Intellectual Property Law
Brown, Paindiris & Scott has the unique ability to offer our clients legal services related to the growing area of intellectual property law. Our attorneys are well versed in both the federal and state laws of copyright, trademark, trade secrets, licensing, non-competition, internet and domain name law.
Intellectual property comes in all different forms. The name that you do business under may be considered a trademark; your unique and catchy slogan may be considered a service mark. You may even be able add to your income stream by licensing your intellectual property. It is important that any brochures and website design and copy are copyrighted. In the event you wish to sell your business, it is likely your IP will be included in the sale, and the more protected it is, the more value it will add to your business.
A “copyright” is actually a set of multiple rights given to authors and creators of original works. These rights include the right to copy the work, to create a “derivative” or “spin-off” works, to perform the work publicly, to display the work publicly, and to digitally transmit the work. Registering your creative works with the US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/) ensures that the world is on notice as to your ownership of the work; it also provides you with statutory remedies in the event someone were to unlawfully use your work.
A trademark is a symbol or mark used by a person, business or other entity to indicate the source of a product or service and to distinguish that product or service. When you see a big yellow M on the side of the road, you know a McDonald’s restaurant is nearby. When you see a “swoosh” in the pages of a magazine, you know that Nike placed the advertisement.
Trademarks are governed by both state and federal law. Registering your trademark is one of the most important decisions a business can make. By federally registering your trademark, you not only put the world on notice of your ownership of the mark, but you also are eligible to take advantage of the statutory remedies available in the event an individual or entity wrongfully uses your trademark. (http://www.uspto.gov/)
A trade secret is confidential information not generally known or reasonably ascertainable; it is a piece of information that gives your business an economic advantage over competitors in the marketplace. A trade secret can be a formula, a pattern, a process or a compilation of information not known by your competitors. For example, your customer list may be a valuable trade secret to your company. It is important to take steps to protect these pieces of valuable information. The intellectual property attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can assist you in protecting these valuable business assets.
Giving a license to someone else to use your intellectual property can be a great stream of income for businesses in Connecticut. Whether you want to license your name, your recipes, written content, formulas, customer lists or your training methods, the Connecticut intellectual property attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can help you formulate agreements to maximize the use of your company’s intellectual property and intangible assets.
Internet and Domain Name Law
Anyone with a working knowledge of the internet has the ability to register an unlimited amount of domain names, and often times those domain names infringe upon another’s trademark. Disputes often arise when a company attempts to register a website domain name only to find that someone else has already taken it. The registrant may or may not be using the domain name in an infringing or inappropriate manner. If you find yourself in such a situation, the internet and domain name attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can assist you in finding a resolution to the dispute.
NON-COMPETITION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Businesses must always be aware of their intangible assets, even if they don’t own any patents, copyrights or trademarks. In many fields and industries, the information and skills shared with employees can be an important asset to the company. Employers may find it beneficial to prevent their employees from taking what they learned on the job and using it to open a competing business. These non-compete agreements need to be fair and reasonable in order to be enforceable, and the Connecticut intellectual property attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can help employers draft non-compete agreements that stick. Our attorneys can also advise employees as to what their rights are when faced with non-compete agreements from their employer.
Additionally, confidential information is often learned by employees while on the job. It’s important for employers to take steps to keep that information confidential while the employee is employed as well as after they leave. Again, these agreements must be fair and reasonable in order to be enforceable. The Connecticut intellectual property attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can assist employers in drafting these confidentiality agreements. Our attorneys can also advise employees as to what their rights are when faced with confidentiality agreements from their employer.
With its strategic location between New York and Boston, Connecticut is a hot spot for up and coming musicians, writers, and other creative artists. Connecticut has churned out some of the nation’s most successful creative artists, including P.T. Barnum, Katharine Hepburn, John Mayer, Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame, and of course, American Idol contestant, Katie Stevens. The Connecticut entertainment lawyers at attorneys at Brown, Paindiris & Scott can assist in the following areas:
- Copyrighting song lyrics and music
- Copyrighting treatments, novels, screenplays, other original works of authorship
- Negotiating contracts including
- recording contracts
- publishing contracts
- management and agent contracts
- song placement contracts
- merchandising and product placement contracts
- employment contracts