San Ramon Intellectual Property Lawyer
The Bay Area is known for its innovation and forward thinking. San Ramon, a city in the East Bay that is home to many businesses, including start-ups and technology companies, is no exception. Since we live in an Information Age, the expression of ideas and various kinds of information have great commercial value to their owners. In order to help protect intangible intellectual property rights and ensure their maximum return, local business owners should consult with an experienced San Ramon intellectual property attorney.
James G. Schwartz represents small and mid-sized businesses to help them establish, enforce, and trade on their intellectual property rights. These types of intangible rights must often be guarded and handled with vigilance to avoid infringement and the subsequent diminishment of their value in the marketplace.Why Retain an Intellectual Property Lawyer?
Intellectual property is a sophisticated area of law with which most lawyers are not familiar. The kinds of intellectual property matters with which Jim Schwartz is familiar include trade secrets, trademarks, copyright, confidentiality agreements, and technology licensing. These topics do not appear on the California Bar Exam and not all business attorneys have experience handling these types of cases. If intellectual property is a vital aspect of your business, it is important to retain an attorney that understands not only the rights involved, but also how they fit into the bigger picture of your business.
For example, trade secrets, which constitute a large percentage of the intellectual property work we do, encompass the area of intellectual property that may be most sensitive, and which overlaps the most with the larger interests of your business. Trade secrets are defined as those pieces of information that are valuable to your business, and that would be valuable to a competitor if disclosed. One example is Google’s search algorithm. Another could be a recipe, such as those for Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies. While these are high profile trade secrets, many small businesses run on the basis of proprietary information, too, from a unique fertilizer formula to source code in a software program.
If you do not take affirmative steps to protect and maintain the confidentiality of your trade secrets, the courts will not protect them, and you may lose an important aspect of your business. Accordingly, it is critical to retain an attorney who can help you formulate the trade secret in documents designed to protect them from theft. Similarly, if you derive value from the goodwill associated with your name or logo, you may need to protect these with trademarks.
The difficulty with protecting intellectual property is that it is intangible, and sometimes must be shared with employees and collaborators in order to keep a business running. As a result, intellectual property is harder to protect than physical items that can be locked away. An experienced San Ramon intellectual property lawyer can help you identify which aspects of your business are valuable in this regard, and take steps or draft documents to ensure that they continue to retain their value. As a small law firm, we bring personal attention and close communication into all of our client relationships. This allows us to more quickly figure out what your intellectual property rights and interests may be, and how they fit into your larger business interests. Contact our firm at 925-463-1073 or via our online contact form.