As a business owner or creative professional, you likely have proprietary works, creations, brands, or other property you need to protect from infringing parties. Intellectual property (“IP” because lawyers have a weird allergy to spelling out whole words) laws define the rights you have to protect your works and branding from copying and infringement – and the limits of those rights. The better you understand both those rights and their limits, the more prepared you’ll be to protect your IP – and to prevent yourself from accidentally infringing on someone else’s. An experienced IP lawyer can help you broaden that understanding and help you to see when you need help or guidance. Here are some simple tips to help you prepare for a meeting with a Minneapolis IP lawyer.
Think About Your Needs
You don’t have to be an expert on copyrights or trademarks; that’s what you have a lawyer for. But you should think about what items, products, or creative works you’d like to protect. Then your lawyer can talk through a) whether they can be protected under the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act (for trademarks), or some other legal principle; and b) what you can do to maximize that protection. Should you register the copyright or trademark? What will it cost, and what are the trade-offs? Are there ways to limit the risk of someone copying or stealing your work or trade secrets (such as non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality terms in employment contracts)?
And if you think someone is already infringing on your IP rights, document anything that supports your suspicion. If you think someone copied your creative work, bring their copy in so you and the lawyer can compare them. If someone’s branding is suspiciously similar to yours, bring examples of both and, if you can, collect information on any potential customers who might have been confused by the infringement. The more information you can bring to your initial meeting, the better your attorney can evaluate your specific concerns and propose a plan to address them.
Moving Forward With Confidence
The goal of your initial meeting with an IP attorney is to determine whether this legal professional can assist you with your needs. Hopefully, you come away from the meeting feeling comfortable and confident in the attorney’s communication style and strategic approach to your case. You can contact the attorney as questions arise or your IP needs evolve. Many IP lawyers enjoy lasting relationships with their clients, working with them to address their IP needs over the years. Should the need for litigation arise, you can trust that your attorney will work hard to advocate on your behalf and protect your best interests.
If you are looking for trusted and effective legal guidance regarding an intellectual property matter in Minneapolis or St. Paul, call Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074 to get started.