Protect your ideas and inventions.
In general, utility patents protect “inventions” – novel devices or methods that achieve a tangible or transformative result - by allowing the owner to exclude others from practicing the invention. By excluding others, the owner (or the owner’s licensee) can retain its competitive advantage. Examples of patented inventions include the vacuum cleaner, the game of Monopoly, the systems and methods that enable text messaging. Design patents protect the ornamental design of an item and can be used for jewelry design, clothing design, and the overall look of various products. Utility patents last for 20 years, but only if maintenance fees are paid regularly. Good patent research and analysis is essential to avoid wasting resources on unprotectible features.
The key to building a valuable patent portfolio without wasting resources is planning. A smart IP plan protects what is valuable, not just whatever can be protected. If your intellectual property advisors are not asking about your business – past, present and future – then you are not getting solutions tailored to your needs. We start with identifying the protection you need for your business. Once we have quantified the value of that protection, we’ll come up with a budget that makes sense. Then we look at how we can put your protection in place within your budget, using patents, trademarks, copyrights and contracts. Because we believe that smart IP strategies should be focused on the needs of your business, not the needs of your law firm.
We help clients investigate, obtain and enforce patents spanning industries from chemical and biotech to manufacturing, consumer products, software, business methods, energy and telecommunications. Let us show you how much value we can add to your business by building a strategic portfolio designed with your business plan in mind.
Strong and strategic patents, trademarks and copyrights provide passive protection by deterring would-be infringers. But with enough money at stake, your competitors will be motivated and you will need to enforce your IP. We have years of experience drafting Cease & Desist letters that deliver results without litigation, or at least builds a strong foundation for your best case.
Solutions designed for the small and mighty.
We know that protecting intellectual property can be expensive and, especially for startups, cash flow is a major concern. We didn’t want to send anyone away who really needs intellectual property protection, so we developed the following packages to help you get the protection you need even when your cash flow is tight.
Meet the attorney face-to-face and one-on-one in a confidential session at your location of choice or through a virtual meeting. The attorney works with you to guide you through the process of clearing, preparing, filing and prosecuting applications for trademarks, patents or copyrights. Or, you can book a coaching session to answer specific questions, to work on a business plan, or to develop an IP strategy and roadmap for your business. You can book as many or few as you like, though some projects will require multiple sessions. Sessions are designed to get your IP protected with the strategy and guidance of a seasoned IP attorney and to teach you how to handle matters yourself in the future – all for a manageable fixed fee.
Seminars & Workshops
IP Works offers seminars and workshops on topics including trademark basics, patent basics, corporate formation and business planning for startups. Please visit our store to see the upcoming seminars available.
IP Works offers digital downloads that provide important information you need to know about intellectual property so you can get your questions answered on your own time without having to pay by the hour. If there is a topic you would like to see here, please send us an email so we can add it to our list.
For everything else.
Looking for guidance or help in another area? As legal and IP professionals we are here to assist you. Contact us to see how we can help.
Protect your relationships.
Good contracts are critical to every business. And technology companies need contracts that protect their valuable innovations. Good contracts protect the relationships with your valued suppliers, customers and partners. Good contracts bring peace of mind.
We have over 20 years’ experience preparing, negotiating and revising IP-focused contracts across industries as diverse as entertainment, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and software.
If you are using outdated or “borrowed” contracts that you don’t really understand, please contact us today to find out how we can ensure your contracts do what you need them to do: Keep you out of trouble and protect your relationships.
Client Centered, Value Focused Contracts
We believe the value your business receives from legal services should be significantly more than the cost of those legal services. That’s why we approach every contract project from the value it brings to your business. Only then we can price and deliver services that are appropriately scaled to your business’s specific needs. If your attorney isn’t asking you what you need your contracts to do and what is at stake if they fail, you may not be getting everything you need.
Protect your original work.
Copyrights protect the original expression of ideas – not the idea itself or the title of a work. In general, a copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. As with trademarks, copyrights do not need to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office but registration is inexpensive and offers important benefits.
More and more, companies need guidance on copyright law, though they don’t always realize it until they receive a takedown notice or a cease & desist letter. Do you actually own the rights to use the images, text and other media on your website? Do you really own the rights to the photos or graphics you paid for? Did you know that just because you paid for it doesn’t mean it’s “work for hire” under the Copyright Act?
We keep clients safe from copyright trolls and ensure they get the rights they need for their business.
Protect your name, designs and products.
We advise clients on all aspects of trademark law, from selection to protection to enforcement, so our clients maximize the value in their branding. Strategic trademark planning can help your company make the most of your investment.
“Trademarks” protect names, words, slogans, designs or markings that are used in commerce to identify the source of a product or service. Anything your customers associate with you could be a trademark, including your packaging or product designs. Trademarks hold the value of your company’s goodwill, and consequently often hold much of the value of the company. Strong, strategic trademarks can be the difference between a lucrative exit for the founders and a business nobody wants to buy.
Trademarks do not need to be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office but registration offers critical benefits and protections. Your trademark does not expire unless you stop using it in commerce, but letting your registration expire, or a lapse in use of the mark, can result in significant and permanent loss of rights.
Examples of strong and valuable trademarks include “Word Marks” like McDonald’s ®, Nike ®, Google ®, Apple ®, Microsoft ®, Whopper® and Prius®; “Word & Design” marks (most logos); “Design Only” marks like the Nike “Swoosh”, the Apple icon, McDonald’s “Golden Arches”, the NBC peacock; and Slogans (taglines) like Nike’s “Just Do It”, Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” or Dos Equis’ “Stay Thirsty, My Friends”.