Intellectual Property Lawyers
In an information economy, intellectual property is more important than ever. Our IP litigation attorneys can protect your ideas from being used by your competitors. Intellectual property includes patents, copyrights, trademark/trade dress, and trade secrets.
Protecting ideas is a complicated area of law. With tangible assets, generally only one person can possess a thing at a time. But with ideas, as Thomas Jefferson stated: “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” Two or more people can simultaneously hold the same idea at the same time without depriving one another of the idea.
But ideas do have value. While two people may be share intellectual ideas without taking anything away from each other. Two people cannot execute on those ideas without encroaching on one another. That is the time where an intellectual property attorney steps in.
If the value of your business lies in its copyrights, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, design and patents, you need to vigorously protect these assets just as you would protect a physical asset. The government protects intellectual property in order to give it value. You have a right to protect your intellectual property.
Copyright Law & Copyright Litigation
New York Courts Have Seen an Increase in Copyright Lawsuits
Copyright is the right to reproduce creative expressions – usually a book, a video recording, or audio recording, but even more abstract things like a choreographed dance could be copyrighted. Published documents automatically have copyright protection. While it makes sense to get a formal copyright for certain works, you do not need to already have a copyright to prevent others from reproducing your published work. Currently, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Violation of copyright rights can result in a complex legal action including a lawsuit. Our New York copyright attorney will advise of the best course of action.
Throughout history, craftsmen put symbols on their work so that people could identify who produced the work if it ever needed repair. Today, names and logos do more than just describe who produced the product. Your trademark or trade dress conveys information about status and quality, in addition to identifying the producer. When somebody misappropriates your trademark or trade dress, they are harming the reputation of your business. In all honesty, some customers may not be sophisticated enough to really notice the differences between products (but the trademark lawyers in New York do) — therefore, the name or packaging makes all the difference. The trademark is any identifying mark for a product. It could as simple as the name on a label, but can also include colors, shapes, and designs.
If you have a new product, it’s important to choose a trademark that doesn’t conflict with existing trademarks. You’ll also want to register your trademark. Trade dress includes the packaging and presentation of the product. Packaging can include everything from the shade of blue on a box, to the decor of a restaurant. Anything that serves to identify the source of the product may eligible for trademark or trade dress protection.
Our New York patent attorney can also litigate patent infringement in federal court. Once an invention is patented, others are not allowed to use the useful features of the patent without a license. However, a patent can be ruled invalid if it infringes a prior existing patent, or it uses technology that has dedicated to the public. Our patent litigation team can challenge infringers or challenge a patent’s validity in a patent lawsuit.
Trade secrets may be the most powerful form of protection for ideas. Patents are published and eventually expire. Copyrights eventually expire. Trade secrets, however, can last forever. For example, the formulas for major soda and perfume brands are not patented, because patent protection isn’t strong enough. If your product cannot be easily reverse engineered, it may be strategically wiser to keep the information a secret, instead of applying for a patent. A trade secret can be a secret forever. The holder of a trade secret can go after anyone who unfairly acquires the secret.
Ultimately, the purpose of litigation isn’t necessarily to go to trial, though that can be the result in certain cases. The underlying potentiality of litigation is often the greatest motivating factor in a favorable settlement. We will work vigorously to get the results you want long before a trial. Call us today – the top New York City commercial litigators will get the job done.