Trademark protection can be obtained for unique words, names, symbols, or other marks used in commerce to distinguish your identity, products or services from those of another. Trademarks are subject to both Ohio law and federal law. We assist clients in securing both state level and federal registrations of their trademarks. For federal trademark registrations, we prepare applications to the Patent and Trademark office (PTO), response to all Office Actions from the PTO’s examining attorneys, and defend the application against opposition actions filed by the public. Our attorneys practice before the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and are experienced in prosecuting and defending trademark infringement claims. We also counsel clients in trademark matters relating to online activities, including disputes over internet domain names (requiring application of the federal cyber-squatting statute and/or appeals to ICANN) and social media activity. Our attorneys also have the experience and knowledge necessary for preparation of assignment and licensing agreements. And if a dispute arises, our services include litigation to protect our clients’ trademarks or defend against claims of infringement.
Copyright protection is available for original works of authorship such as books, paintings, song lyrics, musical recordings, sculptures, and many other creations. Copyright also applies to blueprints, designs, web site content, computer software, and other works generated by businesses. We assist clients in taking the steps necessary to have a valid, enforceable copyright, including posting proper notices, obtaining federal registrations, and taking appropriate action to assert and defend claims of copyright infringement in litigation. Our attorneys draft assignment agreements, license agreements, and other contractual documents to preserve clients’ copyright in their creations while still obtaining commercial benefit from their use.
Virtually every business has trade secrets represented by customer lists, formulas, proprietary know-how, processes, methodologies, plans, data, other information uniquely developed for the business. Without careful planning and vigilance, a company’s trade secrets can easily end up being used by others to the detriment of the company. Too often companies are lax in protecting their trade secrets – usually as the result of not recognizing them or thinking that protection is not achievable. Trade secrets are mostly defined by state law -- Ohio has its own version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act embodied by the provisions of Chapter 1333 of the Ohio Revised Code. However, theft of trade secrets can also be a violation of federal law (18 USC Sec. 1832). We help our clients identify their trade secrets and we provide assistance to develop policies and protocols designed to secure protection of these valuable assets. Our litigation lawyers also serve our clients as trial counsel in prosecuting or defending claims of unlawful misappropriation of trade secrets.
When our clients have needs for patent protection, we provide guidance and assistance through our collaborative relationships with patent counsel. We along with our collaborative counsel help our clients decide the fundamental question of whether to make the disclosures required for the granting of a patent or adopt other means for protecting the confidentiality and proprietary rights of the patentable invention or design.
Intellectual Property is not term of art – it represents valuable assets of almost every business and should be aggressively protected. From the menus in your restaurant, to the logo on your trucks, to the computer software developed by your IT staff or software engineers, down to the very name of your business, product and service , our attorneys are committed to protecting what is yours.