limited liability company (LLC), or nonprofit, you must register your business name with the Secretary of State office in your state. Generally, sole proprietors who operate their businesses under their own names are not needed to register.
However, fictional names – also called “DBAs” (doing business as) – are normally required to be registered. Businesses frequently change names as they expand and evolve, possibly from a sole proprietorship to an LLC. When you change the name of your firm, you normally file a trademark transfer.
Software License Agreement Provisions
To protect yourself legally, you should have a license agreement covering all of your company’s software. A software license agreement, alternatively referred to as an “end-user” license agreement, is a legally binding agreement between the owner of proprietary software and the end user.
The agreement specifies how the program may or may not be used, as well as a statement of the user’s rights under federal law in the United States. These agreements generally appear during the installation process of a software package, requiring the user to click “accept” to have access to the software.
Infringement of Intellectual Property
Certain rights, referred to as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), are attached to intellectual property assets and cannot be infringed upon by individuals without authority to use them.
Owners can use IPRs to prevent others from reproducing, imitating, and exploiting their work. Consult with an intellectual property lawyer if you need more details.
Patent infringement happens when a legally protected patent is used without permission by another person or company. Patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, have a 17-year validity period, whereas patents filed after this date have a 20-year validity period. After the patent’s expiration date, the patent’s details are made public.
Copyright infringement occurs when an unauthorized person recreates an original work, such as a work of art, music, or a novel, in its entirety or in part. To qualify as an infringement, the replicated content does not have to be an exact clone of the original.
Similarly, trademark infringement occurs when an unlicensed party uses a licensed trademark or a mark that is confusingly similar to the licensed trademark. For instance, a competitor may employ a mark that is similar to that of a competitor in order to disrupt business and attract their consumer base. Additionally, organizations in unrelated industries may adopt identical or similar marks in order to capitalize on the strong brand images of other enterprises.
Non-disclosure agreements are frequently used to safeguard trade secrets (NDA). When a party to an agreement discloses all or a portion of a trade secret to unrelated parties, the party has breached the agreement and infringed on the trade secret. Without an NDA, it is possible to commit trade secret violation.
Contact a Washington D.C. Intellectual Property Attorney From only the best law firm
Whenever you have questions about intellectual property matters, you should consult with experienced Washington intellectual property law attorneys at War IP Law, PLLC. We will take the time to answer your questions and, if needed, take immediate action for you to protect your IP and defend against infringement claims. Call us today for a consultation with only the competent IP lawyers.