Determining if the work is Copyrightable
Licensing for both owners and potential users
Transfers of ownership for both purchasers and sellers
Determining if there is an infringement
Litigation for both owners as well as those accused of infringement
Intellectual property is one of the most dynamic fields of law. It includes copyright, trademarks, trade dress, patents, trade secrets, and other intangibles such as domain names. These can be some of the most valuable assets a business or individual has.
Our firm can assist with registration, assignment, and licensing, as well as counsel clients on proper use and maintenance of these assets. We can also assist with litigation whether you’re suing to enforce your rights or being sued for alleged infringement.
Lawyers with this firm have written books and scholarly articles, as well as articles for non-lawyers, on cutting edge intellectual property issues. One of our attorneys has even assisted with revisions to the copyright law.
Copyright protects art, music, literature, photography, audio visual works, software, dance and other forms of creative works. It doesn’t protect the functional aspects of an item: though, if an item is functional, its aesthetic appearance may be protected by copyright. While the law provides protection for works when they’re put in a tangible form (if they’re “original” and have some degree of creativity), there are significant advantages to having the copyrights properly registered.
Any name, symbol, logo or combination of these when used to identify the source of a product or service is known as a trademark. If the mark is used in interstate commerce, it automatically receives some protection, though registration of a mark offers additional benefits. Marks can be registered at the federal or state level, as well as in other countries.
The “look and feel” of packaging (to the extent it’s not functional) may be protected as trade dress. Trade dress has, in some instances, been extended to protect product design and even restaurant décor.
An invention of a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” may be patented. Patents generally protect functionality rather than appearance, though design patents (as compared to “utility” or “mechanical” patents) can be used to protect nonfunctional parts of functional objects.
Most states in the United States have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which generally provides protection for anything that is kept secret and has commercial value. This would include, for example, customer lists, supplier lists, techniques, know-how, and those items that may ultimately be patented before the application for letters patent has been filed.
The Duboff Law Group
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Portland, OR 97223
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