Trademarks and Copyrights

Intellectual Property is commonly referred to as IP. Unlike real property (land that is immoveable) or personal property (furniture that is moveable), intellectual property has its own notable characteristics. It refers to creations of the mind such as literary and artistic works, symbols, logos, names used in commerce, inventions, digital art, and much more. Identifying what you have that may be intellectual property, what type it is, and what protection may be needed is an important step for your business.

 

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Trademarks

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.

From USPTO.gov

There are state specific trademarks and federal trademarks. Some people file for one or the other or both. The federal trademark application process allows for filing of your trademarks if in use currently or if you have the intention to use them. In some states like Oregon, you can only file a state trademark if you are already using it (not if you intend to). 

Most people file for federal trademarks or both state and federal trademarks. Part of this reasoning is that we live in a time when commerce occurs between states, businesses can grow or move, and some feel that a federal trademark will garner more respect. 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) categorizes federal trademarks into 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services). 

Let's say you have a clothing company that has a brick and mortar store location but also an online store where people shop at from all over the country in the comfort of their own homes. You may require your federal trademark application to be filed in two classes (one related to online commerce and another related to clothing design). Also note that your logo and the name of your company would be two separate marks (not one). 

This is a very rudimentary introduction to this process. Know that every company we work will require assessing what may be best: a state or federal trademark filing or both, one or several trademarks, what classes that would work best, what the descriptions of the products would be best that are both specific and all-encompassing, and so on. 

Below our services are listed. However, note they may be personalized and packaged depending on intellectual property needs. 

Services We Offer 

  • Trademark and Branding Consulting and Advising

  • Trademark "Knock-Out" Search

  • Trademark Search Opinion

  • State Specific Trademark Filing (Oregon or other) 

  • Federal Trademark Filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office 

  • Trademark Maintenance 

  • Cease and Desist Letters and Responses 

  •  Intellectual Property Licensing Negotiations and Agreements

  • Negotiation and Mediation

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trade Secrets

A trade secret is a technique, sales method, advertising strategy, formula, manufacturing process, or device that is special to your business and your business alone. It often gives you an advantage in a competitive market place. 

The unauthorized use of this information is considered unfair use and is a violation of your intellectual property rights.

Unlike patents, trademarks, and copyrights which are protected with registration, trade secrets do not require registration or procedural formalities. This makes ownership of trade secrets quicker and easier, but it also makes them easier to lose/have stolen. Meaning, if your business does not account for how to protect them adequately, they can be disclosed and ultimately lost. 

Services We Offer 

  • Trade Secret Business Strategizing 
  • Employee and Independent Contractor Contracts that Place Company Trade Secret Protection in a More Prominent Role
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements for your Business Team and All Outside Vendors Working with Your Team 
  • Cease and Desist Letters and Responses 
  • Negotiation and Mediation
 
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copyrights 

A copyright protects original works of authorship. These works can include dramatic, literary, musical, and artistic works. Some examples of artistic works are song lyrics, poetry, photography, songs, movies, and paintings. Copyrights can also be filed for computer software and architectural designs.  Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. 

Copyright protecting is unique because copyright exists exactly at the moment you create your work Meaning we all have copyrights--but are they filed? That's the distinction. Registering a copyright with the United States Copyright Office is voluntary. However, if you don't register you can not file a copyright infringement case in court should you need to. You may also have a more successful argument against someone who claims ownership to a similar or identical work if you have a copyright that is registered, while there's is not.  

Services We Offer