Intellectual Property

Our fast-paced, electronic society has only heightened the need to protect valuable corporate images, brands and trademarks from being copied, stolen or misused. ShuffieldLowman understands the increased difficulty of protecting intellectual investments and offers innovative solutions to the problems that arise from the rapid progress of technology. The firm regularly assists clients in the registration and protection of trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, domain names, copyrights, and other registered and unregistered intellectual property assets, including high-technology assets in the computer and Internet industries. This encompasses emerging legal issues in all facets of digital business enterprise, such as computer and software technology, outsourcing arrangements, electronic commerce, electronic publishing and digital entertainment.

Additionally, our team of experts acts as counsel to creators and users of intellectual properties by establishing protective measures to maximize investments, licenses and agreements, including when not to register trademarks. This also encompasses working with creators on building their brand and business. The firm offers intellectual property litigation services, as well, in federal and state courts when infringement issues occur.

Trademarks

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and/or a separate trademark registration with the state(s) in which you do business provides several important advantages that significantly increase the value of your intellectual property assets.

Copyrights

Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.

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