Patents protect the holder’s rights to prevent others from making, using, selling or otherwise profiting from an invention during a period of time. These protections are a crucial incentive for fostering innovation in the United States.
For inventors, the stakes are high. Extensive capital investment and a period of many years may be required to reduce an idea to practice. This is especially true in high-tech fields, like biotechnology, software, and electronics, where some patents are worth billions of dollars over the course of their lifetime. more »
Trade secrets and other confidential information are often a company’s most valuable intellectual property assets. Innovative procedures, production processes and formulas can make the difference between a flop and a commercial success.
Fierce competition in many industries has encouraged the theft of trade secrets, especially by large companies that fear smaller, more nimble competitors. more »
Copyright laws are designed to protect creative expression. Behind every copyright lawsuit there is a unique creative work developed by an individual, usually over a significant period of time.
Copyright litigation has reached unprecedented volume and complexity in the information age. Courts are still adapting traditional copyright claims to determine what constitutes infringement online. Copyright litigation is thus a fluid area of the law, and individuals or companies considering legal action should consult an experienced copyright attorney. more »
Trademarks include the name of a company or product, a symbol, or some other unique identifying branding element. Extraordinary effort and resources go into establishing a business identity in the marketplace and trademarks represent the key elements that work to distinguish a brand from its competitors.
Trademarks also enable a business to capitalize on the goodwill established with consumers through a track record of providing excellent goods and services. When larger competitors infringe on trademarks, they steal profits that otherwise would have gone to the trademark owner. more »