The ideas behind your business are just as important as the business itself.
If you do not protect your intellectual property, you leave yourself open to others stealing your unique ideas and using them for their own benefit.
However, protecting your ideas from others can be a challenging task, and hiring an experienced intellectual property attorney can be the critical difference in the success of your claims.
Whether you are seeking intellectual property protection or going after others for stealing your ideas, the intellectual property attorneys at BrewerLong have the knowledge and experience to successfully litigate your claims.
Our copyright, patent, and trademark attorneys in Orlando have over a decade of experience helping local businesses with all their legal needs.
Call the office or contact us today to learn more about how BrewerLong can protect your intellectual property interests and go after those that use your ideas inappropriately or without your permission.
How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
As the originator of your creative ideas, there are a number of ways to protect your intellectual property from being taken or used by others.
With years of experience protecting the intellectual property of our clients, the attorneys at BrewerLong can go over your legal options and help you decide which type of protection is right for you.
A trademark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression that distinguishes your products or services from the products and services of another source. A trademark can be placed on
- The product itself,
- Labels, and
A trademark can be useful in setting apart and identifying your specific products, especially if there are other similar, and inferior, products on the market.
Trademarks can be registered at the state and federal level, and the process of registering a trademark is quite complex. There are hundreds of different categories for trademarks, and the application process can be lengthy.
Our Orlando trademark lawyers help clients applying for a trademark through the process and advise on any issues that may come up during the application process.
Trade secret protection
A trade secret refers to any process, formula, practice, design, instrument, pattern, commercial method, or compilation of information that is not reasonably known by others and is used in your business for an economic or competitive advantage.
If your business operates on a trade secret, obtaining protection for your trade secret can mean the difference in the success or failure of your venture. Trade secrets can be protected through the use of non-compete and non-disclosure agreements with employees, executives, and any others who may learn of the trade secret in your business.
Depending on the type of secret, you may also need to take additional steps, such as:
- Securing your network and electronic devices;
- Limiting the people who have access to the secret;
- Having adequate physical security to protect the secret from outsiders;
- Training your employees on confidentiality and security; and
- Labeling documents and electronic communications as confidential.
Your trade secret attorney can advise you on the most appropriate steps for your business. Taking a proactive approach to protecting trade secrets can save you a considerable amount of time, money, and stress in litigating future claims.
A copyright is the exclusive right of the creator of an original work to determine whether, and under what conditions, their original work may be used.
Copyrights exist only for creative works and have a limited lifespan.
For works created by an individual or group of individuals, copyright lasts 70 years after the last author’s death.
For anonymous works or those created by an institution, copyright lasts 95 years from initial publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is less.
Copyright exists from the moment of creation. That means that you own the copyright for your creative works even if you don’t officially file for copyright protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
However, you cannot legally enforce your rights against others unless you register your copyright. Additionally, registering your copyright can provide important proof if there is ever a dispute about whether you or someone else created something first.
For those looking to get a copyright for their original work, the Orlando copyright attorneys at BrewerLong can help you apply for a copyright and understand how it can help your business.
For potential clients that have an existing copyright on their ideas, our copyright lawyers can provide sound legal advice on licensing agreements and other contracts that can maximize the value of your copyrighted work.
Patents are used to assert intellectual property rights over an invention or design. The owner of a patent has the right to prevent others from using, making, or selling the patented design or invention for the length of the patent period. You can get a patent for things like:
- Business methods,
- Plants, and
- Computer programs.
There are two main types of patents: utility patents and design patents. Utility patents protect the way the invention works and is used. Design patents, on the other hand, protect the way an invention looks. Depending on your invention, you may need both a design and utility patent. Utility patents protect your invention for 20 years, and design patents protect your design for 14 or 15 years, depending on when they were filed.
Patents allow you to profit from your invention by selling or licensing it to others. If someone else is trying to profit from your idea, it’s important to take immediate action. At BrewerLong, we will aggressively defend your patent rights against infringement.
Franchising and franchise development agreements
Franchising and franchise development agreements can be lucrative and successful ways to control your intellectual property while allowing others to utilize your ideas.
However, franchises require complex state and federal disclosures as well as the drafting, negotiating, reviewing, and finalizing of contracts between franchisee and franchisor.
You need an intellectual property attorney who understands the benefits and potential risks of franchising your ideas to create an agreement most beneficial to you and your ideas.
Why Hire An Intellectual Property Attorney In Orlando?
Many business owners are tempted to handle intellectual property issues on their own. There are plenty of do-it-yourself legal services out there, such as Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom. They will provide you with forms and one-size-fits-all directions, but in most cases, that is not enough to adequately protect your intellectual property rights.
Although online services can save you money upfront, they can cost you in the long run. Start-up companies frequently make avoidable mistakes when doing their own intellectual property filings, such as:
- Choosing a problematic name for their company or service;
- Not filing for the correct type of protection;
- Failing to recognize intellectual property that needs protection; and
- Filing applications too late.
An intellectual property attorney in Orlando can help you identify the unique IP needs of your business.
In addition to helping you with your initial filings, an intellectual property attorney provides essential advice for protecting your intellectual property on an ongoing basis. Common avoidable mistakes include:
- Entering into licensing agreements that are incomplete or unfavorable;
- Not taking appropriate action to protect trade secrets;
- Having nondisclosure agreements that are either too broad or too narrow;
- Not addressing ownership of intellectual property in employment agreements; and
- Not adequately enforcing intellectual property rights.
An intellectual property attorney at BrewerLong can provide essential, personalized advice that can help you protect and profit from your IP for years to come.
Prosecuting Intellectual Property Claims
In addition to providing protection for our clients’ intellectual property throughout the Orlando area, BrewerLong attorneys also zealously advocate for our clientele when their intellectual property has been used inappropriately or without their permission.
We are not afraid to litigate with parties that either go beyond the scope of an agreement to use our client’s intellectual property or that attempt to outright steal the ideas altogether.
Our office enforces the rights and protections afforded to our intellectual property holders, and we are not afraid to take your case to court to stop the illegal use of your ideas and get you the compensation you deserve for IP violations.
BrewerLong Intellectual Property Attorneys are Here to Help
If you have invested time, money, and effort into your creative ideas, they deserve to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.
Contact us today to speak with an intellectual property and trademark attorney in Orlando about how best to protect your creative ideas from use and abuse by others.
If you already have intellectual property protection but believe that someone has violated your rights, our office is prepared to aggressively advocate for your interests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although a phone call with one of our Orlando attorneys is the best way to answer all your questions about intellectual property, here are answers to a few questions we frequently get from clients.
How Do I Choose A Business Or Product Name?
When choosing a product or business name, you should try to choose something unique. Additionally, you should not use a name that another business is already using, even if they have not officially filed for trademark protection.
Your attorney can help you search trademark filings to ensure that you don’t infringe on anyone else’s trademarks when naming your business or product.
Why Do I Need Intellectual Property Protection?
Filing for the appropriate intellectual property protection helps protect your rights to use and profit from your ideas and creations. It helps to you distinguish your products and services from those of other businesses.
Failing to take appropriate action to protect your intellectual property is one of the most costly mistakes a business can make.
Why Shouldn’t I Use An Online Service Rather Than An IP Lawyer?
Online legal services are one size fits all. They cannot take into account your unique needs or help you adequately protect your IP on an ongoing basis.
A trademark attorney in Orlando can provide better protection for your intellectual property and save you money in the long run over using an online legal service.