Assistance protecting copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets

Intellectual property is often a highly valuable business asset. Because of this, it is essential for companies, entrepreneurs and others to take measures to protect their copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

At McCarthy & Kroes, a highly professional and experienced lawyer assists you in developing the appropriate safeguards to protect your business from theft, misappropriation and misuse of intellectual property (IP). We can safeguard your intellectual property by:

  • Offering diligent advice and counsel on employment and business practices
  • Helping you create business policies and procedures
  • Drafting and enforcing essential contracts
  • Enforcing copyrights, patents and trademarks
  • Suing for unfair competition or trade secrets violations
  • Assigning, licensing or selling your IP for profit

How to protect your intellectual property rights

One of the best ways to protect your intellectual property rights is to develop a system of safeguards:

Nondisclosure agreements

Using nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) is one of the most common means of safeguarding trade secrets. A nondisclosure agreement, or confidentiality agreement, is a contract between parties promising to treat certain business information as a trade secret and keep it confidential. Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are used by businesses, employers and others to protect trade secrets in a variety of business situations:

  • Third parties developing or marketing products
  • Banks and investors obtaining loans or capital
  • Employees working with trade secrets

Non-compete agreements

It is possible to protect trade secrets, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property from outside use by employees and other parties you work with through the use of non-compete agreements. Our attorneys can sue for non-compete violations — such as use of proprietary business information by an employee at their new business or place of employment — to keep your trade secrets from being used and obtain compensation for your harm.

Registration and enforcement of intellectual property

When intellectual property rights are infringed, the holders of these rights may pursue business litigation to obtain such remedies as an injunction against continued infringement and damages. Depending on the type of infringement, the court may award actual damages, profits of the infringer, statutory damages, treble damages or reasonable royalties, in addition to attorney fees and other remedies.

  • Copyrights: A copyright must be registered in a timely manner with the U.S. Copyright Office before its holder can sue for infringement.
  • Patents: Patent holders have the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale or selling their invention once they have received a patent for it.
  • Trademarks: To sue, you must own a registered or unregistered, valid and legally protectable mark, and the use of the mark by others must cause a likelihood of confusion
  • Trade secrets: Businesses and individuals may sue for breach of contract, unfair business competition or misappropriation.

Contact knowledgeable attorneys for swift relief

At McCarthy & Kroes, our attorneys are devoted to helping individuals and businesses in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties protect their rights. To discuss your intellectual property needs with our experienced law firm, contact us online or call 805.564.2085 today.