Under the Copyright Act of 1976 there are exclusive rights provided to the owner of a copyright. The owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to the following: To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer... Read More →
Minneapolis Intellectual Property Attorneys
Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley‘s attorneys have been representing clients in the area of intellectual property for years. The most common forms of intellectual property involve:
- trade secrets
- internet domain names
- licensing issues
Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley has represented clients with both proactive and reactive efforts. Our attorneys represent individuals and businesses from the start of new ventures or projects to prevent violations of intellectual property laws. Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley‘s attorneys represent clients in identifying, acquiring, and protecting their intellectual property. Our attorneys also represent individuals and businesses in litigation once there has been a violation, or an alleged violation, of an intellectual property law.
Important considerations in protecting yourself or your business
Contracts to protect your intellectual property
Contracts, confidentiality agreements, and non-disclosure agreements drafted by experienced attorneys will help protect your intellectual property before it is disclosed to others, such as employees. Non-competition agreements may also be useful in this area.
Licensing of the use of your intellectual property
You may wish to license another person or entity to use your intellectual property. An experienced attorney will help protect your rights by drafting a thorough licensing agreement.
Before acquiring a trademark a search must be conducted to determine whether that trademark is already in use. Experienced attorneys can guide you through this process.
Trademark and copyright registration
Registration of trademarks and copyrights is not necessary but experienced attorneys will show you the benefits of registration and register trademarks and copyrights on your behalf.
Negotiating potential violations
When someone believes a violation of an intellectual property law has occurred, or may have violated such a law himself or herself, often the person does not want to engage in extensive litigation over the matter. Our attorneys are experienced negotiators and help intellectual property clients negotiate their claims or defenses in order to achieve positive results. Often clients want to explore the option of settling violations before proceeding through litigation.
Mediating or arbitrating potential violations
When parties want to explore settlement or other results short of trial, but are unable to resolve the matter themselves or through their attorneys, often they will seek mediation or arbitration. Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley‘s attorneys are experienced in mediation and arbitration and help clients obtain the results they seek through these processes when clients wish to explore alternatives other than trials.
Determining violations and litigating claims and defenses
Once there has been a potential violation of an intellectual property law and settlement negotiations are either undesirable or unproductive, litigation often ensues. The attorneys of Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley are also experienced litigators and will initiate lawsuits, conduct discovery, litigate motions, and represent clients in trial after there has been a potential violation of an intellectual property law.
The Story of Southern California Darts Association On August 11, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in which the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho Washington and Montana are subject, held that unincorporated associations have the legal capacity and right to own trademarks and to sue infringers to enforce them. The... Read More →
In trademark law, "likelihood of confusion" is the primary legal standard for trademark infringement. A recent decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals nicely articulates the black letter law behind the "likelihood of confusion" standard: To show trademark infringement, a plaintiff must establish ownership of a trademark and a likelihood of consumer confusion. AMF, Inc.... Read More →
The general rule is that a work’s creator initially owns the copyright of the work created. But there are exceptions to this rule. Some of the exceptions to this rule are: Work created by an employee in the scope of their employment. The work created is owned by the employer. If an independent contractor creates... Read More →
A parody is defined as “an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.” Common sense reveals that most authors of protected work would not freely license their work to be parodied. Therefore, most parody authors must rely on the defense of "fair use." A defense... Read More →
After a plaintiff has been able to prove copyright infringement a defendant can allege a number of defenses, including fair use. A defense of fair use is not alleging that an infringement did not occur, but rather that the infringement is excusable. The defense of fair use allows courts some flexibility to assess matters on... Read More →
Copyright law provides authors rights for their works. The authority that gives Congress authors exclusive rights to their work comes from the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, known as the “copyright clause” empowers the United States Congress to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors... Read More →
You have a great idea for something at work—something that would save the company a lot of money. You bring it to the head of the company who loves the idea and implements it. But, the company refuses to compensate you for it. Or, you have an idea for an advertising slogan for a certain... Read More →
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a trade secret is “any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge…[and] can encompass manufacturing or industrial secrets in commercial secrets.” Minnesota has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and has codified it as Minnesota Statutes Chapter 325C. Under the Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act... Read More →
The Paris Convention applies to patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications, the repression of unfair competition and was signed in Paris, France on March 20, 1883. In essence, it ensures that each member nation tax citizens of the other member nations against unfair competition. The Paris Convention centers around... Read More →
Remedies for trademark infringement can include a number of things including lost profits, damages and even attorneys’ fees. Injunctions are usually seen as a standard remedy in trademark infringement case and are regularly granted. A court’s injunctive relief could include an injunction against use of the mark, field of use restrictions (the defendant is prohibited... Read More →
There can be instances where one can use the trademark of another and that use will be classified as “fair use.” Usually, marks have two meanings, a trademark meaning and an independent or surname descriptive meaning. It is important to note that under trademark law only the trademark meaning is given protection. In other words... Read More →
Every once in a while the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office is faced with an application that could potentially be deemed “scandalous or immoral.” Denial of marks that are scandalous comes from Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which states, No trademark by which the goods of applicant may be distinguished from the goods... Read More →
Under the Lanham Act, the term “trademark” includes, [A]ny word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof— used by a person, or which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this chapter, to identify and distinguish his or her goods,... Read More →
The notion of fair use is something that every person or party with a trademark or copyright should be aware of. While having a trademark and a copyright exists to provide protection so the person who owns that trademark or copyright can protect it, there are instances where a third party may use the trademark... Read More →
The short answer is “yes.” Recently, the Washington Redskins were notified that their trademark has been canceled by the U.S. Patent Office. In a rare ruling from the U.S. Patent Office it canceled six different trademarks containing the word “Redskin” because the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote in a 2-1 decision “that these... Read More →
If you are like most companies in the Information Age, your confidential information is critical to your competitive advantage.
What is Your Company's Confidential Information? Each company has its own confidential information, often called "trade secrets." For you, this might be client data, prospect databases, client files, formulas, recipes, or processes that give you an advantage over your competitors.
I was recently asked this question: Question: Is it worth hiring an attorney to do a trademark registration, or should I save money and try to do it myself? There are a lot of legal tasks you might want to do yourself to save money, but this is not one of them. Trademark registration is... Read More →
Introduction to Trademarks and the Internet Trademark rights are effectively regional in nature. That is, one can only assert his or her rights against another using a same or similar trademark (or “mark”) likely to cause consumer confusion. Traditionally, consumer confusion resulted from mor e than one company using similar marks within the same geographical... Read More →
A person obtains a trademark by being the first to use it in commerce on a good or service. It must be something that may be validly trademarked. Descriptive marks and generic marks generally may not be trademarked. Obtaining a trademark gives a person exclusive use of that mark. A trademark need not be registered,... Read More →