INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
“I believe in intellectual property. In my view, it’s the foundation of world economies.”
– Sun Microsystems President Jonathan I Schwartz
Trademarks and Brand Management
Trademarks can arise through common law use or registration, and apply to brands, services or products offered by an individual or company. If you create products for others to use, manage a brand, or offer unique services, you may have a trademark in them, particularly if they’re unique.
Others may try to appropriate your trademarks and copy your brand to cash in on your hard work. After you do the work of creating a brand and recognizable property, they get the payday. Simultaneously, competitors may claim that your products illegally encroach on their trademarks or brands in an attempt to push you out of the market.
We have experience on both sides of this equation. If someone is using your trademark or brand, we are prepared to litigate or reach other solutions that ensure you receive the credit you deserve. Similarly, if sued, we can defend your intellectual property assets and maintain your standing in the marketplace in the face of such claims.
If you produce original works of creative expression, be it poetry or pornography, that is the fruit of your labor, and you have a right to control how it is used and to make money off of it. Our attorneys will guide you through protecting your creative works and enforcing your rights (if necessary).
Your works are copyrighted the moment you make them. However, if you fail to register them with the U.S. Copyright office, you can’t enforce your copyright. If you register your works before someone steals them, you can be eligible for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work as well as your attorneys’ fees. Unfortunately, if you haven’t registered your work before the infringement happens, the most you can get is an injunction from the court — an order telling the infringer to stop and not do it again. This is a small consolation to most victims of copyright infringement.
We give all of our clients a comprehensive lesson on copyright infringement, how to combat it, how to detect it, and how to prepare for an enforcement action before it begins. There are a lot of content thieves out there, and our expertise can help you strategically protect your creative
assets from theft before it occurs.
Trade secrets are a murky and potentially changing area of intellectual property law; the use of the word “secret” reveals just how difficult this area can be for courts and the parties involved. Essentially, trade secrets are the processes, techniques and models used to make your business great.
Thus, we offer counseling to ensure your trade secrets remain secret, and investigate whether others have found them through espionage or other improper means. If litigation is needed, we are prepared to show how your intellectual property rights were violated by a competitor. Similarly, if challenged, we are able to represent you and show that your success arises from smart business practices, and not the theft of someone else’s ideas.
Patents: Counseling, Licensing, and Litigation
Patents are a bargain made between inventors and the state. In exchange for disclosing your invention to the public, in the form of a patent application, you can get a number of years in which to have the exclusive right to exploit that invention. This can be a powerful tool for inventors, but sometimes inventors are not the best people to exploit the invention commercially. In that case, you may want to sell or license the patent. We can assist with that.
Patents can be a tool for innovation, but they can also be used anti-competitively and to stifle innovation. So-called “patent trolls” (better referred to as “Non Producing Entities”) seek to extract a payment from innocent parties, based on questionable patents. In cases like that, we enjoy helping our clients get in the way of such anticompetitive behavior.
International Intellectual Property
In a global economy, international intellectual property protection is a consideration for large and small companies alike. In order to serve the firm’s clients on a global level, Mr. Randazza spent a year earning an LL.M. degree in International Intellectual Property law from the Università degli Studi di Torino. This prestigious program gathers intellectual property lawyers and scholars from all over the world and, in a program sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization, gives them a global overview of IP rights, international enforcement and protection, and the interplay of local laws and treaty obligations. During this program, The Randazza Legal Group forged strategic alliances with law firms world wide, so that we are no more than one call away from colleagues in dozens of countries, so that we can rapidly shore up your IP rights, or rapidly engage in litigation to protect them.