What are Intellectual Property Lawyers?
Intellectual property lawyers are lawyers who are trained and licensed to practice intellectual property, or IP, law. IP refers to any creation of the mind and can include:
- literary and artistic works
- designs used in commerce
IP is divided into two categories, industrial and copyright. Industrial IP refers to patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic sources of source.
Copyright IP refers to literary and artistic creations, novels, poems, and plays. It can also include:
- musical works
- architectural designs
Designers, artists, architects, writers, and other creators have the right to protect their inventions and creations from perjury, theft, and unauthorized imitation or use. Protecting their works, however, requires that they follow a precise legal process that must go through the court system.
When your livelihood depends on the marketing and sale of your own IP, you want to safeguard and ensure that it will remain a lucrative product or brand for you. When you fail to take the necessary legal measures available to you as an artist, inventor, or another IP creator, you have no way to prove that the material is yours or that you did not authorize anyone to use or imitate your creations.
By hiring one of the intellectual property lawyers in your area, you can take the necessary steps to protect IP that rightfully belongs to you. You also protect it as a means on which to draw income both now and in the future.
Before you retain intellectual property lawyers to advocate and represent you in court, you may wonder exactly why you should hire such counsel. You may be convinced by realizing the advantages that could await you as a creator of intellectual property.
Why Retain Intellectual Property Lawyers?
As mentioned, intellectual property lawyers are trained and experienced in representing clients who want to protect the IP that they create. These lawyers are available to walk you through the legal process and secure you the protections like a trademark or TM symbol. They can also represent you in copyright infringement cases if someone tries to steal, borrow, or misuse your property.
In fact, each state has its own set of laws regarding intellectual property rights, USPTO, and trademark registration. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to follow a complex, intricate, and lengthy process that could be impeded or compromised if you do not understand the state laws.
Rather than jeopardize the outcome of your TM registration or application for copyrights, you can get the results you want by hiring intellectual property lawyers to represent you and your creations. Your attorney can first do a patent search to make sure that your invention or creation does not already exist or is not already protected.
Once your attorney conducts the trademark search, he or she can then help you with the application for the protection. If necessary, your lawyer can also represent and defend you before the patent examiner or board. Finally, your counsel can write a licensing agreement to finalize the process and secure you the protection you need to gain full rights to your creation.
Despite the many advantages available to you as an IP client, you might wonder how you can find such counsel and retain an attorney who can help you through the extensive legal process. You can use any of these common sense tips that should guide you to the best attorney to take your case today.
Finding an IP Attorney
Intellectual lawyers have the option of practicing alone or joining a firm dedicated to this area of law. Regardless of whether you plan to hire an independent lawyer or one who is part of an IP defense firm, you can find the best attorney to help you by using some basic tips in your efforts.
First, you should start by asking friends or family members for input on retaining a good lawyer. If you have never before hired a lawyer, you may not know what qualifications to look for or what criteria to consider. Relying on the input of people you trust and who want the best for you can be a solid strategy in locating an attorney who can take your case and give you the legal results you need as a creator.
Second, you should do some research online. The Internet is full of websites that encourage people to leave reviews of lawyers in their area. You should read the reviews of intellectual property lawyers in your city or state to determine what ones have the best reputations and what ones are less favorably reviewed by previous clients.
Finally, if you still need a bit of guidance even after doing research online and asking friends and relatives for advice, you can call your state bar association. The state bar should have a list of intellectual property lawyers who specialize in this area of law and who are taking new clients.
The state bar typically gives you referrals for free and can provide you with the phone number, address, and names of intellectual property lawyers in your city or state. You can then use these details to set up initial consultations with the law firms or lawyers who may be able to represent your case.
Initial Consultation Interview Questions
The initial consultations serve as opportunities for you and the attorneys to get to know each other and to find out what kind of case can be filed to secure your rights as an IP creator. You should go into these meetings prepared to ask questions that will help you feel at ease with the intellectual property lawyers with whom you will speak face-to-face.
Some of the key questions that you may want to ask of any intellectual property lawyers with whom you meet include:
- How long have you been in practice as an IP lawyer?
- From what law school did you graduate?
- What percentage of your legal practice is devoted to IP law?
- What is your strategy for helping me secure the protections I want or need for my creations?
- What is your success rate with other clients’ cases?
- Do you have any disciplinary infractions on your record as a lawyer?
Based on the answers you get from the intellectual property lawyers you meet with, you can determine whether or not to put any of them on retainer. You can also formulate a plan that will help you protect your works from theft, unauthorized use, imitation, and other acts that could undermine your reputation and financial capabilities as an IP creator.
Creations like films, poems, designs, sculptures, inventions, and many other types of IP can be protected legally by the American courts. Navigating your state’s IP laws can be difficult and time consuming, however. You can protect your creative and financial rights against theft or misuse by hiring an IP attorney to represent you and your works.
Intellectual property lawyers are specialized attorneys who represent clients like designers, authors, poets, sculptors, inventors, and others who create unique pieces of art for commercial or industrial use. They assist their clients in retaining exclusive rights and use of their property by filing the necessary trademarking or copyrighting applications in court.
They also represent people whose works have been stolen or misused. They can file suit in court to sue others who imitate, steal, or otherwise violate the protections associated with the unique IP creations.
Each state has its own set of IP laws, making it difficult for creators to know what laws apply to their works or what is expected of them before they file the paperwork and go to court. Rather than risk the outcomes of their cases, they may prefer to hire intellectual property lawyers to represent them throughout the processes in their states.
Finding a good lawyer to take their case requires them to do their fair share of research before putting an attorney on retainer. They may start by asking relatives and friends for advice. They also can look on the Internet for client reviews and other details of the IP lawyers who practice in their city or state.
They also may call the state bar and ask for a free referral for an IP lawyer. After they have the necessary contact information, they can then set up an initial consultation with the lawyers of their choosing. The consultation gives them the chance to find out how well the attorney can take on their case and secure them the legal outcomes they want as IP creators.
The first meeting also gives creators the chance to ask plenty of questions to vet attorneys who practice this area of law. It may help people to go into the meetings with a list of questions at their ready. Lawyers likewise can determine at this time if they can competently give the clients the results they want to safeguard their IP works.