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Intellectual Property

The development of the “Information Age” has greatly increased the importance of intellectual property in the Boulder/Denver area, across Colorado and the United States, and around the world. In some instances an organization’s intellectual property may be its most valuable asset. As intellectual property lawyers counseling clients on trademark and other intellectual property law matters we strive to teach clients how to protect their intellectual property, but also work to educate clients so they do not inadvertently infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.

We advise clients on a wide variety of intellectual property issues. Serving clients in the high-tech Boulder area, our Boulder trademark lawyers routinely conduct trademark searches and apply for and obtain copyright and trademark protection for clients, but we also counsel clients concerning lesser-known concepts such as trade secrets, trade names, trade dress, trade values and goodwill. We help clients protect their intellectual property through the use of appropriate employment agreements, non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreements, and covenants not to compete. When a client wishes to license one or more of its rights to a third party, we can prepare trademark and copyright licensing agreements, technology licenses, software licenses, and franchising agreements.

The development of the Internet and the World Wide Web present new issues for the intellectual property lawyer.  As Boulder Internet lawyers we advise clients throughout Colorado on domain name disputes, website content, terms of use, email and Internet usage policies, privacy issues, the Fair Use doctrine, First Amendment issues,  publisher and distributor liability,and related matters. We work to educate our clients on matters such as telephone solicitation laws, “junk fax” laws, and anti spam laws such as the federal CAN SPAM Act.

Our Boulder intellectual property lawyers strive to help clients avoid intellectual property disputes, but we are capable litigators.  In 2012, Mark won a 4.2 million dollar award in a case filed on behalf of a Fort Collins software company that included claims for breach of contract and interference with contract; that judgment included nearly two million dollars in punitive damagesRead Story 

Our firm also represents clients in trademark opposition and cancellation actions before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Working with local counsel when necessary, we also represent clients in copyright, trademark, and related litigation in state and federal courts.  Such litigation often includes claims for trademark or copyright infringement, misappropriation, breach of contract, interference with contract, and unjust enrichment.

Though our firm has a strong intellectual property law practice, we do not limit our practice to that area of law.   An organization’s intellectual property is seldom its only concern; it is one part of a larger picture.  Generally, an organization is well-served when its lawyers see the interelationship between intellectual property issues and its other legal concerns.  Because we are business lawyers and litigators, as well as intellectual property lawyers, and because we practice preventive law, we offer our business and organizational clients the opportunity to establish a relationship with one law firm that can serve most or all of their legal needs.

Unfair Competition

Unfair competition law is closely related to intellectual property law. Put simply, unfair competition is a body of law that attempts to prevent dirty tricks between competitors and that provides remedies when such conduct takes place.

The most common example of unfair competition is trademark infringement, but unfair competition also includes passing off goods or services as being from another source, trading on the goodwill of a competitor, false advertising, disparagement, dilution, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential business information, infringement of copyright, service mark and trade dress, intentional interference with economic relations, deceptive trade practices,  and any other business practice included in torts dealing with unfair competition.

Colorado common law is the primary source of the law of unfair competition, but federal trademark and copyright statutes play a significant role as do regulations promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Colorado has an Unfair Practices Act as well as a Consumer Protection Act that specifically lists numerous deceptive trade practices. Colorado also has some unfair competition statutes that are industry specific such as the Agricultural Marketing Act.
Our unfair competition lawyers advise clients on all aspects of unfair competition in Colorado. When litigation is unavoidable, we represent clients in unfair competition litigation in state and federal courts.