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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. An intellectual property lawyer counsels clients on trademark and other intellectual property law matters. Mark Cohen strives to teach clients how to protect their intellectual property, but also works to educate clients so they do not inadvertently infringe on the intellectual property rights of others.

Mark advises clients on a wide variety of intellectual property issues. For high-tech clients in the Boulder area, Mark has conducted trademark searches, applied for, and obtained copyright and trademark protection. He also counsel clients concerning lesser-known concepts such as trade secrets, trade names, trade dress, trade values and goodwill. He helps 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, Mark can prepare trademark and copyright licensing agreements, technology licenses, software licenses, and franchising agreements.

The ubiquity of internet services presents new issues for the intellectual property lawyer.  As a Boulder Internet lawyer, Mark advises 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. He works to educate clients on matters such as telephone solicitation laws, “junk fax” laws, and anti-spam laws such as the federal CAN-SPAM Act.

Intellectual property lawyers strive to help clients avoid intellectual property disputes, and Mark  Cohen is an expert litigator.  In 2012, he won a $4.2M 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 $2M in punitive damagesRead Story 

Mark Cohen has also represented clients in trademark opposition and cancellation actions before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Working with local counsel when necessary, he 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.

Although Mark has a strong intellectual property law practice, his practice is not limited 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 interrelationship between intellectual property issues and its other legal concerns.  Because Mark is a business lawyer and litigator, as well as an intellectual property lawyer, and because he practices preventive law, his clients  have the opportunity to establish a relationship with an experienced lawyer who 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.
Mark Cohen advises clients on all aspects of unfair competition in Colorado. When litigation is unavoidable, he represents clients in unfair competition litigation in state and federal courts.