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IP & The Consulting Engineer zIntellectual Property Overview yPatents yTrademarks and Service Marks yCopyrights yTrade Secrets © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey.

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Presentation on theme: "IP & The Consulting Engineer zIntellectual Property Overview yPatents yTrademarks and Service Marks yCopyrights yTrade Secrets © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey."— Presentation transcript:

1 IP & The Consulting Engineer zIntellectual Property Overview yPatents yTrademarks and Service Marks yCopyrights yTrade Secrets © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

2 IP & The Consulting Engineer zAll Stages of A Firms Life yStart Up - Protecting the Firm Name yEmployee Policies and IP Law yCopyright Issues yPatent Law yTrade Secrets ySoftware Piracy yWinding Up A Firm © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

3 IP & The Consulting Engineer zStarting Up - Protecting the Firm Name yTrademarks and Service Marks xany word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended, to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the {goods or services} of one manufacturer or seller from the {goods or services} provided by others, and to indicate the source of the {goods or services} © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

4 IP & The Consulting Engineer zStarting Up - Protecting the Firm Name yWhy? xthe trend is toward distinctive names, often utilizing a series of numbers or letters to identify firms examples include URS, CH2M, NBBJ xrecent dispute involving NBBJ © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

5 IP & The Consulting Engineer zStarting Up - Protecting the Firm Name yHow? Common Law Trademark Rights - symbol TM or SM just start using it xFederal Registration Protection - symbol ® requires a federal application & approval by the PTO xAdvantages of Federal Registration provides a legal presumption of ownership nationwide exclusive right to use the mark © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

6 IP & The Consulting Engineer zEmployee Policies & IP Law yConsider: is your firms physical property worth more than its intellectual property? yNon-Compete Agreements xa contract between the employee and employer that explicitly identifies what the employee may and may not do when the employee leaves the firm xowners are generally covered by such an agreement in the ownership agreement © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

7 IP & The Consulting Engineer zEmployee Policies & IP Law xshould be reqd for key employees that have access to key information such as client lists or employee salaries xideally, employment should be conditioned on the signing of such an agreement however, promotions may be conditioned upon the signing of such an agreement xthe scope of a non-compete agreement must be carefully drafted to avoid unreasonableness © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

8 IP & The Consulting Engineer zCopyright Issues xprotection provided to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, including architectural works. xarchitectural works are limited to structures that are habitable by humans and are intended to be both permanent and stationary. xstructures such as bridges and dams are specifically excluded from copyright protection xno protection for manhole details! © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

9 IP & The Consulting Engineer zPatent Law ythe right to exclude others making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention to the United States. y3-types: utility, design, plant yconsulting engineers must get past the idea that they are just applying tried and true engineering principles in designs © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

10 IP & The Consulting Engineer zPatent Law yrecent patents to engineering firms include: xa sheet piling supported modular wall system xa new unique pipe connection method xan HVAC system economizer xa steam-cooled gas turbine combined power plant xa method of building underground structures © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

11 IP & The Consulting Engineer zTrade Secrets ycan include all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, economic, or engineering information yKEY: protection is available only if xreasonable measures to keep the information secret xinformation has economic value from not being generally known © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

12 IP & The Consulting Engineer zTrade Secrets ya protectable trade secret may not be within the realm of general skills and knowledge in ones field of business and is something not readily duplicated without involving considerable time, effort, or expense. ythis eliminates most consulting engineering work from trade secret protection xexceptions include the design of secretive industrial processes, etc. © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

13 IP & The Consulting Engineer zSoftware Piracy ythe number one IP issue facing consulting firms ya written policy against unauthorized software duplication is a must! yit just takes one disgruntled employee xa recent tip offered to Autodesk through their website resulted in a settlement of close to $208,000 © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.

14 IP & The Consulting Engineer zWinding Up A Consulting Firm yplan for the eventual retirement or discharge of the firm owners yownership agreements should include provisions identifying how the firm will be valued including pay-out provisions xmake sure these provisions address the valuation of intellectual property xthis is not a subject to consider for the first time when dissolving the firm © 2002, Gallagher & Dawsey Co., L.P.A.


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