Intellectual Property law is a body of laws that governs all the relevant aspects (i.e. ownership, registration, protection, licensing, assignment, lifespan, etc.) of IP rights.
Intellectual Property law deals with laws to protect and enforce rights of the creators and owners of inventions, writing, music, designs and other works, known as the “intellectual property.” There are several areas of intellectual property including copyright, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.
WHAT DO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYERS DO?
The three broadest segments of an intellectual property practice are counseling, protecting and enforcing. Client counseling centers around how best to protect the intellectual property that the client has or would like to develop. In trademark law, the lawyer will conduct searches on trademarks proposed by the client and counsel the client with respect to availability. In cases where a client has already invested time, energy and money, and a prior use in a similar industry is found, discussions with a client might include modifying or even abandoning the client’s mark. In the case of patent counseling, the lawyer must have a technical background in order to best understand the client’s patent and to assess its validity or likelihood of patent infringement.
Protection of intellectual property involves registering the trademark, patent or copyright to obtain the greatest rights available for the client’s asset. In the case of a trademark or patent, the process involves preparing and filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and responding to actions issues by the PTO until the trademark is registered or patent issues.
Finally, enforcement of intellectual property involves protecting the owner of the intellectual property against infringing uses. This can lead to litigation in federal court.
Other components of practice may include licensing, due diligence in connection with mergers or acquisitions, and developing strategies for international and domestic intellectual property protection, Skills that are helpful for lawyers in the IP area are communication skills-both written and oral, negotiation skills, and business acumen. Intellectual property law frequently has domestic and international considerations.