The law firm of James David Johnson, P.A., advises and represents clients in intellectual property matters, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, design protection, trade secrets, and licensing, as well as in corporate law matters. Our team of experienced attorneys and other professional staff also advises and assists clients in commercial litigation, including intellectual property litigation related to infringement issues, and in domain name dispute resolution proceedings. Other areas of law in which we advise our clients include patent and trademark searches and opinions, design protection, and trade dress protection. We also work with our network of foreign law firm associates to secure protection for our clients’ intellectual property internationally. Please contact us today for a free telephone consultation.
While we maintain normal business hours like most businesses, we take pride in being able to make ourselves available to answer our client’s questions after normal business hours and on weekends. We endeavor to return calls and to respond to e-mails within one business day. Unlike most law firms, we are also pleased to offer house calls to our client’s offices for meeting to discuss their legal issues. We understand that your time is valuable and make every effort to provide our services in a manner that is most convenient and with the least disruption to you and your business.
A patent is a grant of property rights to an invention or to an improvement to an existing invention. In the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examines patent applications and grants patents for inventions determined to be patentable. A utility patent may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement of any of the foregoing. Utility patents are granted for a term which begins with the date of the grant and usually ends 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. A design patent is granted for the invention of a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Design patents are granted for a term that ends 14 years after the date on which the design patent is granted. Patent and design protection for inventions and designs is also available in foreign countries.
A trademark is a commercial symbol such as any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination of the foregoing, which is used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. Whereas trademarks are used in reference to goods, service marks are used in commerce to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. Both trademarks and service marks are often simply called “trademarks” or “marks.” A trademark may be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain certain statutory rights in addition to common law rights established through continuous use of a mark. With the payment of renewal fees, trademark registrations are perpetual and do not expire. Trademark and service mark registration and protection is also available in foreign countries.
A copyright is a grant of rights for original works of authorship, i.e., creative works such as literary, artistic, and musical works. Copyright protection may be obtained for both published and unpublished works. In addition to literary, artistic and musical works, other examples of creative works that may be protected by copyright include product labels, websites, advertising and promotional literature, instruction manuals, software code, and graphic designs, photographs, and other artwork used in the advertisement, promotion, and packaging of a product. In general, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. With respect to works made for hire, copyright protection lasts for a term of 95 years from the date of the work’s first publication or for a term of 120 years from the date of the work’s creation, whichever expires first. The U.S. Copyright Office examines copyright applications and issues registrations for copyrights in the United States. U.S. copyright protection extends to most, but not all, foreign countries.