What is Intellectual Property Law?
Intellectual Property Law covers a
broad range of methods of protecting the “tangible expression
of ideas.” However, all claims including patent and
copyright share many common factors.
First, if the expression was “registered” with the
U.S. Government before the commercial theft of the idea (“infringement”)
occurred, the damages that I can help recover for the inventor/author
are potentially much greater (bigger judgment or settlement).
Second, if there was “direct copying” of the expression,
what can sometimes be a huge legal hurdle is avoided (the liability
or fault part of the case is easier to prove). If there is not
direct copying, or such cannot be proved, then the patent/copyright
owner must prove that the defendant had access to the expression
of the idea (saw it, or otherwise analyzed it), and, that the
defendant’s expression of the idea is “substantially
similar” to the protected one owned by the patent/copyright
holder. This task can be daunting.
In every case of commercial appropriation of protected works
and inventions, I need to initially know some things. Here
are the questions a person contacting me about a potential
- What are the number and title of your patent or copyright?
Please send me copies.
- If you have trade secrets, please describe them.
- Who is wrongfully using your property? I need names
- How have you been damaged? (Example: What royalties
and/or product sales have you lost as a result of the
infringement or misuse? How has your business been negatively
- Do you have descriptions or written materials regarding
the infringement? By this I mean materials that describe
expression of your idea has been infringed. For instance,
you should provide me any product descriptions or brochures
used by the infringing company that will help to prove
- If you believe your ideas have been stolen, how did
you protect them? What documents do you have that show
your trade secrets? (a contract, license, non-disclosure
agreement or confidentiality agreement).
- Please provide me with your contact information (i.e.,
name, address, phone, email, etc.)
NOTE: YOU SHOULD ONLY SEND SUCH SENSITIVE INFORMATION
TO ME VIA EMAIL IF ENCRYPTED, OR, VIA FACSIMILE. IN EITHER
CASE, SEND SUCH
INFORMATION ONLY AFTER CONTACTING ME AND GETTING MY CONSENT
TO SEND ITEMS. One reason you must first get consent
me information about your matter is that I may have a “conflict
of interest” if I currently represent a potential
opposing party/infringer. Once I verify that I do not
have any conflict,
we can proceed to go to the facts of your matter.
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