Intellectual property (IP) law affects businesses of all sizes in the Dallas, Texas region. In addition to trademarks and copyrights, Texas has its own specific laws related to IP. To ensure your business’s lawful access to intellectual property and protection from IP infringement, you’ll need to understand the scope of IP rights in Texas, and when to turn to business lawyers for help. Here’s a guide for businesses navigating the maze of intellectual property laws in Dallas.

Defining Intellectual Property in Dallas

Intellectual property refers to the monetizable products of the human intellect, including creations of the mind such as inventions, designs, words, phrases, symbols, and looks. While copyright law has been around since the creation of the U.S. Constitution, trademark law is relatively recent, and other aspects of intellectual property, such as patent and industrial design law, have only recently been codified into the legal system.

Intellectual property is divided into two primary legal categories: industrial property and copyright. Industrial property includes patents (which cover inventions), utility models (which are like patents but of less scope and shorter duration), industrial designs, trademarks, and trade names. Copyright covers literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.

Scope and Enforcement of IP Rights in Texas

In the State of Texas, the only way to truly protect intellectual property is to file for a patent, register a trademark, or register a copyright with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Until 2004, franchisors were also able to register Texas trademarks, but the law was repealed in 2004, and now trademark registration only applies to businesses in the U.S. and is the responsibility of the PTO.

Businesses in Texas have the right to enforce their intellectual property rights in courts of law. However, in Texas state courts, patent, trademark, and copyright cases are often tried together, so you may need to know the differences between each legal designation to effectively protect your intellectual property.

In addition, Texas specific laws related to IP are also in effect. They offer business owners the opportunity to receive damages from those who infringe upon their IP rights. In Texas, these damages may be higher than what would be awarded in courts for IP infringement at the federal level.

When and How to Find Legal Help

Whether you’re filing your own patent or trademark, or facing an allegation of IP infringement, it’s important to have a legal team on your side. Business lawyers are experts in IP law and can provide guidance for companies navigating these complex laws. When choosing an attorney, make sure to select one who matches your needs and has expertise in the field of IP.

When looking for a legal team to assist your business, consider using UpCounsel. UpCounsel matches your business to experienced attorneys within their network and provides a one-stop shop for businesses looking for a lawyer to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights in Dallas. Their experienced business attorneys have an average of 14 years experience, and each lawyer’s profile includes reviews and ratings of recent work so you can make an informed decision. No matter if you’re looking for a one-time consultation, or an entire freelance legal team, UpCounsel is the perfect partner to help your business navigate the complexities of Texas’s intellectual property laws.


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