intellectual property_sm"If a man can make a better mousetrap, though he builds his house in the woods the world will make a beaten path to his door." The preceding quote, attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, is about the power of original thought to produce opportunity. This quote is also about the importance of securing ownership of your intellectual property. It is merely attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson because there is no surviving copy of his writing that contains this quote, and many other people of good repute have claimed these words as their own. Your own intellectual property may be inadequately protected from infringement. The Burton Law Firm can help you identify, protect, and manage your intellectual property. We want to assist you in safeguarding your assets.

Before you settle on a brand, name, or logo for your business it is important to know if someone else is already using it. You must research the possibility that someone else is already using the same or similar symbols or words to describe their product or business. There are many rules and regulations associated with the choosing of property that can be trademarked, and we are familiar with them all. Depending on the size and target market for your business, some small amount of material can be similar to another company’s trademark. This can be a confusing and extremely important decision for your business that requires the advice of an experienced attorney.

Most businesses owners work hard to develop an identifying name, logo, brand, or tagline to distinguish their businesses from the competition. After all of that work, it is surprising that owners commonly fail to register these valuable identifiers as trademarks. Trademarks can include words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify and distinguish goods or services of one business from another. Once registered on a state or federal level, trademarks can provide valuable protection against imitators.

Another type of protection that can be obtained is a copyright, which protects original works of authorship. Copyrights can cover literary works, movies, music, paintings, photographs, and more. These protections arise automatically; however, without registration, the author cannot bring a lawsuit for infringement. Registration also provides other court protections and establishes a public record of the author’s claim. If you have worked hard to create an original work, copyright registration will ensure that you retain control over the end product.

Our attorneys are accomplished in trademark and copyright law, and can provide state and federal registration services to protect these types of intellectual property. If you already have your original works registered, our firm is also equipped to handle all types of transactions involving such property. Intellectual property transactions can be tricky to manage. It is always better to have experienced advisors when you attempt to purchase, sell, license, or transfer trademarked or copyrighted property.

In the unfortunate event that your intellectual property rights have been infringed, our litigation department is poised and ready to defend your property in court. We know how vital it is to keep your property safe from unauthorized use. Let us help you protect your creative output. Contact Michael Iwahiro with any of your questions about our intellectual property protection and transactions practice.