Tacoma Intellectual Property Lawyer

Intellectual Property Lawyer Tacoma, WA

Intellectual Property Lawyer Tacoma, WA In the digital age, as an intellectual property lawyer Tacoma, WA residents trust from Sierra IP Law, PC has seen before, the internet has complicated people's understanding of intellectual property rules. While many of the regulations surrounding copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property remain the same, many myths need to be debunked. Here are two of the most common myths regarding the public domain and the internet.

Work Without a Copyright Is Public Domain

Many people believe that if the person does not sign the work or does not register the work with the Library of Congress, there is no copyright. The truth is that there is no public domain. The public domain refers to works with lapsed copyrights or works that the author chose not to assert copyright on it. If you are an artist, you have the right to your work as soon as you create something. If you sign the work or register it, this will help you enforce your rights, but it does not mean that you do not have rights if you do none of these things.

Small Percentages Can Be Used Without Permission

There is a common misconception that if you only use a small amount of a published work, you will not commit copyright infringement. As a Tacoma intellectual property lawyer knows, this is not necessarily the case. Copyright depends on how expressive a work is. For example, if you were to copy the instructions on a bottle of soap, you probably wouldn't be in trouble for copyright infringement. After all, most soap bottles have the same instructions and it's hard to include variation in the steps. This means that using 80% of the instructions is not copyright infringement. However, if you only use one line out of a poem someone else wrote, this can be copyright infringement. In this case, no matter how short it is, it is also expressive. If you take a few words, you could take the most expressive aspect of the work. So, in this case, even 2% of the work could be looked at as copyright infringement. If you are a creator, you should speak with our Tacoma lawyer intellectual property about your work rights. This is particularly important if you plan to post your work on the internet. If you're aware of someone using your work for personal or financial gain, you may have a case against him or her. Likewise, if you want to use someone's work, it is best to talk with a lawyer before assuming that you can. For clarity and guidance on all things intellectual property, consider setting up your consultation with a member of our team at Sierra IP Law, PC today!

Intellectual Property Lawyer Tacoma, WA

People can own copyright to various goods and services, and when they feel it is infringed upon, it may be beneficial to contact an intellectual property lawyer Tacoma, WA residents trust to provide an exceptional level of service. At Sierra IP Law, PC  we specialize in helping those who are facing intellectual property disputes. Now, while there are many examples of owned property, video games and copyright, these are good examples. Those who make a franchise own the material and right to that property. For example; when it comes to intellectual property, a company such as Capcom, owns the rights to Mega Man and could shut down a fan game based on the existing property, at any time. Moreover, the same goes for Nintendo as well, because using property without permission is a breach of fair use.

Intellectual Property Dispute Examples

For example; there have been many times where fan games have been shut down, due to intellectual property issues that have come forth, and the company issuing a cease and desist letter.  For example; in 2016, Nintendo ended up shutting down a Metroid fan game that had been in development for years. However, Nintendo has also shut down other projects based on their intellectual property, such as Mario, Pokemon, and more. These are examples of  situations, where intellectual property is trying to be protected by the company, and in this case, Nintendo. Moreover, assistance from an intellectual property lawyer in Tacoma, WA would be a must, if an agreement to comply was not reached.

Legal Support for Copyright Infringement

For example; if the creators of said fan games, such as the Metroid one, Pokemon, Mario, and more,  decided to ignore the cease and desist letters, legal action would be taken against them, because they are ignoring the breach of copyright infringement.  Moreover, gaming companies aside, movie owners have also been known to sue to fair use aspects, as well as those who make music videos, those who own the copyright to movies, and more. An example of this was when the wife of Dr. Suess was so disappointed with The Cat in the Hat 2003 movie, that she put a block on the intellectual property of Dr Suess having any more live action sequels in the future. This is an example.  If someone feels like intellectual property aspects they own are being infringed upon, contacting an intellectual property lawyer in Tacoma, WA, is one of the best ways to begin exploration of legal options. What an intellectual property lawyer would focus on, is assessing the case in depth, through a case by case basis, since not everything is black and white.

