Intellectual property law comprises four main types of intellectual
property: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
Intellectual property lawyers may specialize in one or more
sub-specialties of intellectual property law, including copyright
law, patent law, trademark law, infringement law and more.
Once you have obtained intellectual property rights, an Intellectual
property law firm and/or a patent law firm can protect your
rights, from patent litigation to litigation involving trade
secrets, copyrights, trademarks, fraudulent advertising, unfair
competition, and e-commerce Intellectual property such as domain
name disputes. An intellectual property lawyer can evaluate
cases involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets,
franchising, technology rights, data rights, internet law and
Patents are property and patent rights can be licensed and sold.
To obtain a patent, your invention must be useful and novel
(i.e., not previously known or used), and you must be able to
describe it in your patent application. Patents are granted
by the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a branch of the Department
of Commerce, for inventions of new and useful compositions,
machines, and articles of manufacture or processes.
A Patent has 3 basic parts:
A Detailed Description ("specification") telling how to make
the invention, and Claims (defining, in words, what is protected).
A Patent Specification--or Detailed Description--generally
includes four main components:
Background (describing the technical field of the invention
and the problems that existed before the invention,
Drawings (usually required) showing the invention; and Detailed
Description (enables readers to
make and use invention and shows best mode known to inventor
at time of filing - i.e. satisfies statutory duties under 35
U.S.C.112) Claims, which define, in words, the limits of coverage
claimed by the inventor.
A US patent grants the owner the right to exclude others from
making, using or selling the patented invention in the US for
seventeen years from the date the patent is granted. If you
have a patent issue, you should contact a patent law firm. Patent
lawyers must specifically apply for and be given patent bar
licenses before they can practice in patent law. A patent lawyer
can help with the following:
Investigate and analyze all technical areas, including opinions
on questions of patentability, infringement, permissive design
around, state-of-the-art, and due diligence studies; Procure
US and foreign patents in all technical areas, as well as trademark
and copyright registrations;
Enforce intellectual property rights including patent, trademark
and copyright litigation, licensing, negotiation and arbitration;
Report and opine the possibility of registering trademarks,
logos, and designs, including trade dress protection; Advice
on confidentiality agreements, government research funding,
university-industry relations, license agreements, corporate
sponsored research contracts, development agreements, joint
ventures, due diligence strategies, technology transfer agreements,
software protection, and employment agreements; and Provide
technical assistance to general business counsel, in-house counsel,
technology transfer managers, inventors, and business investors
on all aspects of intellectual property, its scope and strength,
title, contract and licensing matters and employment contracts,
disclosures and invention submission procedures.
A copyright is considered to be property, and can be sold and
licensed like a patent. It is a form of intellectual property
that allows the author or artist of an original work exclusive
right for a specific time period in relation to that work, including
its publication, distribution and adaptation. After that time
the work can enter the public domain.
US federal law protection applies to literary, musical and dramatic
works, pictorial, sculptural and audiovisual works, and other
kinds of works of authors Intellectual property, including computer
program expression. As the owner of a copyright, you have the
exclusive right to reproduce and distribute copies of the copyrighted
work, and to prepare derivative works (adaptations, translations,
etc.) based on the copyrighted work.
Copyright law protects artists and authors, and in most situations,
copying is illegal, particularly when the motivation is commercial
gain. The "Fair Use" rule, however, is not a copyright violation.
Fair Use includes the following: Criticism and comment, e.g.,
quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes
of illustration or comment. News reporting, e.g., summarizing
an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report.
Research and scholarship, e.g., quoting a short passage in a
scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or
clarification of the author's observations. Nonprofit educational
uses, e.g.,, photocopying of limited portions of written works
by teachers for classroom use. Parody, meaning a work that ridicules
another, usually well-known, work by imitating it in a comic
A trademark is a word, a group of words or a logo that is used
in conjunction with the sale of goods to distinguish them from
those made or sold by someone else. The trademark owner acquires
the right to exclude others from using a similar mark on other
products to ensure that there is no confusion by the consumer.
Trademark protection is recognized under the laws of individual
states and is enforceable in state courts. Marks may be registered
with state administrative agencies, usually the Secretary of
State. The federal Trademark Act provides for registration of
marks used or intended for use in interstate commerce.
Internet Laws & DMCA
Internet law, also known as cyber law, deals with the
same legal issues as Intellectual property law, but it is applied
to the different features of the Internet. Whenever you purchase,
write or download anything on the internet, you are subject
to exactly the same Intellectual property laws as in the non-virtual
There are several federal statutes such as the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act in place regarding Internet
Law, which covers misappropriation of trade secrets in cyberspace,
licenses and antitrust constraints, third-party liability for
online content, tort liability of online service providers,
privacy issues, constitutional free speech issues, and more.
Intellectual property lawyers can protect and enforce your intellectual
property rights, from helping with your trademark application
process to applying for copyright protection to obtaining a
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order if your
intellectual property has been compromised or violated.
can occur in a wide range of accidents; however leading causes
of personal injuries can be attributed to: