Intellectual property encompasses the Federal Law areas of patent, trademark, and copyright law as well as the protection of trade secrets and other “intellectual” business assets under common law or other state or federal statutes.

A patent gives the owner the right to excludes others from making, using, selling, or importing or offering for sale the subject matter “claimed” in the patent. Obtaining a patent is a complex process that includes searching for prior art, obtaining an opinion of patentability, drafting the patent application, and prosecuting the application through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Only attorneys specifically admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are permitted to prosecute patent applications. Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC is one of only a few firms in the region to have a member of the firm admitted before the USPTO. Admission before the USPTO requires an undergraduate degree in science or engineering and the practitioner must pass a separate patent bar exam.

The general term “trademark” refers to a word, design, or combination of words or designs, used in connection with the products or services of a business. Technically, the term “service mark” is used for designation of services, but a service mark is just one type of trademark. As with a patent, a search is recommended prior to using or registering a trademark. We strongly recommend that all businesses register their trademarks with the USPTO. Federal registration provides additional protection that is not available to owners of “common law” or state trademarks. Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC can provide representation in all trademark related matters. Regardless of whether or not you register your trademark, Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC can advise you how to use the trademark in connection with your goods or services.

Copyright protection is automatic and arises as soon as a new work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. However, we recommend that you take two additional steps to gain additional protection. These two steps are affixing your copyright notice on your work and registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright office. Leventry, Haschak & Rodkey, LLC can assist you with both of the above steps as well as represent you in litigation to defend your copyright.

Protection of a business’ intellectual property is a complex process involving many different statutory, regulatory, and common law considerations. Your business intellectual property may be its most valuable asset and should only be trusted to attorneys with the skills and qualifications to handle such complicated matters.

PRACTICE AREA ATTORNEYS

John M. Haschak

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