Tacoma Intellectual Property Law Infographic

Types of Intellectual Property Cases

If you’re considering hiring a Tacoma, WA intellectual property lawyer, it’s important to understand the different types of cases they handle. Intellectual property law is complex and encompasses a variety of issues, such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Learn about the most common types of intellectual property cases that an attorney may handle. With this information, you can be better informed, and you can contact a lawyer at Sierra IP Law, PC.

Patent Infringement

Patent infringement is a serious legal issue that involves the unauthorized use or sale of an invention that is protected by a patent. A patent grants the inventor exclusive rights to their invention and any violation of these rights constitutes as infringement. For example, if someone manufactures, uses, sells, or imports a product or process without permission from the patent holder, they are infringing on their patent rights.

Trade Secret Misappropriation

Trade secrets can include proprietary information, such as formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, techniques, processes, or methods, that give a business an advantage over its competitors. A Tacoma intellectual property lawyer can help protect a business’s trade secrets from unauthorized use or disclosure.  When trade secret misappropriation occurs, an IP lawyer can help the company pursue civil remedies, including injunctive relief (a court order preventing further dissemination of the trade secret) and damages for the harm suffered by the owner of the trade secret. In some cases, a trade secret misappropriation case may also involve criminal charges.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses or copies another person’s creative work without permission. This includes using someone else’s text, music, images, videos, or other creative works without authorization. Under the Copyright Act of 1976, it is illegal to reproduce, distribute, or display someone else’s copyrighted work without their permission. If a copyright owner believes that someone has infringed upon their copyright, they may seek damages in court.

Trademark Infringement

Trademark infringement occurs when a person or company uses an identical or confusingly similar mark in commerce to sell their goods and services. Trademark law is designed to protect consumers by ensuring that they are not misled into buying a product or service that they think is from the original source, when it actually isn’t. An attorney can help a business protect its trademarks from infringement by filing for trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A trademark attorney can also review products and services for possible trademark infringement issues and take action against another party if necessary.

False Advertising

False advertising, also known as deceptive advertising, is an actionable offense under both federal and state laws. False advertising can come in a variety of forms, including false or misleading claims about a product’s features, benefits, uses, or performance. It can also involve the failure to disclose material information about a product or service that could affect a consumer’s decision to purchase it. False advertising cases can be complex and involve a range of issues, such as copyright infringement and trademark infringement. In addition to filing a lawsuit, an intellectual property lawyer can help the affected party seek injunctive relief and monetary damages. Furthermore, they may be able to negotiate with the offending party to reach a settlement agreement without involving the court system. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may also be possible to get a corrective advertising order from the court which requires the advertiser to take steps to correct any false statements they have made. If you need help from a Tacoma intellectual property lawyer, contact one today at Sierra IP Law, PC for help.

Copyright FAQs

As a Tacoma, WA intellectual property lawyer can explain, copyright law is an extremely complicated area of law. A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives the creator of the property, or the owner of the copyright, the sole right to distribute the material. However, copyrights are limited by the exceptions and limitations to copyright law. The following are some frequently asked questions the legal team at Sierra IP Law, PC hears.

What is a copyright?

 Copyrights are how the United States protects the original works of people that are in a tangible medium of expression. Therefore, while a book or a movie can have a copyright, an idea cannot. Work is protected by copyright when it becomes fixed in a tangible form. You do not need to register your work in order to be protected by copyright, but there are several reasons you may want to. For example, you need to register your work in order to sue someone else for copyright infringement. Also, registration that occurs within five years of publication is considered prima facie evidence of owning the copyright in a court of law. A Tacoma intellectual property lawyer knows that copyrights are different from patents or trademarks in that copyrights protect music, movies, books, and other kinds of tangible mediums of expression, and patents protect discoveries and inventions. Trademarks are used for phrases, symbols, designs, and logos.

How long do copyrights last?

A copyright for a work published after 1977 lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. Things in between have different rules depending on the year it was published. 

How do I register a copyright?

