Time and money are invested in creating brand identity and developing new technology. Our attorneys work to protect those investments from competitors and to defend against meritless claims by competitors seeking to force you from the market.
The attorneys of our Intellectual Property practice group work to provide comprehensive plans to obtain and protect the development of new technology and the goodwill associated with client brands by obtaining and enforcing patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as by protecting trade secrets and addressing instances of false advertising.
Clients rely on Crain Caton & James’ attorneys to protect business IP at all points in development throughout the world. We provide needed legal assessments, such as patentability opinions, trademark clearance opinions, infringement opinions, non-infringement opinions, invalidity opinions, title opinions and freedom to operate opinions. We shepherd patent, trademark and copyright applications to issuance domestically, and through a network of foreign associates in markets outside the US. We handle transactions related to IP licensing, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as employment agreements and non-competes. When the situation arises, our experienced trial counsel handle patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright trials and appeals in federal and state courts involving “bet the company” litigation and matters involving injunctive relief on an emergency basis with the goal of efficient resolution.
For situations where IP protection is part of a more expansive matter, we collaborate with related practice groups to ensure the client’s needs are fully addressed. These efforts include addressing employment issues in conjunction with the Employment and Labor Law group, addressing IP components of larger transactions and projects with the Corporate group or providing trial assistance to the Commercial Litigation group when IP issues arise.
Crain Caton & James’ IP prosecution team has prepared, presented and prosecuted numerous patent, trademark and copyright applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Patent Office.
We also pursue intellectual property rights, including patents and trademarks, through a network of foreign counsel intimately familiar with local practice in each country. In addition to the prosecution and litigation of intellectual property assets, our IP attorneys have prepared opinions for clients such as patentability opinions, trademark clearance opinions, infringement opinions, non-infringement opinions, invalidity opinions, title opinions, freedom to operate opinions and the like.
Our attorneys have obtained patents in countries around the world, in various fields of the chemical, electrical, mechanical and software arts including:
- Aircraft transporters
- Chromatography equipment
- Computer processors
- Fluid additive control systems
- Light systems
- Medical instrumentation
- Milling equipment
- Software for petroleum production
- Sorting equipment
- Wireless communication systems
Crain Caton & James’ has a proven record in successful litigation involving patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Our IP litigation team is designed on a case-by-case basis to include members of the firm that are technically and legally experienced with the issues in each case. Our team includes attorneys that have handled patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright trials and appeals in federal and state courts involving “bet the company” litigation and matters involving injunctive relief on an emergency basis. In any situation, our goal is to win efficiently.
Our IP transactional team has handled a variety of transactions related to licensing patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights on behalf of the licensor or the licensee. Additionally, our team includes attorneys that are experienced with technology-driven mergers and acquisitions involving high-level due diligence of intellectual property assets. In addition to transactional matters, we have dealt with strategic portfolio management of intellectual property assets.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 is now the law. Trade secret owners now have more robust federal trade secret protection in addition to state law protection. Crain Caton & James’ Intellectual Property Section notes the Act provides rights and remedies for employers and for employees.
James E. Hudson III
James E. Smith
William P. Jensen
Caroline C. Pace