Intellectual Property Lawyer in San Francisco
Intellectual property laws
The laws that deal with intellectual property encompass four basic categories, each of which pertains to distinct creations of different types. The four basic law categories of intellectual property are copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Each area has its own set of detailed and complex rules that are best explained by an experienced San Francisco intellectual property law attorney.
Generally, copyrights protect original works of authorship from the moment they are created and fixed in a tangible form. Patents protect new and useful machines, articles, substances, or processes through the receipt of exclusive rights granted by the federal government. Trademarks protect identifying marks that distinguish goods or services, such as names, logos, designs, and emblems that are used in commerce. It is helpful to think of them as branding. Trade secrets protect confidential business information or proprietary information such as business plans, chemical formulas, customer lists, devices, and know-how.
Intellectual property rights can be protected
If someone violates or infringes on your intellectual property rights, your San Francisco intellectual property attorney can take action to remedy the situation. Depending on the circumstances and particular facts of your situation, your attorney may ask for injunctive relief to order a defendant to stop violating your rights, or to preserve the secrecy of information if a trade secret had been stolen. A court is empowered to make a defendant pay money damages for the economic harm suffered as a result of certain intellectual property right violations. In some situations punitive damages can be awarded if a court finds a defendant acted willfully or maliciously. An owner may be awarded attorneys’ fees if a court finds the defendant acted in a willful or malicious manner. The court may award attorneys' fees to a defendant if it finds that the plaintiff acted in bad faith when filing the lawsuit.
While civil remedies may provide compensation to wronged intellectual property rights holders, criminal sanctions may also be sought to ensure sufficient punishment and deterrence of wrongful activity.
Assistance with San Francisco intellectual property laws
If you have questions about intellectual property, the San Francisco firm of Dergosits & Noah LLP is available to assist you. Contact us today to discuss your intellectual property problems with one of our San Francisco based attorneys.