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Kern County California Intellectual Property Law Blog

Don't let anyone get away with stealing intellectual property

Your intellectual property is likely a key to your livelihood. Have you ever thought about what you would do if someone infringed on your rights to the property? One of the options that you have if this does occur is to take legal action. While this might be a tough battle, we are here to represent your interests.

There isn't any good reason why you should ever let someone get away with copyright or trademark infringement or any other form of theft of your intellectual property. These are very serious matters that we can help you address.

What is the federal trademark dilution act?

Trademarks, once issued, must be protected. Even if a trademark is copied in an illegal manner, it can lead to long-lasting damage to the strength of the brand. This is exactly why the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) has been put in place. It was established in the effort to protect famous brands from the "piggybacking" off third parties when they try to illegally use their trademark.

This act was welcomed by many and largely seen as overdue. However, it is not perfect. It has been criticized largely because it requires that the person taking action must prove that the third party not only used their trademark illegally, but also that through this act, they also caused dilution. This can be very difficult to prove, and dilution can come in the form of damage that can't be measured.

Copyright protection should be done early to avoid problems

Your creative works are the fruits of your mental labor. In some cases, they also involve physical sacrifices. It is imperative that you take steps to protect these so that nobody else can come behind you and take credit for your hard work.

We recently discussed copyrights and how these can help to protect blogs, music, movies, photos and other similar items. This is important because you don't want others to capitalize off of your hard work.

Understand copyrights and licenses for your creative works

Your intellectual property isn't something that you will want to give away for free in most cases. You probably don't want other people to be able to capitalize off of your hard work. This is where a copyright comes into the picture.

Any intellectual property you create, including novels, performances, music and other tangible works, can be covered under a copyright. This copyright marks the property as yours and gives you specific rights to decide how you want to distribute the works.

From filing patents to fighting against violations, we can help

We recently discussed the different types of patents that you might apply for when you have intellectual property that you want to protect. Filing for patents can help you ensure that people don't steal the designs that your business is founded on.

We understand that having to deal with filing patents and similar aspects of protecting your company might seem difficult. Fortunately, we are here to help you to learn about the process and what you need to do. Knowing what to expect can help you to prepare everything and be ready if there are any bumps in the road along the way.

Know about different types of patents you might use

Patents are a useful tool for many business owners and inventors. When you are granted a patent, it means that other people are forbidden from being able to steal your design. This is important because most business owners and inventors earn a living from these items.

If you are applying for a patent, you must ensure that you have everything together. This can be a challenge in some cases, but making sure that you are ready can help to make the process a bit less stressful.

Think about legal protection for your company's trade secrets

The trade secrets of your business are one of the things that set your business apart from others. You don't want another company jumping around you to discover your plans. You have to take steps to keep your trade secrets protected.

In the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants, Plankton does everything that he can think of to get Mr. Crab's Crabby Patty formula. He isn't successful, even when he tries to brainwash Spongebob into telling him the secret formula. In the real world, many employees aren't as loyal as Spongebob. A competitor could offer them a little cash and they would spill the beans.

Know your rights regarding trademarks and copyrights

As we recently discussed, trademarks and copyrights have important roles in the identification of your business. When you've worked hard to get your business to the point where it is easily recognized, the last thing that you need is for a competitor to use your branding points to try to improve their own bottom line.

We know that no matter what stage your business is currently in, you don't want anyone else to steal your hard work. Even if you are just starting your business and getting your logos and other identifying information designed, you have already likely invested a lot of your time and money into the business.

Trademarks and service marks are important for your business

When you have a business that sells goods or provides services, you might think of a catchy phrase that embodies the message you are trying to send to your customers. This catchy phrase, product name or similar item might be something that you don't want anyone to steal.

You can often protect your special wording or symbol as a trademark. In the case of a product, you would be able to use the "TM" symbol that is known for this. If you have a service, the symbol would be an "SM" symbol because you have a service mark.

Artists should consider legal help with licensing

There are a lot of artists who have incredible talent -- but they have no idea how to turn that talent into an income.

Part of the problem is that artistic talent and business knowledge, while not mutually exclusive, don't necessarily develop equally at the same time. Many artists think that their only option to make money from their work is to sell it off, one piece at a time. They don't realize that it's possible to use licensing agreements as a way to both promote their art and allow pieces to be duplicated and sold -- while still either reserving the original for sale later or selling the original to a single buyer.

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