Springdale, AR Intellectual Property Lawyer
Most people are familiar with property laws dealing with ownership of physical property such as a home or vehicle. However, the average person is likely to be less knowledgeable about laws regarding the ownership of intellectual property, such an invention, a novel, or a trademark. If you create something new and want to profit from it, it is important that you take steps to file for protections with the correct office.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP, our Springdale, AR intellectual property lawyers have years of experience helping client to get patents, copyrights, and trademarks approved. We also know how to aggressively fight for you in court when your intellectual property is being infringed upon. If you need legal advice related to intellectual property, call us today at (479) 439-9840.
Patent Laws in Springdale, AR
Patents are granted when you invent a new device or improve upon an already-existing device in a novel way. You can obtain a patent by filing with the United States Patent and Trademarks Offices (USPTO). Patents will only be granted for devices that are novel, meaning no one else has already patented it, and non-obvious, meaning it is not something that any person could easily create. Patents typically last for 20 years, but can sometimes be extended, depending on the circumstances. They are only valid within the United States, meaning they do not prevent people in other countries from copying your invention, although you may be able to prevent foreign-made devices from being imported into the United States.
There are three main types of patents granted:
- A plant patent is given to someone who discovers or invents a new type of plant, such as by combining certain seeds to create a hybrid.
- A utility patent is granted to someone who creates a new manufacturing process, a new form of machinery, a new composition of matter, or some other brand-new device that has never before existed.
- A design patent is granted to someone who creates an original and unique version of a device that is already in existence. For example, if you create a bicycle than can also fly, you may be able to get a design patent.
Once a patent has been granted, you have the right to sue to prevent other people within the United States from creating or selling your patented device. An experienced patent infringement lawyer like those at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP will likely start by sending the infringer a cease and desist letter. If they are not compliant, we can file a suit in federal court to obtain an injunction ordering them to stop, as well as potential monetary damages.
Copyright Laws in Springdale, AR
Copyrights are granted to creators of new novels, books of poetry, movies, television shows, songs, artworks, and even software like video games. Unlike patents, a copyright exists as soon as you put the work forward in writing or whatever medium in which it is produced. However, if you do not file your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you will not be able to collect such damages as attorneys fees and court fees if you file a lawsuit against a copyright infringer.
Once you have a copyright, you have the exclusive ability to sell or display that work or to lease it for others for use. For example, if you write a successful novel about life in Springdale, AR, you have the ability to sell the rights to make a movie out of the novel to a film studio. Although there are “fair use” laws that allow for the use of your work in news reporting and satirical situations, most of the time, if someone else uses your copyrighted work, you have the right to sue for copyright infringement.
In a copyright infringement lawsuit filed regarding a copyright on file with the U.S. copyright office, there will be a presumption that your work is valid. The defense will have to overcome this presumption to show that they did not steal from your work. Aside from an injunction forcing the infringer to stop passing off your work as their own, other potential damages include royalty payments and court and attorneys’ fees.
Getting a Trademark in Springdale, AR
A trademark is word, symbol, group of words or symbols, or some other representation that is associated with your business or product. An example would be the bitten apple logo that is affiliated with Apple computers and other products. If someone in Arkansas were to manufacture computers with this logo on them without Apple’s permission, they would be infringing on Apple’s trademark.
Trademarks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademarks Offices (USPTO). Infringement suits can be filed in the federal courts. One thing to note about trademarks is that if you stop using them in connection to the goods or services, they can expire and others will be able to use them. Furthermore, if you fail to defend against copious amounts of infringement on your trademark, you can lose your trademark.
For these reasons, it is vital to have an experienced trademark infringement attorney like those at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP working for you to send cease and desist letters to anyone who is using your trademark without permission. By keeping on top of any infringement, you will protect yourself from losing the trademark. If parties are not responsive to a cease and desist letter, we can file a lawsuit to get an injunction issued against them to prevent them from using your trademark on their product and confusing consumers.
If You Are Facing Intellectual Property Issues, Call Our Seasoned Springdale, AR Attorneys Today
Intellectual property law is complex and involves many nuances that may not make sense to the average person. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP, our experienced Springdale, Arkansas intellectual property lawyers have successfully handled patent, copyright, and trademark cases throughout the state. We can advise you on the application process and defend you against any infringement that might occur after the patent, copyright, or trademark has been granted. To speak to a lawyer about your intellectual property case, call our firm today at (479) 439-9840.