When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, the most important thing to do is protect it from unauthorized duplication or display. Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, and names and images used in commerce. We encourage you to reach out to Lomnitzer Law if wish to protect intellectual property in Boca Raton or elsewhere in Florida.
Intellectual property laws protect someone against an infringer who is using that person’s trade name, invention, or artistic work without proper authorization. However, intellectual property is not automatically protected. People often think, “I created it, or I paid for its creation, so it is automatically mine,” and that is not the case. A person or business in Boca Raton and around the country must proactively protect their intellectual property by registering it with the proper federal agency.
If someone is an architect, they would need to protect their plan as it exists in a written tangible form. Any business that has a slogan, a brand name, or a logo that identifies the business should protect those identifications from being used by others through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If a person has written something, and they put it down in tangible form, such as a song, movie, manuscript, film treatment, photograph, or even a design, it can be registered for copyright at the United States Copyright Office. Our Boca Raton lawyers suggest protecting any artistic creation or brand identifier so that third parties cannot use it to make money or ruin a business’s reputation through poor service.
An individual or business will want to hire a lawyer so that their creation is properly protected and is done the right way. Sometimes, inventors or creators try to protect their work on their own. They may think they are protected, but in reality, there were errors or oversights that leave them vulnerable. They may lose their registration or find out they do not actually have a registration, and cannot enforce their own intellectual property.
Once retained, the team at Lomnitzer Law can meet with an individual or business representative at a client counseling center and discuss what kind of IP they are using, what their creations are, and what their brand identifiers are. A lawyer could propose relevant searches for trademarks or patents and counsels the client to determine the next steps. If they are in the early stages, they may conduct a search and determine whether the proposed name is already being used, or whether there are other patents similar to their invention. From there, they will move forward in trying to protect someone’s intellectual property.
A lawyer could send strongly worded cease-and-desist letters to those who are infringing on a client’s works. If this does not suffice, they could also file suit and either stop the sale through a preliminary injunction, or obtain damages and attorney’s fees for infringers who violate copyright, patents, and registered trademarks. It is not always necessary to go to court over infringement and a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter often does the trick.
If litigation becomes necessary, then it is important to work with a lawyer who has extensive knowledge and litigation experience. An experienced intellectual property litigator would know what to look for in a pre-suit settlement negotiation, and how to draft it to protect and benefit their client.
Creating or inventing something new can be an exciting experience but you need to take action to prevent your idea from being misused. If you are wondering how to protect intellectual property in Boca Raton, schedule a consultation with Lomnitzer Law. We can work together to set you or your business up for success.