INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 1Our attorneys know intellectual property!  In fact, our firm can help you with all five branches of intellectual property law:

  • Patent
  • TM
  • Copyright
  • Trade Secret
  • Personality Rights

Patents

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYIf you or your company creates a valuable innovation, you may be able to protect your new invention with a patent.  Many of our attorneys are former engineers and computer programmers, so we can offer something that other firms cannot – genuine technical expertise that can be critical when attempting to protect new technology.

Our attorneys help our clients file numerous utility and design applications every year.  Also, many clients come to us after having already filed for a patent on their own or with another attorney.  In particular, many clients retain us after receiving an office action from the US Patent & Trademark Office rejecting all claims.  Often, other attorneys will tell these clients that there is little or no chance of overcoming the rejection, and we are the third, fourth, or even fifth law firm that they are consulting with.  In many of these cases, our attorneys are able to devise a prosecution strategy and obtain an allowance for these clients, even though they were not the attorney that drafted the original application.

Unlike many law firms, The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC also handles disputes before the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (“PTAB”).  In fact, our attorneys have an excellent record in handling both appeals from final rejections and Petitions for Inter Partes review.

Many of our clients approach us with particular patent problems – for example, they may be investigating a new product, and are concerned about potentially infringing a patent.  In such cases, our attorneys can help by assembling a state of the art search, or by drafting a right-to-use opinion.  In other cases, a client may be aware that a competitor has a patent that covers a product that our client wants to produce or use.  In such cases, we can often assist them in devising a workaround or in providing our opinion that their product will not infringe on their competitor’s patent(s).

Some of our clients are investor groups of established hedge funds, who come to us to evaluate their investment in a technology project.  We are proficient at thoroughly and efficiently identifying and determining the patentability of a company’s technology, which often weighs heavily in investment decisions.

Our attorneys not only draft patents, but litigate them as well.  In particular, we have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in multiple district courts throughout the country.  Our attorneys often tell clients that litigation is the least efficient way to resolve any dispute.  However, when our clients are forced into court, we focus on providing efficient and effective representation.  We seek to reach cost and effort saving agreements with opposing counsel early in our cases; for example, we seek an agreement to use a cost-effective and reliable court reporter and videographer for all depositions with opposing counsel, along with reasonable limits on discovery.  And, while we zealously represent our clients’ interests, we resolve most discovery disputes by agreement rather than with costly motion practice.  Nonetheless, our attorneys always keep a sharp eye on the key disputes in the cases that we handle and attempt to gain every possible advantage for our clients that relate to those key disputes.  In addition, we strive to keep our clients informed of all key developments as soon as they occur.

While our attorneys are willing and able to assist our clients with patent litigation, we strive to resolve disputes outside of court.  Often, disputes can be resolved with a letter, phone call, or in-person meeting if all of the parties hold reasonable positions.  Our attorneys’ knowledge of patent law allows them to notice and point out weaknesses in the other side’s case that often forces them to reconsider unreasonable positions.  And, where the parties are not able to negotiate a solution directly, we encourage disputes to be resolved via mediation, or, if all else fails, binding arbitration.  Patent litigation is horrendously expensive, and rarely if ever the best way to resolve a dispute for any party.

You can learn more about patents on the following pages:

Overview of Patents

Utility Patents

Design Patents

Plant Patents

International Patents

A Brief History of Patents

If you have a patent issue, contact our firm today.  You can quickly schedule a time to meet with an attorney, discuss your issue, and be on your way to getting the results that you want!

Trademark

A company’s brand is often its most valuable asset.  And the way that you protect your brand and keep competitors at bay is with trademarks.  Our attorneys have helped our clients obtain more than one hundred registered trademarks.  We know the details of the trademark process, and guide you through how to protect your brand.

Many clients come to us during the early stages of their branding efforts and seek a thorough trademark search.  Other clients come to us when they have already identified a potentially conflicting brand and are concerned about potential trademark infringement.  In either case, we can offer effective and cost-efficient solutions.

Other clients come to us and want to register a trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office or the State of Illinois – it is worth pointing out that registering a corporation or LLC with a state does not register a trademark with that state.  Our attorneys are familiar with both the Federal and State of Illinois process for obtaining a trademark registration, and help guide you through it.

Some clients come to us after receiving an office action rejecting their trademark application.  Many times those clients have visited with multiple attorneys before us who have all told them that their brand cannot be protected.  In many cases, we are able to help those clients obtain a registration for their brand despite other marks using similar names.

Our attorneys are also proficient at practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (the TTAB).  Our attorneys are available to represent you in appeals, opposition proceedings, and cancellation proceedings.

On occasion, our clients find themselves in disputes with other businesses or mark holders.  In such cases, we work to resolve the disputes outside of litigation through the use of carefully drafted letters, as well as a negotiation over the phone and in-person.  When a reasonable solution cannot be accomplished directly with the other side, we will generally recommend mediation or even binding arbitration rather than litigation, as trademark litigation can be prohibitively expensive, even for well-funded clients.

Nonetheless, when litigation is necessary, our attorneys are skilled at quickly and cost-effectively obtaining a positive result for our clients.  Typically, we work out a fair and cost-effective litigation plan with opposing counsel early in the case that results in a short discovery schedule.  When disputes arise in discovery, we favor resolving them by agreement rather than with protracted and expensive motion practice.  However, our attorneys are very careful to identify the most important issues for our clients and fight zealously to obtain positive results on those issues.

You can learn more about trademarks on these pages:

Basics of Trademarks

Types of Trademarks

Distinctive vs Generic vs Descriptive Trademarks

Trademark Attorney Cost

Illinois Trademarks

A Brief History of Trademarks

If you have a trademark issue, contact our firm today.  You can quickly schedule a time to meet with an attorney, discuss your issue, and be on your way to getting the results that you want!

