Protecting Intellectual Property
Intellectual property often begins as a mere idea or concept that is then developed further. As it grows, it can become the basis of formulas used in a particular business or products developed by a certain company. The potential of an idea can be limitless, which is why it is important to protect one’s creations soon after conceiving them. At Stok Folk + Kon, our experienced commercial litigation lawyers understand the importance of safeguarding intellectual property in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in Florida. We have helped a number of clients with issues such as trade secrets, non-compete agreements, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and more.Trade Secrets
Trade secrets generally include information like confidential client lists, sensitive marketing information, formulas, processes, unpatented inventions, and any business materials that provide a company with an advantage in its field. Trade secrets can be vital to the success of a business. Since many types of information can fit into this category, protecting them can be tricky. In general, however, material is more likely to constitute a trade secret if it is only known inside the business, is only accessible by employees or certain key individuals in the company, is considered confidential, is valuable to the business, and is not easy for those outside the company to access. It is important to take concrete steps to protect this information by identifying and documenting it, limiting its distribution, using non-disclosure agreements, and seeking the advice of counsel to fully understand your options.Non-Compete Agreements
A non-compete agreement is typically a contract between an employer and employee in which the latter agrees not to use certain information gained over the course of employment in other business opportunities for a given length of time. A non-compete clause can also include provisions under which the employee agrees to not work for rivals or solicit business from current clients. Every state has its own laws pertaining to these agreements. Under Florida law, they must meet statutory requirements that set parameters such as time frame, area, line of business, and scope. Since non-compete agreements must meet certain criteria to be enforceable, it is always best to consult an attorney who can help create or review one of these documents to ensure its validity.Trademarks
A trademark is a symbol, design, word, or combination of words legally registered or established by use as representing a company’s product. Examples often include logos, emblems, signs, monograms, stamps, and crests. Trademarks do not need to be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order to be protected, but instead can be protected under state law. Protection for registered trademarks under Florida law lasts five years from the date of registration, and it is renewable for additional five-year increments. However, it is important to note that there are both advantages and disadvantages to registering your trademark at the federal level instead of the state level.Copyrights
A copyright refers to the exclusive legal right to license, copy, print, publish, perform, or record literary, artistic, design, or musical material. An individual can copyright a work simply by placing the word “copyright” or the symbol ©, the first year of publication, and the name of the owner of the work on the document. However, in order to sue someone else for infringement, the copyright must be registered. Depending on your specific situation, it might be worthwhile to look into registering your copyright from the beginning.Legal Guidance in Fort Lauderdale for Intellectual Property Matters
If you need the services of knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys, look no further than the firm of Stok Folk + Kon. You can rest assured that we will use every tool at our disposal to help you pursue the most favorable result possible in your situation. We strongly believe that an open line of communication is the key to a successful attorney-client relationship, and we aim to keep our clients informed on every step of their legal journey. If you need the services of a reputable law firm, do not hesitate to call us today at (954) 237-1777 or contact us online for a consultation. We will assess the merits of your case and inform you of all of your legal rights and options.