Intellectual property law exists to protect and enforce the rights of creators, artists and inventors. These statutes establish exclusivity of control over things like inventions, designs, works of art, pieces of music and written works.
Legislators recognized that when creative people and progressive businesses are given assurance of control over their creations, without fear of unchecked misappropriation, they are incentivized to produce works that benefit society. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the right to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing (for a limited time) exclusive rights for reproduction and sale of new discoveries and works to those who generated them.
At The Chidolue Law Firm, our intellectual property attorneys serving Orlando and Lake Mary offer numerous services to individuals and businesses seeking to protect their creative works and livelihoods.
The primary ways we can help protect intellectual property are:
- These are symbols or words formally registered and established as representative of a product or business.
- A copyright shields original works that a person or company has authored. This could be artistic work, like a song or a painting, or it could be scientific and technological, such as a new computer software program or medical device.
- A patent allows the creator of an invention time-limited rights to that invention, allowing them exclusivity in sales and profits.
These processes each protect different types of intellectual property, though they are often confused and conflated.
Establishing property rights allows the holder of the patent/ copyright/ trademark to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the subject material or work.
It’s important for creators to be proactive in this regard because absent a certification of registration for one of these protections, establishing ownership or infringement by another individual or corporation can be tough. Such action is necessary to safeguarding your time and investment, as well as the integrity of your creation and your company.
This will continue to be a growing and evolving area of concern for small businesses in Florida, given the updated findings of a U.S. Department of Commerce report on Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus. That report revealed 81 of the total 313 industries identified in the U.S. are considered Intellectual Property-Intensive, meaning they rely heavily on patents, trademarks and copyrights. IP-intensive industries in the U.S. were valued at $6.6 trillion. While there are some “whales” identified among those companies, many of were individuals and owner of small-to-moderate-sized businesses.
Trademark Attorney in Orlando
As noted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), trademarks (in the form of a design, symbol, phrase or word) serve to identify and distinguish the source of goods from one individual or company from another. Similarly, service marks, which can take the same forms, serve to differentiate the source of certain services (as opposed to goods). The term “trademark” is often considered an all-encompassing term that includes service marks, but it’s important to know the difference when you’re filing for one or the other.
Some examples of things that can be trademarked include: Slogans, logos, brand names, advertising jingles and more.
As a Lake Mary trademark attorney, Ayesha Chidolue offers Florida small business owners assistance with:
- Searching state, federal and foreign registers for prior trademarks and service marks;
- Offering opinions on the ability to use and register trademarks;
- Advice on alleged trademark infringement;
- Preparing and securing online registration of one’s trademark;
- Trademark litigation and enforcement of rights;
- Maintenance filings;
- Trademark infringement disputes.
Note the USTPO warning that just because you are given approval for use of a business name doesn’t necessarily qualify you for trademark use of it. Other parties could later try to stop you from using that business name if they have a trademark registration and reason to believe consumers will confuse the two businesses.
Although there are common-law rights when the mark is used in commerce, you have a much stronger legal argument when your trademark is federally-registered. Such filings should also be registered with the state of Florida, per the provisions of F.S. 495.001 – F.S. 495.191. The Florida Department of Corporations reports in a single recent quarter, there were more than 13,000 trademark/ service mark registrations with the agency.
Copyright Lawyer in Orlando
Copyrighting is a protection available for works of authorship, which covers a range of creations from paintings to architectural designs to computer software. Copyright can be applied as soon as a work becomes fixed in some tangible medium of expression (i.e., written on paper, recorded on track, etc.).
As noted by the Florida Bar Association, the party who owns the copyright has exclusive rights to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works based on it and to distribute copies or recordings to the public by sale. The owning party may also transfer ownership or even rent out the rights to use it. They also own the right to publicly perform the work and display it publicly.
As a copyright lawyer in Orlando, Chidolue helps clients with:
- S. registration and foreign protection of copyrighted works;
- Protection of computer software;
- Licensing of copyrighted works;
- Negotiation of copyright ownership disputes;
- Copyright infringement disputes and litigation.
Copyrights are registered with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The majority of works created after 1977 will enjoy copyright protection for the entire duration of the author’s life, plus another 70 years. For works that were created anonymously or under a pseudonym/ pseudonym for hire, the copyright lasts 95 years from date of first publication or 120 years from the date the work was created (whichever first expires).
Patent Attorney in Lake Mary
A patent allows one to establish exclusive rights to an inventor or assignee for a set time, in exchange for detailed public disclosure of the invention. Patents may be granted for new, useful and non-obvious inventions and they last 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.
Patents must be granted by the USTPO, and as a general rule, you have just one year from the date of conception to file for a patent. Foreign patents (those that would apply outside the U.S. and its territories) may have even tighter deadlines, which is why it’s advisable to contact an experienced patent lawyer as soon as possible.
Some of the patent services we offer in Lake Mary and Orlando:
- Patent and prior art searching;
- Patentability opinion and analysis;
- Patent procurement in the U.S. and foreign countries;
- Reissue and reexamination of applications;
- IP transfers, licensing and invention assignment agreements;
- Maintenance filings;
- Patent infringement disputes.
Patent laws, including the application process (which involves a highly technical document), are codified in 35 U.S.C. In most cases, you won’t need a prototype, but our patent attorneys can help explain more what you must include and what to expect.
Contact the Florida trademark, copyright and patent attorneys at The Chidolue Law Firm, serving Orlando and Lake Mary, by calling (407) 995-6567 or email us.