Orange County Intellectual Property Litigation Lawyers

Trademark Disputes – Trademark Claims – Copyright Litigation

If you own a copyright or a trademark and discover that others are using your mark or a mark that is very similar you may want to challenge that as infringing on your mark. The proper course of action would be to send the potential offender (infringer) cease and desist letter. Most often, if the offending party has “been caught” they will agree with the cease and desist request and will agree to stop infringing now and in the future. Unfortunately, some will ignore your cease and desist in which case there is only one way stop the trademark infringement or copyright infringement. In these cases you have no choice but to protect your trademarks or copyrights which are valuable business assets.

One Recent & Notable Copyright Infringement Cases

Jack Daniels v. Patrick Wensink – This much-publicized trademark dispute led to a much better —and instructive— outcome than most trademark cases. Apparently, author Patrick Wensink was in the midst of launching his new book, “Broken Piano for President.” The cover of the book bears a pretty obvious resemblance to the Jack Daniels whiskey label, don’t you agree?

copyright case

Jack Daniels is a HUGE outfit that could have stamped Patrick Wensink into a small compressed hot mess on the trail to some outhouse —but instead— they showed their humor and good corporate sense of community and made their legal “cease-and-desist” letter into a unintended and priceless public relations gift to themselves and the public. Here is the exact letter to Wensink:

“It has recently come to our attention that the cover of your book Broken Piano for President, bears a design that closely mimics the style and distinctive elements of the JACK DANIEL’S trademarks…We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we can appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel’s, we also have to be diligent to ensure that the Jack Daniel’s trademarks are used correctly…If we allow uses like this one, we run the very real risk that our trademark will be weakened. As a fan of the brand, I’m sure that is not something you intended or would want to see happen…As an author, you can certainly understand our position and the need to contact you…In order to resolve this matter, because you are both a Louisville “neighbor” and a fan of the brand, we simply request that you change the cover design when the book is re-printed. If you would be willing to change the design sooner than that (including on the digital version), we would be willing to contribute a reasonable amount towards the costs of doing so. By taking this step, you will help us to ensure that the Jack Daniel’s brand will mean as much to future generations as it does today. We wish you continued success with your writing and we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.”

It is obviously rare for a cease-and-desist letter to carry such a nice tone.

Jack Daniel’s letter doesn’t even insist that Mr. Wensink to take his book off the shelves immediately. Instead, the company just wants him to change the cover when it’s reprinted. While Mr. Wensink has agreed to change the cover of his book, he will not be accepting the offer of payment from the company.

“I was on vacation when the it arrived,” Mr. Wensink said about the letter. “I was drinking whiskey actually, though not JD because I’m a writer and can’t afford top-shelf stuff.”

The letter was not release by Jack Daniels, but came to light after Mr. Wensink posted it on his miniscule, rarely-visited website. You know what happened next! Like a cute puppy picture, the story went viral. The unintended consequences resulted in a win-win for both players — a ton of publicity for his new novel.

The book went to the top of the Amazon satirical books chart – and was the number six bestseller overall. His daily website visits jumped from 20 a day to 200,000 in three days.

Jack Daniels also benefited in ways that a PR agency could never accomplish. Because there was a courteous lawyer type who started out being both human and civil, the viral letter put Jack Daniels and their famous brand in the glow of being a company filled with good people and even a “good corporate citizen” in the financial and political press. Well done, old No. 7, just like your Tennessee Whiskey.

By The Way – Patrick Wensink’s book —with the infringing cover— is still for sale on Amazon with the infringing design!

Trademark and Copyright Infringement Litigation

Affordable Legal Representation for Trademark & Copyright Cases

Unlike the Jack Daniels case, most offenders chose, at some point, to ride the coat tails of an established brand, or just took a short cut to avoid hiring a graphics designer for their own business logo and brand creation and are now harming your business and diluting your brand by their reckless behavior. Trademark and Copyright Infringement matters require a lawyer’s intervention for several reasons. Infringement cases can be brought in Federal Court which is important if your copyright or trademark is registered. In Federal court, we can obtain an injunction, collect all attorney fees paid as damages and other remedies. There are other instances where an infringement case requires us to go to the United States patent and Trademark Appeals Board to cancel the offender’s mark. A lawyer’s experience is very beneficial and affordable too. Working within the confines of the slow-moving government offices and court system requires aggressive and persistent representation which will almost always result in a better outcome than if you attempt a defense yourself.

Trade Secret Disputes

Common trade secrets cases that Orange County lawyers regularly see are the taking of customer lists or other confidential information by key employees who then get a similar position with the competition. That is painful, personal, and often times actionable! Likely, if you are here reading this you had an employee, an independent contractor, or even a partner that took valuable and confidential information and knowledge with them to start a new business competing against yours, or to help a direct competitor. In these type of cases litigation is almost always started quickly to stop the bleeding and put the offender on notice that there could be consequences that far exceed the profits he or she was thinking about when they crossed the line. If you need an attorney who will tenaciously and aggressively pursue your rights you’ve come to the right place.

We Are Ready to Prosecute or Defend Intellectual Property Claims

We offer intellectual property litigation services of to clients in Orange County. Our clients include designers, artists, entrepreneurs, small businesses and established companies in litigation matters concerning trademarks, copyrights, patents, licenses, trade secrets, advertising practices and proprietary processes. We represent individuals and businesses whether they are brick and mortar or Internet based or both.

We are ready, willing, and able to prosecute your claim for infringement —or— similarly ready and capable to defend you against intellectual property claims being leveled at you or your business. We are experienced and skilled Intellectual Property lawyers who can efficiently devise effective litigation strategies to assist you in your Intellectual Property matter. Moreover, we are often able to secure insurance coverage from your business insurance policy to cover the necessary legal fees to mount an effective defense or to pay any damages that might result.

Call Us for a Free Phone or Office Consultation

Call Orange County Business Lawyers for a free phone or office consultation. We are dedicated to helping Orange County business owners make educated, informed decisions about their business endeavors, opportunities and troubles that invariably come knocking —at some point— on every business owner’s door. Call us at (888) 866-3620 for an on the spot phone consultation or an appointment to confidentially review your situation.