Our legal system protects your person, property, and business. It also protects artistic work that you or your company create, whether those creations are technological advances, hit songs, potential Broadway plays, or inventions that could change the world.
If you want to apply for a patent or register a trademark, or if someone is infringing on a patent you already own, speak with an Alpharetta intellectual property lawyer. At Sparks Law, our skilled attorneys can help you safeguard your work and unique creations.
Intellectual property protects the results of mental labor through patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Within these multiple areas, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants patents and trademarks, while the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress registers copyrights. A patent attorney at our Alpharetta office could look over your project and help determine the appropriate category.
Patents are granted to inventors for up to twenty years to prevent someone else from making, using, or selling an identical item. Inventors can also transfer their patent rights or produce the item to corner the market for profit. Patents are denied if the product turns out to be morally offensive, useless, or non-unique.
The three types of patents are for utility, design, and plant. Utility patents protect items with specific functions, such as machines for a specific use. Design patents protect an item’s appearance after its production, and plant patents protect asexually reproduced plants.
As long as ideas are captured, they are protected by copyright laws. For instance, an unpublished book of poems would be automatically copyrighted, as would any form of expressive art like songs, book manuscripts, and movies. Copyright owners can display or perform their work or give permission for others to reproduce it. Copyrights are usually valid during the owner’s lifetime, plus an additional seventy years. Even without a copyright notice or proof of registration, works are protected.
Trademarks identify competitive brands from each other in unique names, slogans, or designed logos. Trademarks are protected to different degrees depending on how aware the public is of the mark and the type of service it identifies. Trademarks can offer indefinite protection and can be registered to avoid duplication and confusion among consumers.
The laws governing intellectual property are complicated, and an experienced lawyer should handle filing the registrations and any other paperwork protecting ideas and artistic expressions. Other than patents, copyrights, and trademarks, the skilled lawyers at Sparks Law can provide assistance in the following areas:
For ultimate protection, inventors and artists should register their work and publicize their patent numbers on products or use the TM or copyright mark to warn competitors. To properly register and publicize the status of a product, consult an experienced intellectual property attorney at our firm.
Intellectual property laws were strengthened by the signing in 1994 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The acquiescing countries approved more robust intellectual property protection, with guidance from the World Trade Organization (WTO). GATT introduced international criminal penalties for those who counterfeit or pirate trademarked or copyrighted goods. For example, movies cannot be copied and sold for profit, and designer handbags cannot be reproduced for economic gain. Our knowledgeable local attorneys can further explain these aspects of intellectual property laws.
The world benefits from new ideas and inventions that make life easier or more enjoyable. If you have a great invention, trademark, song, or book, you may wish to share your discovery without it being copied or stolen.
Speaking with an Alpharetta intellectual property lawyer at Sparks Law can help you achieve this goal and protect your hard work. If you have a unique creative endeavor you want to protect, or if your work has been illegally copied, call our office today. We are ready to assist you.