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Intellectual Property: Counseling, Prosecution, Litigation, Licensing and Enforcement

Intellectual Property creation, management and enforcement are important components to the success of any business. In many cases, a company’s brand and its product names are its most valuable assets. Due to the value of these assets, a company’s brand and product names require protection so that consumers strongly associate the products or services with the company that provides them.

We understand the importance of creating and maintaining a strong intellectual property portfolio and have made this area of law our primary area of practice. Many Intellectual Property Attorneys practice intellectual property law as a part of their general corporate practice and cannot provide the depth and breadth knowledge needed to address clients’ needs in this particular area of law.

Trademarks

Trademarks are any words, names, symbols, logos, packaging, or unique product configurations used to identify the source or origin of a product or service.  In the United States, trademark protection arises from use of a mark in commerce; additional protections are afforded by registering a mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).  Schiffrin & Longo counsels clients on all issues that trademark owners confront in the course of their business, from selecting and clearing a mark, to obtaining federal registration and enforcing trademark rights against infringers.

Copyright

Copyrights protect original works of authorship that have been fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  Literary works, audiovisual works, musical works, works of visual art, and sound recordings are just a few examples of the works of authorship that may be protected by copyright if they are sufficiently original.  Schiffrin & Longo assists clients with the protection of intellectual property rights in all types of original works of authorship. These services include preparing and filing copyright applications with the United States Copyright Office, counseling clients regarding protection in registered and unregistered works, enforcing valid copyrights against alleged infringements, and defending the fair use of copyrighted works.

Internet Issues

The Internet has been a boon to businesses, providing a new way for them to engage directly with their customers.  But it has also created challenges for businesses, as they seek to protect their rights and relationships with customers in a media where anyone can easily infringe such rights.  Schiffrin & Longo counsels clients on a vast array of issues involving the Internet. These include the registration of domain names, posting of gripe sites, and use of another’s intellectual property on the web, through social media, and in virtual worlds.

Unfair Competition

Unfair Competition is a wrongful or deceptive business practice which causes economic harm to other businesses, competitors, or the consuming public.  There are many types of unfair competition or unfair trade practices, including trademark infringement, false representation of products or services, violations of a celebrity’s right of publicity, and false or misleading advertising.  False advertising is a misrepresentation made by a company in the course of business. The misrepresentation generally refers to the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of the company’s or another company’s goods or services.  Schiffrin & Longo assists clients in combating every manner of unfair competition.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are ideas, formulas, or processes which provide the owner with an advantage in the marketplace and are reasonably expected to be kept secret. Trade secret protection is available for information which is set out as confidential.  Schiffrin & Longo works with its clients to protect their valuable trade secrets.

Counseling

Counseling is a fundamental service we provide to our clients.  Schiffrin & Longo learns each client’s unique business needs and goals so that it may provide the tailored legal advice required for those businesses to succeed.  Our firm understands the nuances of trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition law to provide concrete guidance to our clients.

Disputes & Litigation

Disputes often arise when someone makes unauthorized use of another’s trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets.  Although many such disputes can be resolved without the parties going to court, in certain circumstances, litigation may be necessary to enforce intellectual property rights and stop the infringement.  Schiffrin & Longo represents clients in trademark and copyright-related lawsuits in the Eastern District of Virginia.  It also works extensively with law firms nationwide and around the world to enforce and defend their clients’ intellectual property rights in various other jurisdictions.  In the United States, trademark disputes may be resolved in federal and state courts or in administrative proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”), including cancellation and opposition proceedings.

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