Intellectual Property Attorney in Seattle, WA
Intellectual property (IP) is a broad term that refers to any idea, concept, or image protected by law. Intellectual property law protects ideas, works of authorship, inventions, and certain types of business information.
Intellectual property rights refer to the legal rights enjoyed by individuals, corporations, and other entities that relate to certain intangible, non-physical products of human intellect.
IP disputes can occur when someone or some company claims that their IP has been infringed upon or misappropriated by another person or company. This can be a complex process and often requires an IP lawyer’s help navigating the legalities.
Types of Intellectual Property
Trademarks. A trademark is a phrase, symbol, or logo representing a product and legally separating it from other goods. It is closely associated with the brand that has exclusive rights to it; other companies are prohibited from using it. A trademark can be a logo, slogan, and even the unique color scheme of your company’s products. The Apple technology company’s trademark, for example, depicts a bitten apple as its brand logo. This has become synonymous with this particular brand of computers and other devices.
Patents. A patent is a property right that grants an inventor sole ownership of their creation, which could be anything from a process or design to an improvement of an existing product. A patent last for 20 years. If a product is patented, the patent holder has the right to stop anyone else from producing it without permission.
Three types of patents are available:
- Utility patent. Covers any new process, machine, or composition of matter.
- Design patent. This covers the ornamental design of an object.
- Plant patent. Protects new varieties of plants.
Copyrights. Copyrights protect writers and other creators by preventing others from using, duplicating, or adapting their original work. A copyright is a kind of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it. The owner has the authority to prevent others from duplicating or utilizing their work without permission. Copyrights last for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.
Franchises. A franchise is a license that a business, person, or party obtains that allows them to utilize the name, trademark, proprietary information, and procedures of another firm.
The franchisee is the person who owns and operates a business based on an agreement with the brand owner. In this situation, the franchisor grants the franchisee permission to exploit its intellectual property under specific conditions. A license permits a franchisee to sell a product or offer a service in the name of the corporation in exchange for paying the start-up fee and other fees.
Trade Secrets. A company’s trade secrets include processes or practices that provide an economic advantage for its holder and aren’t known to competitors. These secrets create a unique business model that differentiates the company’s offerings from those of competitors. A company must be vigilant in protecting these valuable results of its research, which is why some employers require employees to sign non-disclosure agreements stating that they can’t share company intel with others.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Intellectual property infringement is the unauthorized use of a company’s trade secrets or intellectual property. This can include counterfeiting an item, stealing a product idea or concept, and using someone else’s patent without permission. One of the most common forms of IP infringement is trademark infringement, which occurs when one company uses another’s registered trademark without permission.
Intellectual property infringement is a form of unfair competition. Your company must protect its IP from being used by others because it provides an economic advantage over competitors who don’t have access to such information.
The owner of the intellectual property can file a lawsuit in federal court against the infringer and may be able to recover financial damages for their losses as well as obtain an injunction against further violations.
Intellectual property disputes can get complicated, so it is essential to work with an experienced IP lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. If you believe your company’s intellectual property rights are being violated, contact Seattle IP firm TBillick Law PLLC today for a consultation.
Intellectual Property Legal Protection
Your business’s intellectual property can be one of its most vital resources, and you need robust legal protection for your ideas and strategies. If someone infringes on your trademark, patent, or trade secret, you need to take immediate action to prevent the situation from affecting your brand reputation.
TBillick Law is a firm dedicated to helping clients protect their ideas and enforce their existing trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents. We specialize in the following:
- Intellectual property disputes
- Trademark prosecution
- Copyright protection
- Patent prosecution
- Technology and entertainment contracts
If you are dealing with an intellectual property issue or might soon be, seek experienced counsel from TBillick Law PLLC as soon as possible for advice tailored to your situation.
Tim Billick has assisted clients with patent, trademark, and copyright disputes throughout the U.S., as well as various related commercial matters that often require litigation in state and federal court. This experience gives him an understanding of each case’s unique risks—and what you need to know about handling them.
We proudly serve the residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia, and the surrounding areas in Washington.