Intellectual property (“IP”) can be one of the most valuable assets to any startup or growing company, whether it is the customer goodwill associated with a trademark and brand, or copyright over some original works of authorship. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. IP rights are like any other property right. They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks, or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work or investment in a creation. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution grants Congress the enumerated power “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Traditionally, IP is comprised of four categories, copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets.
Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. Copyright law grants the owner of the copyright certain exclusive rights to protect the original works of authorship, such as books, films, and music. In the United States, federal copyright law protects a wide range of works, including–but not limited to–literary works; musical works and lyrics; dramatic works; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; architectural works; and computer programs. Federal copyright law is set forth in Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Copyright law protects only the original expression set forth in those works, however, and not the underlying ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, and discoveries themselves.
A trademark is a word, a symbol, a combination of words and symbols, three-dimensional features such as the shape and packaging of goods, or non-visible signs such as sounds or fragrances, or color shades, which are used as distinguishing features to be placed on or associated with goods and services and used to identify those goods or services. When a symbol, picture, or other design is used as a trademark, it is often referred to as a “logo” or as the “brand.” A trademark informs the consumer that the product comes from a particular source and guarantees that the quality of the product will be the same as that of other products sold under that trademark. In the United States, trademark rights arise from the use of the trademark in commerce, and registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is not required. However, significant benefits arise from registering a trademark with the USPTO. Trademarks are governed both by common law and Title 15 of the U.S. Code. Trademark laws confer an exclusive right to use the trademark to trademark owners and allow trademark owners to license the right to use their trademarks to other parties in return for payment.
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. Patent laws protect original, novel, and useful inventions. Generally speaking, a patent provides the patent owner with the right to exclude others from, among other things, making, using, or selling an invention that is claimed in the patent. In exchange for this right, the patent owner makes technical information about the invention publicly available in the published patent document.
Carbon Law Group has a depth of experience in policing and enforcing our clients’ brands. We help our clients to develop and implement sound and cost-effective brand protection strategies tailored to each client’s unique needs online and offline.
Our attorneys help our clients protect the words, phrases, designs, logos, and other commercial symbols they use to identify their products or services in the marketplace. Carbon Law Group counsels its clients concerning the selection, availability, and use of trademarks, service marks, trade names, and trade dress.
We have filed hundreds of trademark applications and we have been engaged with respect to advising on and clearing many more brand names and logos.
We can also assist clients with cybersquatting disputes under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).
What can we do for you?
Statement of Use
International Trademark Filing
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Oppositions and Cancellations
It’s important to have an experienced legal counsel who truly understands the business of intellectual property and the value of your creative works. Carbon Law Group is well equipped to protect our clients’ copyright by having a thorough understanding of the federal copyright law and numerous state laws that govern the ownership of creative works. We conduct copyright searches to help our clients identify potentially conflicting copyright holders and provide our clients with strategic counseling on copyright registration and enforcement. Carbon Law Group also helps our clients select, register, acquire, and sell copyrighted works. We perform due diligence, draft and negotiate purchase and sale agreements, and audit our clients’ copyright portfolios.
We also assist our clients concerning the unauthorized reproduction, display, distribution, or performance of their creative works or the creation of derivative works. Whether you or alleging infringement or being accused, we are here to help you better understand your rights and guide you through the process.
Our attorneys also have extensive experience in supporting our clients in their relationships with third parties. With Carbon Law Group’s assistance, our clients are able to avoid infringing third-party copyrights and obtain licenses to use third-party copyrighted works.
What can we do for you?
Licensing Copyrighted Work
Protection Of Copyright, Enforcing Copyright
Use, Misuse, and Fair Use of Copyrighted Material
Public Display of Works of Visual Art
Negotiate, Draft, and Advise on All Types of Copyright Agreements