Intellectual Property Law

Assisting clients (both businesses and individuals) in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Monroe County (Key Largo to Key West) throughout the State of Florida in matters related to the procurement of, protection of, and/or commercial exploitation of, intellectual property from patents to trade secrets

The United States Constitution, along with various federal and, in some cases state statutes, provide the legal framework through which the innovator/creator can obtain legal rights to use the protected IP as he/she sees fit. These legal rights are often referred to as a bundle of rights and allow the owner of the legal rights to reap financial benefits from the intellectual property (e.g., through the commercialization of a patented invention, either directly by the owner or through the efforts of a licensee), and/or are commence legal action to prevent the unauthorized usage of the protected intellectual property.

 

The public policy behind the governmental grant of intellectual property rights is to “encourage” individuals and companies to innovate and create with the knowledge that they will have a legally defined period of time to try and benefit financially from the fruits of their labor.  In other words, individuals, companies, and/or investors would presumably be far less inclined to invest monies in R&D, new ventures, new start-up companies, etc. if they had no way to secure a “time-based” monopoly during which time they alone would be able to financially benefit from the IP.

Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property rights protection has historically been associated with economic growth, new jobs, etc. This assertion is borne out by the fact that job growth has been touted as one of the expected benefits of the America Invents Act signed into law by President Obama in September 2011.

The four types of available intellectual property protection are: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and/or copyrights can be extremely valuable business assets. Even a small business which takes the time to “groom” its intellectual property can reap benefits through increased sales and staying power.

Copyrights and patents are governed exclusively by the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, while both federal and state laws – including some aspects of unfair competition statutes – deal with trademarks. Trade secrets are generally protected under state statutory law. Florida’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act is articulated in Fla. Stat. 688.

Copyright Registration and Patent & Trademark Applications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the agency responsible for evaluating patent applications and trademark applications to determine if the grant of patent rights or registration of the trademark is warranted.

The United States Copyright Office handles matters related to federal copyright registration.

Intellectual Property Infringement or Misappropriation Lawsuit

Intellectual property law attorneys may provide services ranging from the procurement of intellectual property protection (e.g., by prosecuting trademark and/or patent applications before the USPTO), to litigation involving intellectual property infringement or misappropriation.  Not all intellectual property attorneys are also patent attorneys. Only patent attorneys can prosecute patent applications before the USPTO, although the USPTO will also evaluate pro se applications. Patent attorneys must have a degree in science (chemistry or biology) or engineering, pass the patent bar exam administered by the USPTO, and be a member in good standing of any state bar. Our intellectual property attorney is a member of the U.S. patent bar and Florida bar with a scientific background in the life sciences and chemistry.

It is axiomatic that intellectual property law overlaps with business law because a business’ bread and butter may well involve valuable IP. For start-ups, IP may be their only major asset. That is, intellectual property law should not be viewed in a vacuum as a separate and distinct area of the law. The attorneys at Troy & Schwartz understand that the procurement of IP rights protection may well be a critical part of a business’ strategic growth plan. We work closely with our clients to obtain appropriate intellectual property rights protection ranging from patent protection to trade secret protection. We draft and/or negotiate licensing contracts on behalf of our clients, taking into account the complexity of the associated IP and the associated product development milestones and risks. We represent our clients in matters involving IP infringement. We work with our clients to develop policies for ensuring that IP developed by an employee or independent contractor will belong to the business-client.  We advise potential investors in a start-up company as to both legal IP issues/risks and product development issues/risks.

We are able to provide diverse services in the area of intellectual property law because our intellectual property and business law attorney has extensive experience with major U.S. companies in actually developing complex medical products and biotechnology products from concept through market release. This unique product development background, coupled with her legal skills, allows her to communicate with everyone from inventors/scientists, to company officers and investors considering securing and commercializing valuable intellectual property rights.

Indeed, the successful conversion of IP to a commercially successful product often involves the ability of decision makers to make difficult business decisions based on a number of factors including potential legal ramifications and product development risks.

If you have any concerns related to intellectual property (IP) rights procurement/protection and/or IP commercialization, call us at (305) 279-4740 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.