Experienced Irvine intellectual property lawyers can make sure that you are protected legally when it comes to copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. The reality is that Irvine business owners need to focus on so many different aspects of their businesses, and it is extremely important that they do not neglect one of the most important components of just about any successful company: intellectual property rights. When a competitor steals another company’s intellectual property, it can create brand confusion and negatively impact the IP holder’s profitability. That’s why both federal and state laws exist to protect California businesses against intellectual property theft.

If you are a business owner whose IP rights were violated by a competitor, or if you have been accused of violating someone else’s intellectual property rights, you need to speak with an attorney immediately. Contact Tauler Smith LLP to explore your legal options.

Irvine IP Attorneys Can Protect Your Business Against Theft of Copyright, Trademark, or Trade Secrets

IP rights can have a significant amount of value not just with respect to short-term profits, but also as they relate to the company’s long-term success because an invention, formula, or other creative work that is associated with a business often comes with customer goodwill. In other words, customers who identify a product with a particular company are more likely to be repeat customers.

When a competing company attempts to steal your copyright, trademark, trade secrets, or some other intellectual property right, you need to take quick action to protect your business interests. The legal team at Tauler Smith LLP has decades of combined experience representing clients in intellectual property disputes, including the following:

Copyright Infringement

A copyright is meant to ensure that no one else can use your original work unless they reach an agreement with you in advance. Basically, the fact that you own the copyright means that they will have to pay for the right to sell any work that is overly similar to your movie, song, book, painting, photo, or other type of original work. Even fashion products like clothing and jewelry are protected by copyright!

Also, you will be able to protect your work against unauthorized use regardless of whether it is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. That’s because copyright protection starts the moment you create an original work. One caveat is that you will eventually need to register the work if you want to file a lawsuit in federal court, and a federal suit is often the best way to formally protect your copyright when someone has copied your work. Prior to taking formal legal action, however, you may be able to enlist an Irvine copyright lawyer to send a cease & desist letter to the copyright infringer and arrive at a favorable resolution to the matter.

Copyright Defense

On the flip side of bringing a copyright infringement claim against someone is defending yourself against a copyright infringement claim. If you own a business, you almost certainly have valuable intellectual property. Unfortunately, this also makes you vulnerable to copyright trolls who do nothing but scour the internet to find reproductions of photos or images on other companies’ websites. When a copyright troll finds one of their photos or images on your website, they will typically send a DMCA notice alleging copyright infringement and demanding that you pay them a large amount of money. In most instances, however, they don’t want to go to court because they know their claim is frivolous. What they are really hoping for is a quick cash settlement. That’s why you need to speak with a copyright attorney as soon as you receive a copyright cease & desist letter. Do not attempt to handle the negotiations on your own. Instead, contact the experienced Irvine copyright defense lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP and let us handle everything for you.

Trademark Infringement

The various things that distinguish different products from each other – particular words, slogans, symbols, and designs – are considered their marks or “trademarks.” When you say that you have trademark rights in your product, this means that the product is protected against use by your competitors. The reason this is so important when it comes to commercial goods or products is that a competitor with an inferior product might try to confuse consumers so that the brands become indistinguishable, which can do significant damage to your superior brand. When you discover that your trademark is being infringed by a competitor, you may need to file a Lanham Act claim to get an injunction against the other company, as well as to pursue damages for any financial harm you have already suffered because of the infringement.

Service marks are like trademarks in that they also protect a business against brand confusion – the difference being that a service mark protects a particular service provided by a business. Another variation of trademark rights can be found in trade dress rights, which refer to the unique visual aspects of the packaging used for a product.

Trade Secrets

Officially registering your copyright or trademark can provide important legal protections, but it could come at the expense of publicizing proprietary information such as ingredients, processes, etc. Sometimes, it is better for a company to maintain its trade secrets through private agreements, such as a confidentiality or non-disclosure contract with an employee. That way, if the employee later exits the company and subsequently discloses your trade secrets, you can hold them liable in court for any damages suffered. The knowledgeable Irvine trade secret lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP represent both plaintiffs and defendants, and we know exactly what is needed to successfully litigate a trade secret case in federal court.

Right of Publicity

What exactly is the meaning of “right of publicity”? In the context of intellectual property rights, right of publicity refers to the exclusive right of an individual to use their name or likeness for commercial benefit. Like other IP rights, right of publicity rights may grant the owner the ability to take legal action when someone else uses their name, voice, image, or some other aspect of their identity without permission. Right of publicity lawsuits are an option in California because section 3344 of the state’s Civil Code explicitly protects these rights. (By contrast, there is no federal law that recognizes right of publicity.) Whether you are a celebrity whose likeness appeared in an advertisement without permission, or a social media influencer whose image was used to sell a product online, an Irvine right of publicity lawyer can help to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation.

About Irvine, California

Irvine is a city in central Orange County. The city’s population is 307,000 people, and they live on a total area of just under 66 square miles. The median household income in Irvine is more than $90,000.

Irvine’s robust local economy and strong job market have made it an attractive spot for corporations looking to relocate. In fact, Irvine is known as the “City of Innovation” and a major technology hub because several tech companies have their headquarters located in the city, including many startups looking to launch in a more affordable space outside Silicon Valley. The largest employers in Irvine reflect the city’s nickname and the variety of industries it attracts:

  • Education: UC Irvine and Irvine Unified School District
  • Technology: Master North America
  • Semiconductors: Broadcom Corporation
  • Gaming: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Healthcare: Edwards Lifesciences and B. Braun

Free Consultation with the Irvine Intellectual Property Attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP

Do you own a business? Are you a social media influencer or online content creator? Then you need to take steps to protect your intellectual property against theft by competitors who attempt to poach your consumers by creating brand confusion. The experienced intellectual property attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP represent plaintiffs and defendants in IP cases throughout California, including Irvine. Call us at 310-590-3927 or email us to schedule a free consultation.