 If you want the formal protection of registering your copyright, or you want to file a suit against another person for copyright infringement, you will need to go through the copyright registration process. There are specific forms that you need to fill out in order to copyright your work and you also must include a copy of the work you want to copyright. You can copyright both published and unpublished material.

Can I use someone else’s copyrighted work?

If you want to use the work of someone else that is under copyright, there are some ways that this can be done. One way is to contact the owner of the copyright and request permission to use the work. The copyright office can search for the owner of a particular copyright. Another way to permissibly use the work of someone else is through the “fair use” exception. Fair use means that the user is using the work in a way that is generally beneficial, such as a scholar quoting an author.

Do I need a lawyer to copyright my work?

Although there is no legal requirement that an attorney is needed for copyright registration, this process is a complex one, with potential pitfalls, that can have a significant impact on whether your copyright is accepted. A Tacoma intellectual property lawyer from Sierra IP Law, PC can provide the legal experience and knowledge needed to protect your intellectual property. Call our office today.

Why You Should Hire an Intellectual Property Lawyer for Patent Registration

If you have an invention that you want to protect, it is important to consult an intellectual property lawyer Tacoma, WA residents trust as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can help you apply for a patent. Here are a few good reasons to hire this legal professional.
  • Extensive knowledge of intellectual property law. Intellectual property law is very complex, so it may be difficult for the average person to understand. If you don’t have a deep understanding of intellectual property law, applying for a patent can be tricky. You could make errors in the application and receive a rejection. That’s why you should have an intellectual property lawyer on your side. He or she will possess extensive knowledge about intellectual property law and help you get through the patent process successfully. 
  • Ability to file patents early. In order to make sure that your invention is protected, you should file your patent as soon as possible. However, you may be busy with your business or other matters. Filing a patent can take a while, especially if you do not have knowledge of intellectual property law. This is another good reason to work with an experienced lawyer. He or she can file your patent early, increasing your chances of success.
  • Legal advice. As mentioned above, intellectual property law is complicated. A Tacoma intellectual property lawyer can provide you with valuable legal advice. For example, your lawyer can advise on what type of patent to obtain, non-disclosure agreements and timing requirements.
  • Patent protection. In the unfortunate event that your initial patent application gets rejected, you will want an intellectual property lawyer on your side. You will have to make certain changes to your patent claim, and a lawyer can help you with this. Furthermore, if infringement actions are brought against you during the process, an intellectual property lawyer can help you get through them and protect your legal rights.
  • Peace of mind. Filing a patent application can be very nerve-wracking. You are proud of your invention, but are not sure if your patent application will get rejected or not. That is another good reason to work with a skilled intellectual property lawyer. He or she will help you file your patent application accurately and in a timely manner. An experienced lawyer can increase your chances of getting your patent application approved, which can give you a peace of mind.
  • Filing in foreign countries. While there is not a single international patent that can provide worldwide protection for your invention, you can file to get patent protection in certain foreign countries. As you can probably imagine, this is a complicated process and not something you should go through on your own. Therefore, it is wise to hire an intellectual property lawyer. He or she can help you properly file patents in foreign countries.

Legal Guidance is Available

In other words, because not every case is the same, each one needs to be handled and assessed, in an efficient and effective manner. For example; a case that focuses on a video game property aspect, would revolve around questions, pertaining to aspects that break the intellectual property law and whether the cease and desist letter then came about, was ignored. More importantly, a legal business should have different types of cases that are worked on,  so that a study client base can be established. For example; Sierra IP Law, PC, has core focuses on digital privacy laws, privacy acts, intellectual use, and more. This kind of work aids in creating a strong variety of clients.
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    Client Review

    "Partnering with Mark Miller at Sierra IP Law is one of the smartest choices I could have made in the world of bringing a new invention to market. He is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and professional. I could never have conceived of the areas he has advised me on and covered in attempting to write a patent on my own. He and his team have not only insured that my Intellectual Property Rights are well protected, but they have advised and recommended additional protections that I could not have thought of otherwise. I highly recommend Sierra IP Law to anyone looking for a strong and trustworthy legal partner."
    Fraser M.
    Client Review

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