Fayetteville Intellectual Property Lawyer
The attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP have experience in negotiating assignments and licenses of trademarks and copyrights as well as the transfer of them through mergers and acquisitions. In the age of the Internet, your protected materials are more at risk of infringement than ever before. Our experienced intellectual property attorneys are well versed in enforcing your trademark and copyright rights when others infringe upon them. To schedule a confidential legal consultation, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840, or contact us online.
Trademark Representation in Arkansas
A trademark (or service mark) is generally a word or logo which identifies the source of goods or services. Trademarks act to distinguish goods from the goods of competitors. Over time‚ trademarks tend to establish consumer goodwill based on quality. APPLE and JAGUAR are examples of trademarks. An Internet domain name‚ trade dress‚ sounds‚ colors‚ and other designations may also function as a trademark.
Trademark prosecution and registration is the process of filing a trademark application‚ prosecuting the application with the Trademark Office until it registers‚ and then keeping the registration renewed so long as the trademark is in use. A trademark can last forever so long as it is continuously used in commerce in relation to the goods or services as issued.
An owner can also acquire common law trademark rights by use of a trademark in commerce even though an application has not been filed. While common law trademark rights are better than no rights at all‚ common law rights are not as significant as having a registered trademark. As such‚ the best advice is to file a trademark application at the earliest opportunity.
To learn more about trademark infringement, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Fayetteville trademark attorney today.
A trademark infringement occurs when two businesses use confusingly similar trademarks simultaneously. A trademark owner has a duty to monitor and enforce confusingly similar uses. If a trademark is monitored or enforced, it can lead to a loss in trademark rights. As such‚ all trademark owners should regularly police a trademark by searching for similar uses and then requesting that infringers cease use in a cease and desist letter.
If a party refuses to comply with a cease and desist letter‚ the damaged party may choose to file a lawsuit in federal court. This involves the filing of a Complaint by the plaintiff; filing an Answer or motions to dismiss by the defendant; participating in discovery such as document requests and depositions; dispositive motions; and finally trial.
A copyright is a legal right to control an original work of authorship. Examples of copyrightable works include Internet websites (including all accompanying text and graphics)‚ books‚ recipes, songs‚ paintings‚ movies‚ and computer programs.
An original work of authorship is copyrighted at the time it is fixed to a tangible medium. Although registration is not required to own a copyright‚ it is advisable to register your work with the Copyright Offices in the United States and abroad. The reason for this in the U.S. is that‚ for all post-registration infringements‚ a copyright owner has the right to recover both statutory damages and attorney’s fees. The availability of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees can be a significant deterrent to a potential infringer and thus registering a copyright is often the best defense to an infringement.
Copyright laws generally prevent persons from impermissibly exploiting the creative works of others. The key inquiry in a matter of copyright infringement is whether substantial similarity exists between the works at issue. If substantial similarity does exist‚ an infringer may be forced to cease sales and pay damages to the copyright holder. When an infringement occurs‚ the copyright holder will usually start by sending a cease and desist letter to the infringer.
Due to the potential availability of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees‚ copyright litigation can have large monetary amounts at issue very quickly. When a copyright infringement occurs, and a quick or easy resolution is not reached‚ the matter may end up as a lawsuit in federal court. This involves the filing of a Complaint by the plaintiff‚ an answer or motions to dismiss by the defendant‚ discovery such as interrogatories and depositions‚ and finally trial.
Patent Protection in Arkansas
A patent is a property right that is bestowed upon a person or legal entity that creates a novel invention. The United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) is responsible for issuing patents to inventors. There are three types of patents that an inventor could apply for:
- Utility patents – Awarded to an inventor that creates a new manufacturing process, a form of machinery, new matter composition, or any similar discovery
- Design patents – Awarded to an inventor that produces an original and unique design for a device that already exists
- Plant patents – Awarded to inventors that create or discover a new type of plant life or similar species
A patent does not give you the exclusive right to create a certain type of invention. Instead, having a patent allows you to exclude potential infringers from reproducing, using, or selling your invention within the United States. Under certain circumstances, you can take steps to prevent infringers from importing your invention into the United States.
Protection for a patent is given out in terms. For example, if you successfully file for a patent, you will have a 20-year patent term from the date on which the application was filed. You may be able to extend the term of your patent depending on various factors.
It is important to note that the USPTO only issues your rights to a patent; the agency will not help you enforce your patent rights. The enforcement of patent rights can be extremely expensive. Our firm can work with you to determine the best way to approach an infringement case that affects your patent rights.
Our Fayetteville, AR Intellectual Property Attorneys are Ready to Work with You
If your intellectual property rights were violated, you should contact an experienced Fayetteville intellectual property attorney today. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, we are dedicated to providing you with the legal representation necessary to pursue the enforcement of your intellectual property rights. To schedule a confidential legal consultation, call Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840.