One of the most important aspects of any business venture, whether personal or corporate, is the generation and protection of intellectual property assets. Today’s aggressive business environment requires good intellectual property planning that takes into account the type of intellectual property involved, the realities of the target market, and the ability of the client to either bring or defend infringement suits. Proper up-front planning and negotiating, including non-disclosure and licensing agreements, will often help avoid litigation and reduce legal expenses.
Intellectual property may generally include, patents (including patent searches and patent application), trademarks (including trademark searches and trademark applications), trade secrets, trade names, trade dress, copyrights, publications, music rights, domain names, and infringement actions.
Patents and federal trademarks are acquired through application to, and examination by, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the USPTO) located in Alexandria, Virginia. Copyrights are registered through the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.