Intellectual Property Law
PDKGS can assist you in identifying your intellectual property rights, create protection for these rights, assist in transferring and licensing these rights and litigate to protect them. We can also assist you in forming commercial relationships with other parties where intellectual property rights need to be protected, such as by forming joint development agreements, consulting agreements, secrecy agreements, employment agreements and the like. We can provide the due diligence required in selling or purchasing business assets that include intellectual property rights and provide legal analysis and opinions relating to such rights.
Intellectual property rights can take many forms. Most familiar are patent, copyright and trademark protection. However, trade secret and confidential information can also be of substantial value to a company or individual.
Inventions are protected by either maintaining them as trade secrets or by seeking patent protection under the United States and International Patent Laws. Patent protection gives the patent owner 20 years from the filing date to exclude others from using the patented invention. Damages and injunction remedies can be sought in the courts for unauthorized use of the patent. The process for obtaining patent protection is time consuming and expensive. We can help you decide whether to seek patent protection. If you do decide to seek protection, we can provide direct service in the mechanical and chemical arts and have contacts with other reputable patent attorneys in the biological, electrical and computer arts.
We can also provide agreement counseling for any matters that you may have relating to patents or other intellectual property. Legal opinions relating to your or others patent rights can also be provided to inform you of the strength and or infringement of specific patents.
Copyrights generally protect the artistic side of intellectual property. Copyright laws protect creative works such as paintings, works of authorship such as writings, (books, screenplays, instruction manuals etc), movies, music, photographs, software, sculptures, etc. The copyright owner is given the exclusive right to control reproduction or adaptation of such rights for a certain period. We can provide advice on how to protect your creations and how to exploit the value therein through licensing and the like.
Trademarks and Service Marks
Trademarks are words, names, symbols, or device and combinations thereof used to identify and distinguish one manufacturer or seller of goods from other suppliers and to identify the source of the goods.
Service marks are similar to trademarks but they distinguish one provider of a service from other such providers.
Trade Secret and Confidential Information
Trade secret and confidential information is another form of intellectual property. It can be easily overlooked when assessing the vale of a company’s intellectual property.
Many states have adopted the Uniform Trade Secret Act, which defines a trade secret as information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program device, method, technique, or process, that (i) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
Trade secret protection lasts until the secret becomes generally available to the public. An owner must take certain precautions to protect it. Your valuable trade secrets and confidential information can be protected by using well-drafted employee, license, secrecy, joint development and other agreements and by employing other security measures such as gate passes and passwords.