Intellectual property law involves patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Protecting your intellectual property allows you to maintain the financial benefits of something you own that’s not tangible, such as a logo, motto, piece of software, or company name. In today’s blog, Neale & Newman explains what to look for in intellectual property law.
Start the Search
Before you hire an attorney, search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for your type of intellectual property. You could find that your idea is already taken, or there is something similar to what you want to copyright. If you’re not sure the government will approve your copyright, an intellectual property law expert may help you with this issue.
Another issue that may arise from your search: if you start to use something you believed was your original idea, the owner of the copyright may seek damages. The owner could send you a cease and desist letter or, worse, file a lawsuit seeking damages and compensation. Our intellectual property law experts know how to find federal, state, and common law patents, trademarks, and copyrights to prevent issues from arising later.
Registrations & Submissions
You must fill out precise and accurate forms when registering your intellectual property for copyright protection. This is where hiring an experienced intellectual property attorney is an ideal choice. If you don’t provide accurate forms and filings, the government may deny your application.
The difficulty here is that the U.S. PTO receives hundreds of thousands of applications per year. The registration process may take more than a year to complete, depending on several factors. An intellectual property attorney checks on the progress of your application at least once every three months to make sure the process is on track.
New businesses have plenty of items they need to copyright. Think about the company name, logos, mottos/slogans, photographs, software, website names, branding, signage, and more. If these items are unique and registered properly, you have the right, as a copyright or trademark owner, to receive all of the financial benefits of them. Intellectual property lawyers make sure all of the documentation is in line, so your business launches properly.
Intellectual Property Law at Neale & Newman
Have a great idea or invention? Need to protect your software, company branding, or artwork so no one else can profit off of them? Talk to the intellectual property law experts at Neale & Newman. We offer relevant advice and experience navigating U.S. patent and trademark registration procedures so you can benefit fully from your intellectual property. Contact Neale & Newman or call (417) 882-9090 today for more information.