Springfield, MO Intellectual Property Lawyers
Protecting the Rights of Creators & Intellectual Property Owners
Intellectual property laws are designed to protect creative works, inventions, and other intangible property. These laws grant primary and sole rights to creators and owners regarding the use, distribution, sale, recreation, and management of intellectual property. When others violate these rights, they can be held accountable for intellectual property owners’ resulting damages.
Whether you need help applying for intellectual property protections, such as copyrights or trademarks, or you have suffered financial losses due to intellectual property rights violations, Potts Law Firm can help. From our office in Springfield, MO, we provide clients with a high level of personal attention and support. Our team is here to guide you through the legal process and help you protect your creative works, your business, and your livelihood.
For a free initial consultation with our Springfield intellectual property lawyers, call (417) 323-6752 or contact us online today.
The Difference Between Copyrights, Trademarks & Patents
There are three different types of protections for original creative works: copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Each of these protections is issued by the government, but all serve different functions. Additionally, they are used to protect different types of intellectual properties.
The main differences between copyrights, trademarks, and patents include:
- Copyrights: Rather than protecting ideas, methods, systems, or processes, copyrights are primarily used to protect creative works and expressions. This includes things like books, plays, paintings, drawings, computer-generated images, blogs, movies, short films, songs, sound recordings, computer programs, architectural works, and more. In business, copyrights protect things like logos, symbols, designs, colors, lettering, fonts, product designs, etc.
- Trademarks: Trademarks are primarily used to protect original expressions that are used to identify or distinguish a business, product, or service. Examples include things like product names, business names, slogans, taglines, symbols, phrases, and designs. Trademarks help prevent counterfeits and provide trademark owners a means of legal recourse when counterfeits do arise.
- Patents: Patents are issued by the government to protect the ownership and usage rights of inventors. To qualify for a patent, an invention must be original or involve an original idea that is new, useful, and not obvious. Inventors must disclose certain details about an invention to the public and to the issuing agency. Additionally, patents are issued for a set period of time, typically either 14 or 20 years.
At Potts Law Firm, we help clients identify the type of intellectual property protections they need, as well as apply for copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Our attorneys also help clients pursue litigation when another person or party violates a copyright, trademark, or patent. If you need assistance with any of these issues, please do not hesitate to contact our firm right away.
What Are Trade Secrets?
Certain confidential business information, such as business plans or product ingredients, may be classified as "trade secrets” if they meet certain criteria.
To be considered a trade secret, the information must:
- Be information that is not commonly known
- Provide or have the potential to provide economic value by not being publicly known
- Have some value to others who cannot obtain the information legitimately
- Be subject to reasonable measures to maintain its secrecy
Some examples of well-known trade secrets include the recipe for Coca-Cola, Google’s search algorithm, the New York Time’s process for selecting works for its Bestseller list, and the ingredients that make up WD-40.
A trade secret can include any of the following:
- Business plans
- Product ingredients
- Computer programs
- Source code
- Financial information
- Client lists
- Pending patents
- Engineering information
This is not an exhaustive list; any information that meets the above criteria can be considered a trade secret.
The law offers certain protections for trade secrets. An attorney can help you understand those protections and know when it may be necessary to take legal action. We encourage you to contact our Springfield, MO intellectual property lawyers with any questions or concerns you may have about trade secrets and your rights.
Give us a call at (417) 323-6752 or submit an online contact form today to request your free initial consultation. Hablamos español.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
Intellectual property infringement occurs anytime another person or party violates the rights of a copyright, trademark, patent, or trade secret owner, as outlined by the applicable laws and regulations.Some examples of common intellectual property rights violations include:
- Creating counterfeit products with the intent of misleading or deceiving consumers
- Implying authorship for stolen or copied creative works, such as artwork
- Replicating protected creative works, products, or inventions without authorization
- Plagiarizing written works, such as novels, plays, blogs, and websites
- Exploiting a person or business’s name or likeness for financial gain
- Copying creative works, including literary works, sound recordings, paintings, etc.
- Manufacturing products with the intent of imitating a protected product
Intellectual property infringement can lead to significant financial harm, both for businesses and individual creators. It can also cause undue stress, reputational damage, and other intangible damages. By filing an intellectual property infringement claim, you can seek fair compensation for these and other damages, as well as work to hold the responsible party accountable.