Practice Areas

Intellectual Property

The continued success of a business can depend on its ability to maintain control of its name, trademarks and related goodwill.  Similarly, the exclusive control of proprietary data, software, business procedures and sensitive information often provides a business with the competitive advantage that enables it to thrive.  Christian & Barton has extensive experience in working with clients to evaluate, protect and reap the full rewards of these intellectual property assets.

We assist clients in performing internal audits to identify all of their material intellectual property assets.  Then we work with clients to properly document their ownership of those assets, establishing safeguards to maintain control and protect the value of intellectual property.  Our work in this regard falls into three broad categories: trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Many clients rely on us to guide them in dealing with trademark issues, both domestic and foreign.  We regularly prosecute applications for trademark registrations before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and various state and foreign trademark offices.  We help clients develop new trademarks, ordering trademark searches and assessing the risks associated with proposed marks.  We also assist clients in licensing their trademarks, providing advice on franchise and business opportunity compliance.

We advise clients on fair-use, work-for-hire and similar copyright issues, and we often assist clients in preparing agreements dealing with copyright issues.  Going beyond traditional forms of expression, we have advised clients on copyright matters for media and entertainment companies, and producers of computer software involving various mediums and technologies.

Trade Secrets
We help protect and license trade secrets and advise clients on combating misappropriation of those secrets by former employees and competitors.  We have negotiated domestic and international patent and trade-secret licensing agreements for industries such as newsprint, plastics manufacturing, construction materials and electronics.

Intellectual Property Litigation
We are experienced in the litigation of a wide range of intellectual property disputes, including patent, trademark and copyright matters.  We routinely represent clients as lead or local counsel in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia.  We handle trademark litigation in the federal courts, and in Opposition and Cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.