Intellectual Property Lawyers
Intellectual property lawyers deal with copyright laws, trademark law, patent law, industrial design, trade secrets, and more. They can be specialists in more than one sub-field of law. The distinction given to such lawyers is Certified Specialist.
Copyright is one area they specialize in, and it is defined as protection by statute or common law of the works of authors and artists. It gives them the exclusive right to 'publish' their works and to determine who may so publish. Copyright law is applied in art, music, dramatic and literary works.
Another field intellectual property lawyers specialize in is patent. It is a method by which practical problems are solved through inventive solutions. These are integrated in the public domain by means of a limited monopoly for a limited time. Property is defined as something, which belongs exclusively to a person. It can be a physical object or something intangible, like a patent.
Then, plagiarism is appropriation of the literary composition of another and passing off as one's own the product of the mind and language of another. This is known as infringement of copyright and is punishable by law.
Sub-fields of intellectual property, apart from the abovementioned, include corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, and international investment and transactions.
Other sub-fields in which intellectual property lawyers specialize in include international structure and finance, technology law, business outsourcing, and insourcing. In addition, intellectual property lawyers deal with business succession planning, professional practice issues and disputes, and more.
Generally, intellectual property lawyers deal with intellectual property, IT, franchising, and life sciences. They cater to information and knowledge producers such as directors, musicians, producers, and inventors. Intellectual property lawyers also work for companies that want to preserve their trade secrets, for example, production techniques, designs, and product formulas. Lawyers who specialize in this area of law offer legal advice related to the protection of trademarks, helping companies develop and preserve brand images.
Intellectual property lawyers can assist clients with the formation of legal entities, mergers, partnership and alliance agreements, sales and acquisitions of businesses. Other areas in which intellectual property lawyers offer legal advice and assistance include financing, procurement, distribution, commercial leasing, service agreements and corporate restructuring transactions. More specifically, they deal with things like engineering and construction agreements, reselling of technological products, and software development agreements. Internet-based companies are among the clients of intellectual property lawyers as they prepare Internet hosting and e-commerce agreements and confidentiality agreements. Finally, such lawyers offer their services to a variety of business clients by preparing distribution and representative agreements and employment and consulting agreements.
Regarding responsibilities, intellectual property lawyers should explain to clients the related jurisprudence, conventions, and international and local IP laws. They should coordinate with government and legal counterparts, embassy officials, and government agencies working in other countries, thus ensuring compliance with IP laws. In addition, lawyers are tasked with investigating cases of alleged copyright infringement. To this, they should have knowledge of international, federal, and local IP laws and excellent lawyering and organizational skills, as well as interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills.
In Canada, universities offering courses in intellectual property law include Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, UVIC, University of Victoria, and many more. The educational process intellectual property lawyers go through is quite similar to the educational background of regular defense attorneys. Candidates are required to undergo a bar examination in order to obtain a license and start practicing.
It should be noted that intellectual property law is one of the most intricate and complex domains of law, and these lawyers are among the best-paid in Canada.