Elite Lawyers
Lawyers of Distinction
Avvo Rating 10.0
The State Bar of California
NYSBA Badge
Santa Clara County Bar Association
U.S Departament of Homeland Security
U.S Court of Appeals
United States Patent and Trademark
Association of American Trial Lawyers
Elite Lawyers Business James Cai 2017

Is Your Valuable Intellectual Property Sufficiently Protected?

You may think your business’s primary assets are your building, the computer equipment you own, or perhaps a vehicle fleet. And you surely have insurance on those assets. But what about your intellectual property assets? Are you giving them due consideration and protection?

What Counts as Intellectual Property?

When you think of intellectual property (IP), what comes to mind first? For most people, they think of the research and development division and patented inventions, including proprietary algorithms, processes, and methods. But your sales and marketing departments also have IP, in the form of copyrighted documents, trademarked logos, your website domain name, and client lists.

What Protection Does Intellectual Property Need?

If someone stole all of your business’s computer equipment, you would expect your insurance company to reimburse you thousands of dollars. Think of your IP the same way. Ask yourself these questions: If a competitor got access to your proprietary process and your client list, what would that cost you in sales? If you were to sue an IP thief, how much compensation would you expect? The answers to those questions will give you an idea of how carefully you should be protecting those assets.

Here are a few examples of ways a business can go about protecting its IP:

Register Your Trademarks: Any important brand or service name should be registered as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A start-up business will typically spend thousands if not millions of dollars on advertising and promotion to build awareness of and equity in the name of the company and its primary product. Should another company start using the same or a similar name or logo to promote a product that competes with or could be confused for yours, your trademark registration will prove that you used the name/logo first.

Defend Your Domain Name: Have you ever mistyped the name of a website and found yourself on a similar site selling similar goods? That could be an example of a guerilla competitor trying to steal business from a larger, better-known brand. This practice of using a domain name that is very similar to a trademarked or personal name is called cybersquatting.

If your business does a large percentage of its sales through your website, there are a variety of ways to protect your domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) offers a dispute resolution process, although it does not provide for monetary compensation for any losses incurred.

You can also sue an offending competitor under the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999, which allows the original domain name owner to recover up to three times their actual damages.

A third strategy is to take over similar domain names and redirect them to your “real” website. For example, if you enter the URL “CraigList.com” into a browser, you will automatically be redirected to the true CraigsList.org site.

Protect Your Patents. If you operate a high-tech business out of Silicon Valley, you know how valuable patents are. The long-term profitability of your company may well hinge on your being the first to file a patent on a significant new product or process. It is also important to act quickly against anyone who infringes on one of your patents.

Secure Your Secrets. Trade secrets include any information not generally known outside your company that gives you an economic advantage in the marketplace. Most companies have an employee handbook that sets out policies for protecting your confidential business data and require their employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Consult an Experienced San Jose Intellectual Property Lawyer

Does your business need to secure or defend trademarks, patents, and other forms of IP? An experienced Silicon Valley intellectual property attorney can help. Call SAC Attorneys LLP at (408) 436-0789 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
★★★★★
I Am Truly Impressed. After spending a significant amount of time, money and efforts with my previous counsel at a larger law firm without getting meaningful results, I transferred my employment matter to SAC Attorneys LLP. The attorneys there were able to understand the complex situations of my case and put together an aggressive litigation strategy. We were able to file a compelling complaint within a week and forced the opposing party, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in California, to make a substantial settlement offer shortly thereafter. I am truly impressed by the no nonsense and results oriented approach by SAC Attorneys LLP attorneys. A job well done! X. Gao
★★★★★
They Took Time to Understand Our Technology. I am the founder of a bioinformatics start-up in the Silicon Valley and chose SAC Attorneys LLP as our corporate counsels. Their attorneys have great experience with high tech start-ups and were able to offer a highly competitive service plan while not sacrificing a bit of their quality of services. They took time to understand our technology and provided value added services by introducing investors and job candidates to us. We regard our attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP not only as our legal advisors but also our venture partners. Dr. Pete S.