Intellectual Property

Ideas have never been easy to protect.

Now, in the age where ideas can be freely discovered, shared, copied, or stolen so easily, it is essential to take steps to protect your intellectual property – an important and valuable asset of your company. We will share our broad experience with you in copyright, trademark, trade secrets, and data privacy law to protect your exclusive rights at every step of the process, from idea development to cease and desist letters to enforcement against infringers. We provide counsel in regards to protecting your music, literary work, art work, software programs, cloud services, trade secrets, discoveries and inventions, as well as words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Please call us at (301) 251-1180 or submit an online inquiry so we can assist you.

How can we protect our company’s brand?

By operating your company and selling your goods or services with a certain phrase, words, logo, sound, or other distinguishing mark, you are developing some limited trademark rights to the geographic area where you operate. You can obtain even more rights by taking additional steps to protect your brand, including registering for a federal trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and enforcement against infringing marks. We are here to help you protect your brand and grow your goodwill and value associated with the brand.

A large publisher wants to distribute software that we developed. What should we do?

First, don’t sign anything! As you know, there are many, many steps to sharing your software with a publisher. Talk to us right away. We’ll help you prepare and negotiate the documents you may need: licensing and assignment agreements for copyright and trademark assets; technology transfer agreements (including sale and transfer of domain names and trademarks); software licenses; software development agreements; source code escrow agreements; click/shrink wrap licenses; OEM agreements; website development and hosting agreements; software as a service (SaaS) agreements, platform as a service (PaaS) and other intellectual property/technology licenses.

Why do I need a Privacy Policy or Terms of Service on my website?

Well, the short answer is to protect you. Privacy Policies and Terms of Service are contracts with your website’s users. The Privacy Policy typically governs how you will handle data you collect from the user of your website. If you work in certain industries (i.e. healthcare, education) or collect personally identifiable data, this policy is essential to ensure you are compliant with the relevant laws and are fully protected. The Terms of Service determines how a user may interact and use your website and its content. In a time where everything online can be copied or forwarded with a click of the mouse, the Terms are also important to ensure that your ideas and content are protected and can only be used in the way you want. We can help you draft these policies, as they should be carefully crafted to fit your specific company’s needs and not copied from another website.

An independent contractor created my software. Do I own it?

It depends – did the independent contractor sign a contract assigning the intellectual property to you? Most independent contractors own their copyright until they assign it by contract. It is very important that you own all intellectual property created for your company at all times. This can often be overlooked in the start-up phase of a new company. We can help by drafting these Work-for-Hire contracts, as well as, providing strategies if you did not quite get the agreement signed the first time.

I am currently building my business and my brand, and I often hear the terms “trade name” and “trademark” used. However, I do not know the difference or whether there is a difference at all?

Trade names and trademarks are easily confused but are not the same. Any company operating under a name other than its exact legal name is required to register a state trade name to prevent consumers from confusion and to protect the company’s owners from personal liability. A trademark, on the other hand, is used to protect branding and valuable intellectual property rights such as your company’s name, logo, and trade dress. Trademark rights enable you from preventing competitors from using a similar name to sell similar goods or services. Reach out to one of our seasoned intellectual property attorneys if you have questions about these topics or wish to pursue one or more of these registrations.

Someone is using my brand to take my customers, what can I do?

Whether you have a registered trademark or not, you likely have developed legal rights to protect your brand in your market by promoting your mark and developing a customer base.  You do have options.  Our intellectual property attorneys will analyze the situation and provide you with recommendation strategies, such as sending a cease and desist, issuing a take down notice, and filing for federal trademark protection.

  • Artist's Rights
  • Cease and Desist Letters
  • Copyright Registration
  • Intellectual Property Guidance
  • Intellectual Property Infringement Enforcement
  • Intellectual Property Transactions
  • Internet Terms of Service
  • Licensing Agreements
  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • SaaS Agreements
  • Trademark Registration
  • Trademark Registration and Prosecution
  • Trade Secrets and Confidential Information Agreements
  • Work-for-Hire Agreements