By: Robin Gentry
As more and more businesses transition to virtual workplaces and become more comfortable with virtual meetings and working from home, it is natural to wonder if your lawyer needs to be located in the same state as your business. For most intellectual property questions, your lawyer can be located anywhere in the United States. The reason is because most of the relevant intellectual property laws involving patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets are federal laws which are the same throughout the United States. So unlike other types of attorneys who practice personal injury, estate planning, family disputes and criminal law to name a few, your intellectual property attorney is not confined by the boundaries of their state.
For example, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is responsible for rules governing how to obtain a federal trademark registration for product and service identification and for issuing patents to inventors for their inventions for all applicants, regardless of where the business is located. The same is true for the United States Copyright Office, which is a part of the Library of Congress. The Copyright Office maintains records of all copyright registrations throughout the US. Intellectual property attorneys can file these applications from anywhere. In fact, because copyright, trademark, and patent rights are governed by federal law and protection extends nationwide, intellectual property attorneys focus on broad spectrum protection of their clients’ interests that are not focused on any one particular state.
Prior to the 2020 shelter in place regulations and shutdown, intellectual property attorneys were accustomed to having clients that they rarely, if ever met in person. Telephone, email and video-conferencing were already existing powerful tools that allowed intellectual property attorneys to communicate with clients whose needs were able to be easily handled without the necessity of being located in the same city or even state.
At Lilenfeld PC, we work with you to protect your company’s trademarks, copyrights and inventions. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please contact us at (404) 201-2520.