Copyright

With the rise of the “creator economy,” Copyright issues appear more than ever.  Some examples are YouTube’s automatic copyright “flags,” and DMCA takedowns on online retailer sites, like Amazon.

Copyright can apply to many different types of works.  For example, a copyright can apply to anything on the Internet unless a particular piece of content has been released to the public.  Many people innocently copy an image from a web search and, after sharing that image on social media, receive a demand for a large amount of money.

Many of our clients come to us before such issues arise, when they are concerned about potential infringement.  In such cases, we help our clients determine if their conduct is likely to infringe on another’s Copyright, or if their conduct is acceptable, and will memorialize our opinion in a formal letter for our client’s use.

We also represent many creators that seek help in registering their content.  Sometimes, independent creators come to us after receiving a rejection from the Copyright Office.  In such cases, we can often help our clients overcome the rejections and have their content registered in the LIbrary of Congress.

Many of our clients also come to us after they are already in a dispute with another party.  Our approach in such situations is to attempt to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible at the lowest possible cost to our client.  In particular, we favor resolving disputes with letters and direct negotiation rather than running to court.  If direct negotiations cannot obtain a reasonable resolution, and the dispute is sufficiently important, we generally recommend mediation before litigation.  And, if mediation fails, we often recommend binding arbitration as an alternative to litigation – even though the arbitrators will cost money up front, arbitration is much less expensive litigation.  For example, in arbitration, discovery is generally agreed by the parties, and testimony over the phone is commonplace – both of these steps will save a lot of money over a case in court.

Nonetheless, in many cases, the only option is litigation in Federal Court; creators often have unreasonable demands, and infringers often choose to ignore well-founded demands for compensation, or respond by publicly complaining about the infringement allegations.  In such cases, we have an excellent record on litigating on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.  During litigation our attorneys focus on what is vital to our client’s interests while not wasting any time and money on frivolous pursuits – while the other side drowns in legal bills, our bills are often half of what our competitors bills are.

You can learn more about copyright on the following pages:

Overview of Copyright

How to Transfer a Copyright

If you have a copyright issue, contact our firm today.  You can quickly schedule a time to meet with an attorney, discuss your issue, and be on your way to getting the results that you want!

Trade Secret

Every business has trade secrets, some of which are probably responsible for why your business is able to compete in today’s marketplace.  What would happen if your employees decided to take your trade secrets to a competitor, or decide to compete against you?

A court will only defend your trade secrets if you take the steps necessary to identify them and ensure that sufficient steps are taken to keep them confidential.  If these steps are not taken, a court will not honor your trade secrets.  Our attorneys can help you identify and take the necessary steps to ensure that your trade secrets are protected.

Similarly, we can help your business properly address trade secrets in your employment agreements, as well as your employee handbook.  On that subject, we can also help you draft restrictive covenants with your key employees, including non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and invention assignment agreements.

Similarly, if you are an employee looking to change jobs or start up a business, you may be concerned about trade secret issues from your present employer.  Our attorneys can assist you in evaluating your employment agreement and advise you as to how to accomplish your departure from your present employer while minimizing any potential liability.

We favor resolving trade secret disputes outside of litigation – in fact, we often tell our clients that litigation is the least efficient way to resolve any kind of dispute.  Rather than running to court at the first sign of a dispute, we will typically attempt to resolve the matter with a letter or negotiations – phone calls and in-person meetings are a lot less expensive than litigation in court.  However, if that should fail, we typically advise that mediation or even binding arbitration be used in place of litigation.

When litigation is necessary, we zealously represent our clients interests in both state and federal courts.  Our attorneys have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in trade secret cases, and focus on providing effective and efficient representation.  Early in a case, we focus on reaching cost and effort saving agreements with opposing counsel, such as reasonable limits on depositions and written discovery.  Nonetheless, our attorneys zealously contest key issues for our clients.  In addition, we strive to keep our clients informed of all key developments as soon as they occur.

You can learn more about trade secrets on the following pages:

Overview of Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets

Litigating Your Trade Secret Can Destroy Your Trade Secret

Ensuring Employees Don’t Share Trade Secrets

If you have a trade secret issue, contact our firm today.  You can quickly schedule a time to meet with an attorney, discuss your issue, and be on your way to getting the results that you want!

The Right of Publicity (Personality Rights)

There are more celebrities than ever, which means that the right of publicity, which is also known as personality rights, has become more important than ever.  Many of our clients come to us with questions as to whether they can use a particular celebrity’s likeness on a product, and we can assist by researching our clients’ issues and providing an informed legal opinion.

In addition, other clients have come to us with active disputes, such as feeling that their likeness has been used without their permission, or they have been threatened with litigation for allegedly using another’s likeness. In such a case, we strive to resolve our client’s issues effectively and efficiently.

If you have a right of publicity issue, contact our firm today.  You can quickly schedule a time to meet with an attorney, discuss your issue, and be on your way to getting the results that you want!

Firm Philosophy

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYWe follow a simple philosophy; namely, that we focus on our client’s objectives and exclude anything and everything that will not help them meet those objectives.  We start every representation by finding out precisely what our clients want, and then we tailor our representation to help them achieve their goals.  This results in substantially lower fees than most of our competitors, all the while maintaining fantastic quality.

Our intellectual property clients range from creative individuals to venture capital funds  and mid-sized technology companies.  We tailor our representation to meet the needs of our varied clientele, and cherish the opportunity to work with many creative individuals and companies.

We Can Help!

Don’t leave your intellectual property issues to chance! We have attorneys that are ready, able and willing to assist you with your intellectual property needs.  Our rates are reasonable, and we can tailor a solution to help you.  Call The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC!