Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Areas

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property describes the valuable rights established by law governing the result of original creative human thought. These rights include copyrights, trade secrets, the personal right of publicity, trademarks, and patents. If you need legal help enforcing your intellectual property rights, you do not have to fight alone. I can help you protect your intellectual property assets.


Copyrights protect the tangible original expression of ideas such as literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works. This also includes original software source code. A copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and publicly display and/or perform the work. Though a copyright exists when the work is created, registering a copyright provides additional protection in case of copyright infringement, including the right to enforce the copyright in court, receive statutory damages and recover attorney's fees and costs.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) provides additional protections for infringements on the internet and enables copyright holders to demand that internet service providers remove access to infringing materials. With the creation of new virtual worlds on the internet, new virtual legal issues are arising.

I have represented clients nationwide such as free-lance authors, software developers and book authors whose works have been infringed. I can assist you with cease and desist letters, negotiated solutions, as well as filing suit to stop copyright infringement. I can also help you navigate the virtual world intellectual property rules and rights.

Trade Secrets 

Trade secrets are formulas, patterns, devices or compilations of information used in business but kept secret that creates an advantage over competitors who do not know the trade secret. Because they are so critical, trade secrets usually are protected by confidentiality agreements and internal controls. Perhaps one of the most famous trade secrets is the formula for Coca-Cola. In California, the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects and governs trade secrets.

If you have a trade secret that has been taken, I can help you enforce your right to protection from unauthorized disclosure.

Right of Publicity in California means a person's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness is protected from unauthorized commercial use with exceptions for news, public affairs, sports broadcast or account and political campaigns. The right of publicity protects private individuals as well as celebrities. For celebrities, upon their death, the right of publicity passes according to their will or by operation of law to the celebrities' heirs.

If your name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness is being used commercially without your permission, I can help you enforce your right of publicity. I have represented both private individuals and heirs of celebrities in enforcing their rights.

Trademarks include any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.

I am an experienced San Francisco trademark attorney so if you have a trademark dispute, call me so that we can discuss your options.

Patents protect original useful and not obvious inventions, designs, and improvements to existing inventions. The United States Supreme Court and various courts of appeal have issued no less than four critical decisions in the past year affecting the determination of whether an invention is obvious, whether a business method can be patented, what constitutes proof of infringement in design patent cases and whether patent owners can sue downstream distributors for patent infringement. Congress has proposed new patent legislation that will change the landscape for obtaining and enforcing patents. The new administration will have to decide which patent reforms to pursue.

The rights of patent owners and the ability to enforce their patents have become much more difficult to predict. Please contact me if you have a patent and are evaluating patent infringement remedies and options.

Is someone using your
patented or copyrighted
work without permission?

Do you believe someone
has misappropriated your
trade secrets?

Was your California
protected personal right
of publicity violated?

2009 Best of the Bay Nominee for Intellectual Property San Francisco.

Fergus, A Law Office
595 Market Street, Suite 2430
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-537-9030
Fax: 415-537-9038
595 Market Street, Suite 2430, San Francisco, CA 94105 Phone: 415-537-9030 Fax: 415-537-9038

Fergus, A Law Office is located in San Francisco, CA and serves clients in and around Emeryville, Brisbane, Alameda, Berkeley, Daly City, Sausalito, Albany, South San Francisco, Oakland, El Cerrito, Richmond, Corte Madera, Mill Valley, San Quentin, San Bruno, San Pablo, Larkspur, Pacifica, Millbrae, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Solano County.

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