Practice Areas & Industries: Burr & Forman LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Protecting the Value of Your Business

For our clients who depend on proprietary products and technologies, business methods, and brand identification for their bottom line, no aspect of legal representation is more critical than the protection of intellectual property. Our intellectual property attorneys help clients develop appropriate strategies to identify and protect inventions and technology, and when necessary, help our clients enforce their rights in those inventions and technology.

Our lawyers assist clients with all aspects of intellectual property law, including, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, domain name and internet issues, social media, privacy, licensing, and protective agreements. We assist clients in transactions involving these critical assets, and we handle litigation related to each of these areas.

For many companies, a brand is the value of the company. We work diligently to assist clients with all stages of brand management from developing branding strategies, selecting and clearing marks, obtaining federal and state registrations for those marks, developing and implementing appropriate licensing strategies, and enforcing the brand rights.

Our attorneys have experience in each of these areas as well as experience handling proceedings at the TTAB, conducting IP due diligence for transactions, handling domain name issues and litigating trademark related disputes including infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.

We assist clients in the registration of their copyright interests as well as the licensing and sale of their works. Our copyright attorneys regularly advise clients with respect to protectability of their works, infringement concerns, fair use, proper use of others' materials, and commercialization of their works. We also assist clients in developing appropriate internet policies that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Our patent attorneys evaluate our clients' inventions for patentability and infringement purposes, assist in obtaining patent protection for the inventions, develop profitable licensing strategies, and enforce those rights when appropriate. We assist clients with portfolio management, due diligence efforts, development and licensing agreements, and all aspects of patent prosecution.

Trade Secrets
First and foremost we work with clients to identify their trade secrets and develop plans to protect those trade secrets. Our services include development of an overall trade secret protection plan, preparation of confidentiality agreements, employee agreements, necessary manuals, and other individualized policies. We work with clients to understand not only how to identify their trade secrets but how to take steps on a daily basis to protect and maintain their rights in these trade secrets.

Technology Transactions and IP Due Diligence
In conjunction with our Mergers and Acquisitions group, we assist clients in transactions involving their intellectual property assets. We help clients determine the value of the intellectual property, assess their intellectual property portfolios, identify areas for growth, verify IP ownership, and negotiate the corresponding transaction documents to close the deal.

Our IP attorneys prepare and negotiate technology agreements to manage rights in our clients' intellectual property, including licenses, assignments, joint development agreements, and research agreement. We regularly work with our clients to develop strategies for exploiting an existing intellectual property portfolio and maximizing its value, as well as to license necessary inbound technologies on favorable terms.

Intellectual Property Litigation
Our attorneys represent and defend our clients' interests in federal and state courts and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Our intellectual property litigation group has experience handling trademark, copyright, unfair competition, trade secret, and patent claims as well as claims of unfair competition, false advertising, counterfeiting, and antitrust violations.

Our technology attorneys focus on all aspects of representing technology-based companies. We work with these companies throughout their life assisting with start-up issues specific to technology companies, techniques and strategies for protecting and exploiting their technology, development of appropriate employee agreements and policies, development of licensing strategies, acquisitions of related technologies, and when the time comes, due diligence and assistance in negotiating the best exit strategy for the company. Our technology expertise includes representation of clients and handling transactions in the software, biotechnology, entertainment, health care, manufacturing, consumer products, telecommunications, life sciences, food and beverage, energy, hospitality, and franchise industries.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

New Year’s Resolution: Review Non-Compete
Peter C. Vilmos, February 17, 2015
With the holidays around the corner, college football “Bowl Season” ramping up, and the singing of Auld Lang Syne within earshot, many employers not in the retail or travel businesses are wrapping up 2014 and preparing to start off 2015 with a strong first quarter. Some businesses shut...

Supreme Court Changes Standard Of Review For Patent Claim Construction Rulings
Ryan M. Corbett, February 17, 2015
In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court revised the standard of review used by the Federal Circuit for nearly twenty years in reviewing claim construction rulings, replacing a de novo standard with a “clearly erroneous” standard. Teva sued Sandoz for...

Business Method Patents Live! - Federal Circuit Finds First Patent That Survives Post-Alice Analysis
Ryan M. Corbett, January 10, 2015
Since the Supreme Court issued its June 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International,[1] federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the United States Patent & Trademark Office have been invalidating patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101 at an...

Federal Circuit Reverses Course, Affirms Patent Ineligibility Ruling in View of Surpreme Court Alice Decision
Ryan M. Corbett, January 10, 2015
On November 14, 2014, after twice before reversing the lower court’s dismissal of Ultramercial’s complaint for failing to claim statutory subject matter, the Federal Circuit agreed with the lower court that Ultramercial’s patent claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101....

Crackdown on Employer NDAs Without Whistleblower Protections
Thomas K. Potter, November 10, 2014
An October 27 letter from Rep. Maxine Waters and seven other House Democrats (from the Financial Services & Oversight Committee) asked the SEC to double down on scrutiny of employer confidentiality agreements that might violate whistleblower protections.

Halloween Scares and Non-Compete Agreements
Peter C. Vilmos, November 10, 2014
Halloween is always a great time for adults and children. Just think about it, for at least one night we intentionally abandon every notion we teach our children about taking candy from strangers, not acting deceptively, not scaring people unnecessarily and otherwise not acting like little...

Derek Jeter Retires: Can He Compete?
Peter C. Vilmos, October 21, 2014
For two decades Yankees fans and baseball aficionados everywhere have reveled in Derek Jeter’s statesmanship and poise. Jeter exemplified leadership. Despite having played alongside several teammates embroiled in controversy, Jeter remained above the fray. He spoke with his bat. He spoke with...

Federal Trade Secrets Protection — Finally Something Both Parties Can Agree On
William "Chip" Collins, October 21, 2014
In recent months, two bipartisan bills have been introduced in Congress providing for a Federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation — the Defend Trade Secrets Act , introduced in the Senate in April, and the Trade Secrets Protection Act, introduced in the House in July. These...

Georgia Court of Appeals Provides Ammunition for Saving Unenforceable Non-Competes
William "Chip" Collins, October 21, 2014
In the World War II epic Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks and his platoon of grunts cross dangerous enemy territory to rescue an American soldier before he becomes the fourth member of his family to be a casualty of the Big One. In similar fashion, a trial court and a Georgia Court of Appeals panel...

Joan Rivers and Non-Competition Agreements: Can We Talk?
Peter C. Vilmos, September 23, 2014
Sadly, Joan Rivers ¿ the famous comedienne who was perhaps best known for sitting down with celebrities and asking “can we talk?” ¿ died recently at the age of 81. Ms. Rivers’ self-deprecating nature and ability to use laughter to put people either at ease or to...