Those who follow tech news regularly have likely heard about the various smartphone makers battling over patents. Lawsuits between companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Motorola, and others crop up over issues like phone design or the creation of smartphone apps. These cases often involve billions of dollars in costs for patent litigation attorneys, and legal decisions on patents can take years to make.
For small businesses, however, the costs and length of time it takes to fight a case of intellectual property theft can present serious obstacles, and most don’t have the billion-dollar budgets of large corporations. As a result, a small or even medium-sized business could easily fail if burdened with legal troubles over intellectual property laws.
What is intellectual property law? Intellectual property rights and laws refer to the ownership of an invention, creation, or identifying mark. For example, copyright is one type of intellectual property that pertains to written and artistic works, and it helps provide the basis for how creators are compensated for their work. Copyright and patent laws differ in many ways, but patents, which are used primarily for physical objects, also identify the owners of a useful process, mechanism, or design.
For business owners and inventors who hold patents, there are several times when it may be necessary to work with patent litigation attorneys. Three such instances include:
- Patent Registration: In order to ensure that a patent can be secured, it may be wise for business owners to consult with an attorney. Any intellectual property rights lawyer that an inventor hires should be familiar with the type of creation being patented. For instance, a lawyer who will help with tech patents should be familiar with the specifications for such patents.
- Intellectual Property Theft: If an entrepreneur has seen a competitor market similar products, that business owner may have the legal recourse necessary for an infringement case. Working with patent litigation attorneys can give that business owner an idea of whether the case can be fought.
- Protection Against Future Infringements: To guard against potential infringement, it is best for business owners to secure their patents as soon as possible and work with a patent litigation lawyer. A lawyer can assist clients if they see anything suspicious come up from a competitor.
In short, the best defense in any intellectual property disagreement is an experienced attorney. This strategy can potentially keep competitors from infringing on products or content and can help safeguard against infringement in the future. Have more questions about working with an intellectual property attorney? Leave a comment below. More.