Who Are Your Typical Business Law Clients In Texas?
The typical client in Texas is a small to medium-sized business that is involved in litigation or has an innovation or technology that they want patented, trademarked, or copyrighted, or a trade secret protected. However, my clients include businesses as well as individuals or large companies. Litigation clients are usually concerned with protecting their technology or defending their use of technology against another. The areas of technology include manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, energy exploration, and chemistry. Within chemistry, the technology encompasses formulations of industrial chemicals, industrial products, or oilfield services. Examples of these companies are those that develop downhole tools, automated equipment, hydraulic fracturing, or other similar types of technology.
What Services Do You Provide To Clients Under Intellectual Property Law?
Under intellectual property law, we help clients through preparation of applications for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. But preparing the application is only the first step. The second step is actually obtaining the patent grant that encompasses the elements of the invention. The third step is protecting the patent through cease-and-desist letters, licensing agreements, or infringement litigation.
We can also advise clients on how to protect their trade secrets by making them aware of current law, and how it affects their efforts to maintain trade secrets, patented innovations, copyrights, and other intellectual property.
What Exactly Is Considered Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is something that is novel, innovative, or creative. It has value to a company in the operation of its business. Through its creation or ownership, it can be used to further the creator’s commercial interests. It includes utility and design patents, copyrights on literary or artistic works, web site content, songs, movies, and architectural designs, trademarks, and trade secrets. Almost all I.P. results from incremental improvements over existing technology. Its more than just changing the color or making something out of plastic rather than metal. It has to be novel, distinct, and better than the old technology.
In regard to intellectual property legal services, there are two components. One component involves patent prosecution or application preparation for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and advice on trade secrets. The second, and equally important component, is litigation of protecting intellectual property. Many people find out that once they have a patent, copyright, or trademark, it is up to them to protect it through litigation. Sometimes, it is necessary to send demand letters and correspondence, or to negotiate licensing agreements, as an alternative to filing an infringement lawsuit.
Is Every Company, Inventor Or Business In Need Of An IP Attorney?
Every company, inventor, or business should have an IP attorney on-call depending on the value of its intellectual property and whether they recognize the need to spend time and money to protect it. For instance, large companies like Facebook, Toyota, and Exxon Mobile allocate a part of their budget to protecting their intellectual property. Protecting sometimes means forwarding demand letters and negotiating licensing agreements or technology transfer agreements. Sometimes it includes litigation. Some companies or individuals have intellectual property but have not monetized it or it doesn’t yet have sufficient value to warrant an attorney. It is a decision that’s made on a case by case basis. If we were presented with that scenario, we would advise the client on the economic options.
What Are The Main Claims Made When It Comes To Trademark, Patent And Copyright Infringement?
The main claim is infringement of a patent, a trademark, or a copyright. This occurs when a third party is making unauthorized and unlicensed use of a client’s intellectual property. Unfair use is the main driver for that type of litigation. Theft of a trade secret is a similar claim, but with different rules.
Who Do You Represent In Litigation Matters Typically?
I have represented owners of patents, trademarks, and copyrights who are trying to enforce their exclusive rights. But I have also represented clients accused of using someone else’s intellectual property. Usually, the first step in such a situation is to try and work out a settlement, or negotiate a licensing agreement.
Do I Have To Send A Cease And Desist Letter Prior To Filing An Infringement Of IP Suit?
Prior to filing an infringement of IP suit, you should first send a cease and desist letter. It makes sense to try and work out a negotiated settlement before spending the time and money getting involved in litigation. Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the litigation process starts, it’s going to be time intensive and most likely expensive. Therefore, trying to work out a negotiated settlement is a logical first step.
What Are Some Remedies Other Than Litigation To Resolve Infringement Matters?
One of the easiest remedies other than litigation to resolve infringement matters is threatening the other side with a lawsuit to prompt them to stop using your intellectual property in an unauthorized way. A demand letter or a cease and desist letter is sometimes effective. Other times, a carefully negotiated and drafted licensing agreement is a good way to resolve such a situation. In other cases, a technology transfer agreement where the other side buys the technology from you once you prove that you have a superior right to the technology or the information, could be another remedy.
For more information on Typical Business Law Clients In Texas, a consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 714-0073 today.
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