When it comes to intellectual property, there are two main types of people that should hire an attorney. First, anyone who has developed new intellectual property and needs protection for it should seek the guidance of a lawyer. Second, attorneys strongly benefit anyone who already has legal protection on their intellectual property but who need it enforced. What exactly do intellectual property lawyers do to help these two types of people? Keep reading to find out.
Primarily, intellectual property lawyers help manufacturers, researchers, corporations, and entrepreneurs obtain legal protection for their intellectual property. That protection comes in three primary forms, patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Each protective measure requires an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in some cases, state offices.
Applying for trademarks, copyrights, or patents requires an extensive amount of paperwork. That paperwork is usually confusing to those who do not understand intellectual property law. Even for those with experience in patent applications, the paperwork is time-consuming. Intellectual property attorneys are professionals at dealing with copyright, trademark, and patent applications. Consequently, such lawyers know how to correctly complete and file paperwork in a timely manner.
Filing a patent, trademark, or copyright and having it approved is not enough to protect intellectual property. Even when intellectual property is legally protected, other people will try to replicate it varying degrees for their own gain. Whatís more, not all infringements on intellectual property rights are intentional. In some cases, similar ideas are produced around the same time or without knowledge of each other. In either case, having an attorney is essential to protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.
Attorneys who specialize in intellectual property law know the ins and outs far better than non-specialist attorneys. Specifically, intellectual property lawyers are more capable of determining whether or not infringement has occurred and if there is any merit to opening a court case. When going to court is the right path, intellectual property lawyers are invaluable for developing a prosecution or defense strategy.
Intellectual property attorneys are a specialized type of attorney and with good reason. There are hundreds of thousands of patents, trademarks, and copyrights currently pending in the U.S. alone. Applications for hundreds more are submitted every day, and often they wait months or even years for approval. Consequently, intellectual property law is a very specific, detailed, and confusing area of law that benefits most from intellectual property attorneys.