IP Practice Areas
The field of Intellectual Property Law extends to the traditional areas of patents, trademarks and copyrights, where rights are registered with and granted by government agencies in their effort to advance science and the useful arts, and to protect investment in names, symbols and other representations used to identify products and services in the marketplace.
The patent area, involving the protection of inventions, conventionally is subdivided by technology, including biotechnology, chemistry, electronics and computers and even e-commerce, Internet and other emerging technologies, such as nano-technology. Practice in this area is often distinguished between prosecution, or the acquisition of rights, and enforcement, including litigation, alternative dispute resolution and licensing. Included within these traditional areas are lesser known, but similarly important protections afforded to semiconductor masks and industrial designs. The field further encompasses practices that intersect those traditional areas, such as IP asset management, standards, and antitrust or unfair competition.
The trademark area embraces both registered and unregistered marks that identify goods as well as services or organizations, and includes words, images, shapes, sounds and smells. As with patents, there is a natural division between prosecution and enforcement, through litigation or other facilities for dispute resolution. Unfair competition and the protection of personality also fall within the ambit of this practice area, along with the protection of rights related to the internet, such as domain names.
Copyrights, as well as the less traditional forms of IP rights have similar concerns with acquisition and enforcement. In all of these areas, the focus is on both domestic and international aspects of such rights.