Intellectual Property Lawyer Houston

Intellectual Property (IP) may very well be the most technical and complex area of law and often involves the largest sums of money in law suits. An experienced Houston Copyright, Patent and Trademark Attorney is necessary to have on your side when dealing with this area of law in Texas or beyond. This area of law may cover patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial design rights, or trade secrets. These can all overlap of course depending on the product of focus. Intellectual property refers to the subject matter of the law that is designed to protect an author, inventor, or company's work. IP law generally gives exclusive rights to the company or inventor and prevents third parties from using and infringing on their product for a given amount of time that varies depending on the product, industry, and country of the protection given.

A patent can be best explained as a right that is granted by the government (USPTO) that protects an invention from being reproduced, used, or sold by others in a given period of time. There are three kinds of patents issued by the USPTO; utility, design, and plant patents. In order for a patent to be issued, the inventor must prove usefulness, that the invention is novel and that it is "not obvious" or has not been seen before by someone familiar with the area of industry it belongs to.

A trademark is a name, symbol, word, or device that "marks" a good/product from a particular source and distinguishes that good from other sources. You can also have a servicemark which is the same thing, except for a service rather than a good. When you obtain a trademark from the USPTO, then you are given exclusive rights to your trademark and this prevents others from using it for something similar and confusing the source. You can use the "TM" or "SM" mark after your name to indicate your claim of right to the trademark without having to register it with the USPTO. However, if you do file for and obtain registration for the mark with the USPTO, then you can use the ® as well.

A copyright is a little more straight forward and gives protection to the creator of "original works of art" for exclusive rights to the following: reproduction of the work; derivative works (others based on the original); perform the work in public; sell ownership, distribute or transfer copies of the work; or lease the work; and display the copyrighted work in public. "Original works of art" may be in the form of literary, musical, or movie works; paintings; photographs; software; sound recordings; television or sound broadcasts or live performances. This is different from a patent because a copyright does not protect the actual idea, fact, technique, or concept; it only covers the original material and its form of expression.

Unauthorized reproduction or any other form of commercial exploitation in which there is monetary or some other kind of gain for the third party would be considered infringement on a patent, trademark or copyright. While it may be only the giants like Microsoft and AT&T that make the nightly news when they have a patent infringement lawsuit, there are many others on going that often result in millions and even billions of dollars in damages when the infringement is proven.

Legal representation to protect your intellectual property can be tricky. You need a team comprised of excellent litigators that are familiar with the court system where these cases are tried and you need attorneys on your team with the technical expertise to prove the infringement to the judge and jury. The Pursley Law Firm and its negotiated network of legal expertise can provide you the most excellent intellectual property legal representation available.

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