Copyright - Trademark Attorneys
Intellectual Property - Business Lawyers
The law firm of Michael T. Chulak & Associates represents clients throughout California regarding copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property - business matters including the following:
We represent business owners, buyers, sellers, franchisees, franchisors,
borrowers, lenders, brokers, agents, plaintiffs, and defendants.
For additional information and a no cost initial consultation, please call us.
See our fee schedule for business formations, trademarks, and copyrights.
Barter for Legal Services
Franchise Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked Questions
Glossary of Intellectual Property Terms
Intellectual Property Law and Licensing
Intellectual property (IP) law encompasses the protection a wide variety of property created by businesses, authors, musicians, artists, and inventors. Copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and patent laws protect intellectual property. IP law protects the property rights of businesses and individuals from infringement, unauthorized use, and misuse. By maintaining property rights, an individual or business can control the use and distribution, including the sale and licensing of such property.
Licensing is a key business strategy because it is a way to gain earnings from inventions and creative works. Licensing is the process where you grant some rights to intellectual property you own to others. It is really a business relationship between the licensor, who owns the IP, and the licensee, who is given the limited right to use it.
Technology licensing by the author or inventor of a new product or technology requires both IP protection and contractual agreements to realize an economic benefit from its production. For instance, the author of a software program or an inventor can grant a license to a corporation that has the resources to produce and distribute the embodied intellectual property.
Copyrights are exclusive rights granted to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. To qualify for copyright, the creative work must be original and must exist in some tangible form; it cannot exist only in the author's mind. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. Copyrights arise automatically as soon as creative works are made; however, registration affords owners of copyrighted materials additional legal benefits.
A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Trademarks allow businesses to protect the symbolic information that identifies the source of goods and services by preventing use of the information by competitors. Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. To receive protection, a word, name, symbol, or device must be distinctive and must be used in commerce. A trademark need not be registered, but if it is registered the owner of the mark has put others on notice that the trademark is already in use.
Trade dress is a distinctive visual appearance of a product or service that uniquely identifies the product or service to signify the source to consumers, and is similar to trademark. The shape, color, and design of a product or its packaging can be trade dress as can be the design of a building, or the decor and color scheme of a restaurant or store. To gain registration or common law protection under the Lanham Act, a trade dress must not be "functional." That is, the configuration of shapes, designs, colors, or materials that make up the trade dress in question must not serve a utility or function outside of creating recognition in the consumer's mind.
Trade secrets are a class of proprietary information that has commercial value and are "owned" by a business entity. Trade secret laws protect formulas, patterns, devices, and compilations of information from use by unauthorized persons. Protection of trade secrets with other parties is by contract and formal agreements that are legally enforceable by the trade secret owner.
A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor for new and non-obvious technologies. A patent gives the inventor "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or "importing" the invention into the United States for a period of time, usually 20 years. During this time the inventor can profit from the invention by controlling its availability. Patents can be granted for designs of manufactured products, machines, processes, and combinations of matter, and in certain cases for plants and other life forms. A United States patent must be applied for through the US Patent and Trademark Office and issued US patents are effective only within the US, US territories, and US possessions.
Franchise Your Business
The attorneys with Michael T. Chulak & Associates can provide you with the legal services needed to franchise your business for a fixed legal fee. Payment plans are available and we may accept all or a part of your fee based upon barter. Call us to discuss your plans to develop a franchised business. Initial consultations are free.
The information presented on this site was prepared for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for consulting with a licensed attorney in your state. The law is constantly changing. In addition, the information presented may not be up – to – date or 100% complete. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in California and seek to represent clients only in California. Sending us an email or other communication does not create an attorney – client relationship. Only signing a retainer agreement will establish an attorney – client relationship. This is an advertisement.
Los Angeles County:
Acton, Agoura, Agoura Hills, Agua Dulce, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Arleta, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Park, Bassett, Bell, Bell Canyon, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bouquet Canyon, Box Canyon, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Carson, Castaic, Century City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Crystalaire, Culver City, Del Sur, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Firestone Park, Flintridge, Gardena, Glassell, Glassell Park, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hansen Dam, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Highland Park, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta- Montrose, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, La Canada, Lake Hughes, Lake Los Angeles, Lake View Terrace, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Leimert Park, Lennox, Leona Valley, Lincoln Heights, Littlerock, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Mission Hills, Monrovia, Monte Nido, Montebello, Monterey Park, Mount Baldy, Mount Wilson, Newhall, North El Monte, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palisades, Palmdale, Paramount, Pearblossom, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Quartz Hill, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Park, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Ritter Ranch, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Saratoga Hills, Saugus, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Stevenson Ranch, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sun Village, Tarzana, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Torrance, Tujunga, Universal City, Val Verde, Valencia, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Venice, Vernon, Walnut, Walnut Park, West Covina, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, West Toluca Lake, Westchester, Whittier, Wilmington, Windsor Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.
Camarillo, Channel Islands, Faria Beach, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Somis, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura (San Buenaventura), Westlake Village.
Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Balboa Island, Brea, Buena Park, Corona Island, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forrest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Placentia, Rossmoor, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Heights, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.
San Bernardino County:
Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Big Bear City, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead, Landers, Loma Linda, Montclair, Morongo Valley, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Running Springs, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley.
Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Cabazon, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Cherry Valley, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, East Blythe, East Hemet, El Cerrito, Glen Avon, Hemet, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Homeland, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Lakeview, Mecca, Mira Loma, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Norco, Nuevo, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Pedley, Perris, Quail Valley, Rancho Mirage, Riverside, Rubidoux, San Jacinto, Sun City, Sunnyslope, Temecula, Thousand Palms, Valle Vista, Wildomar, Winchester, Woodcrest.
Santa Barbara County:
Ballard, Buellton, Carpinteria, Gaviota, Goleta, Guadalupe, Hollister Ranch, Hope Ranch, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Mission Canyon, Mission Hills, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Summerland, Toro Canyon
San Luis Obispo County:
Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Avila Beach, Baywood-Los Osos, Cambria, Cayucos, Grover Beach, Lake Nacimiento, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Oceano, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Miguel, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, Templeton.
Arvin, Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, Bodfish, Boron, Buttonwillow, Caliente, California City, China Lake Acres, Delano, Ford City, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Kernville, Lake Isabella, Lamont, Lebec, Lost Hills, Maricopa, McFarland, Mojave, North Edwards, Oildale, Pine Mountain Club, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Rosedale, Shafter, South Taft, Stallion Springs, Taft, Taft Heights, Tehachapi, Wasco, Weedpatch, Weldon, Wofford Heights.
Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Inyo County, Kern County, Kings County, Lake County, Lassen County, Los Angeles County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Orange County, Placer County, Plumas County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Luis Obispo County, San Mateo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Ventura County, Yolo County, Yuba County
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