Entrepreneurship and freedom of creative expression are a part of what makes America great. Your creation is important to you, and you deserve to be able to protect it legally. At Birdwell & Janke, LLP, we have made intellectual property law our only focus for years, and our attorneys are well-versed in all areas of trademark, copyright and patent laws. We can help you protect your creative rights, and will work with you to defend against infringement and other misuse of the fruits of your labors.
Birdwell & Janke, LLP handles all areas of intellectual property law, including but not limited to patents, trademarks, copyrights, mask works protection and trade secrets.
The information below provides an overview of our intellectual property practice areas. For more information about how we can help you, call (503) 224-2180 to speak with an experienced intellectual property attorney.
Patents grant exclusive rights for an invention to the creator, and are usually effective for up to 20 years. When a patent is applied for, the invention must be disclosed completely enough so that people having ordinary skill in the same technical art can make and use it. Birdwell & Janke, LLP can help you with every aspect of the patenting process, especially when it comes to litigation surrounding patent infringement and disputes. Our diligent attorneys handle advice regarding patent law and the protection of inventions, opinions on infringement, clearance and validity, technology transfer agreements, inter partes and ex parte proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, patent application preparation and prosecution, patent appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and more. Visit our patents page to learn more or give us a call today.
Trademarks are commonly known means of protecting names, symbols or other indicia used to represent the source or origin of specific products or services. They are meant to be widely recognizable to the public, and help establish brand recognition for individual companies. Trademarks must be distinctive, meaning they clearly distinguish one vendor’s products or services from another, helping to prevent confusion among consumers. When a “likelihood of confusion” is present, it usually indicates trademark infringement. At Birdwell & Janke, LLP, we can help you establish and protect your trademark or pursue litigation if you feel your trademark has been infringed upon.
Before you even begin the registration process, you must have a mark format picked out and ready to go. This will be the symbol, stylized design or standard character that consumers will associate with your brand. Your mark can be simple or complex, but it must clearly identify the good or service your business will provide. You must also determine whether or not someone else has already established a trademark similar in wording and design to yours – you can check this by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database.
Once you have decided on the style of your mark and are sure it isn’t already in use, you can begin the application process. The application may be filed online once completed, and submitted along with all associated fees. When you submit your application to the USPTO, be aware that all information included will become public record and that a successfully submitted application doesn’t automatically grant you your trademark. The knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys of Birdwell & Janke, LLP can help you file your application if necessary, though it may be more cost-effective for your business to file on your own.
Once your trademark has been approved, it will be published in the USPTO’s “Official Gazette” publication. At this point, any party has a chance to file an opposition to the registration of the mark. If there is no opposition, the mark will move on to the next stage of processing. After your registration is fully approved, specific maintenance documents must be subsequently filed to ensure your registration won’t expire. If your registration happens to expire or be cancelled, you’ll have to start the entire registration process over again.
Infringement is the unauthorized use of a registered mark in a way that will confuse, deceive or otherwise obscure the source of the goods and/or services for that registered mark. Trademark owners may file suit in state or federal court if they believe their mark is being infringed upon, and must bear the burden of proof of the infringement.
Successful suits may result in a court order requiring the offender to stop using the mark, destruction of the infringing articles, monetary compensation awarded to the plaintiff and/or payment of the plaintiff’s attorney fees. Every infringement case is different, and each will have different results.
If you feel your trademark has been infringed upon, or you have received notice that a lawsuit has been filed against you for infringement, call Birdwell & Janke, LLP. Our attorneys are skilled litigators and have handled countless intellectual property cases just like yours, both in and out of court. Our practice is dedicated solely to intellectual property rights at the state and federal levels, and we will help defend the brand you’ve worked so hard to create.
Along with patents, trademarks and copyrights, trade secrets are a recognized form of intellectual property. They are typically made up of information regarding methods, techniques, processes, formulas, programs or other compilations specific to a business. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act was established by the U.S. government as a means of protecting such information for U.S. businesses, and all states have borrowed some form of this law.
While trade secrets may be similar in nature to patents, their applications are unique. Inventors may prefer to establish a trade secret over a patent for many reasons, though generally speaking a patent is stronger and easier to enforce than a trade secret.
Some benefits of trade secrets are:
Some drawbacks to trade secrets are:
Your business is unique, and as a result the type of creative protection you’ll need will vary depending on your methods and practices. Speaking with a qualified intellectual property lawyer is a good way to get started.
When you have sensitive and confidential information crucial to your business, take no risks when it comes to protecting it. Birdwell & Janke, LLP is dedicated to intellectual property protection nationwide. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of cases regarding dispute resolution and litigation surrounding trade secrets, confidential information and related contracts. We know when and how to use alternative dispute resolution techniques to get you a positive solution without the cost of full-on litigation. That doesn’t mean we’re afraid to go to court if necessary, however. Call us today to speak with a lawyer about protecting your company’s trade secrets and confidential information.
Copyright law essentially protects artistic expression. It exists in works such as literature, paintings, sculptures and architecture.
Copyright protection can be “thin,” meaning the work contains mostly facts or ideas and not much actual artistic expression (it’s important to note that the ideas themselves are not copyrighted; rather, the expression of them is), or broader for more significant works.
Things like maps, computer programs and even the pages of a telephone book are also protected at some level under copyright law.
When a copyright owner’s rights are infringed upon, that owner may take legal action to remedy the situation. If the infringement is valid, the court may order remedies to the violation, from injunctions and impoundments to awarding profits and damages to the owner. If you feel your copyright has been violated, or you have received notice that you have violated another party’s copyright, Birdwell & Janke, LLP can help.
Don’t take copyright infringement lightly. Your work is your own and you deserve to have it protected, as does everyone else. If you need legal assistance surrounding copyright dispute resolution or even litigation, call the knowledgeable intellectual property lawyers at Birdwell & Janke, LLP today.
Mask works, which are two or three-dimensional topographies of semiconductor chip products, are protected under the U.S. Semiconductor Chip Act (SCPA) of 1984. Mask work protections are not the same as generic copyrights, as the ownership rights, protections, registration procedures and remedies for rights violations are different. In this highly technological world, knowing your creative rights regarding your mask works is crucial for your success. The skilled attorneys of Birdwell & Janke, LLP have extensive technical backgrounds and can provide you with sound advice regarding mask work protection, dispute resolution and litigation.
When you face intellectual property disputes, put a lawyer with the skills, technical knowledge and experience in your corner to protect your interests. Our attorneys have years of experience in the legal field of intellectual property rights. Don’t take chances when it comes to protecting your creative rights – call a lawyer who knows patent, copyright and trademark laws inside and out. Birdwell & Janke, LLP is also adept at getting you results without breaking your bank – we respect your pocketbook as well as your business practices.