Georgia Licensing & Infringement Lawyer

Most companies have some type of intellectual property (IP), be it patents, trademarks, or copyrights. A Georgia licensing and infringement lawyer can help you draft agreements that set boundaries for the use of your intellectual property.

At Sparks Law, our seasoned intellectual property attorneys can also litigate disputes concerning IP infringement. Get in touch with our firm to learn more about the premium services we offer regarding the protection of your creative property.

What Are the Different Types of Intellectual Property That Can Be Licensed?

Licenses and licensing agreements grant a person or business permission to use a particular piece of intellectual property without infringing on the original owner’s rights. However, different types of licenses are required depending on whether something is trademarked, service marked, copyrighted, or patented. Each of these protections is meant for unique intellectual properties, all with distinct uses and functions.

A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, or other similar design that legally distinguishes a company that sells a product from other businesses. Service marks fulfill the same role for companies that sell services.

A copyright preserves private ownership of a unique creation like a novel or computer program. Finally, patents protect the unique method of construction for a physical product. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you prevent infringement by creating separate licensing agreements for your unique intellectual properties.

What Can a Licensing Agreement in Georgia Cover?

The terms of a licensing agreement can vary significantly depending on the type of intellectual property involved and how the licensee intends to use it. Many contracts grant the licensee the exclusive right to use trademarked, copyrighted, or patented property within a specific geographic area. Others might grant multiple licensees the right to act as subsidiaries of the property’s legal owner. Licensing contracts also typically include non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.

In exchange for your permission to use the IP, the licensee generally pays royalties to your company as a percentage of sales or a flat rate per month. You can also require the licensee to provide regular reports about their sales. A Georgia attorney can help you draft a comprehensive licensing agreement that protects your intellectual property rights. Conversely, if you are a licensee, our lawyers can review the terms of your contract to help you understand what you are and are not permitted to do with the properties.

Using Legal Agreements to Avoid IP Infringement

There are many ways an individual or entity could infringe upon someone else’s IP rights, so it is beneficial to talk to a licensing agreement lawyer about the corporate laws governing these issues. Informing yourself of relevant laws can keep you from making a simple mistake that could result in contentious litigation. Here are a few situations that could lead to an infringement dispute if not handled properly:

  • If you use photos that you do not own on your website, promotional materials, or products, you need a licensing agreement. Using those images without legal permission is infringement.
  • If your company needs to use certain intellectual property owned by another business, you will need a contract. For example, if there’s a trademark that you’d really like to use on your product that is already registered by another company, you might be able to negotiate an arrangement with them. As long as your business doesn’t compete in the same industry, other companies will often be willing to make a deal with you, wherein they grant you a limited license to use their trademark for your business.
  • Often, companies are structured in such a way as to include multiple sub-companies owned by a large umbrella company. If the sub-companies own any intellectual property that the umbrella company is using, there needs to be an agreement in place so that the larger company is not infringing on the sub-company’s rights. This becomes especially important if that sub-company has different owners or might be sold to a third party. Similarly, if the sub-company is sued for infringement and loses, a proper agreement between the sub-company and the umbrella company may indemnify the umbrella company so that the infringing use of the mark doesn’t open up the larger company to the same amount of liability.
  • Most companies use copyrighted material in some capacity, such as the music played in their restaurant or on their website. The business might even refer to other copyrighted material such as movies, artwork, or music. This use requires that a formal licensing agreement is in place.

If you think you may be in a situation that could lead to an infringement-related dispute, you should retain a lawyer a soon as possible.

How a Georgia Licensing & Infringement Attorney Can Help

Enforcing an intellectual property license does not always have to involve a court hearing. In fact, it is often in the best interests of everyone involved to resolve these matters privately and without a great deal of public attention. In many cases, a formal demand letter is sufficient to put a stop to license infringement.

Qualified legal counsel can also help facilitate a mediation session, in which a neutral third party guides everyone toward a resolution. However, if these measures fail, a Georgia licensing and infringement lawyer can provide essential guidance and support throughout the process of filing a lawsuit.