Protection of Intellectual Property
When you are married to your business partner, you likely are spending a lot of time together. If your marriage gets acrimonious, it’s likely that your New Jersey business relationship will be heading South soon, as well. Divorces are messy and upsetting. Having to divide business assets makes the circumstances even more complicated.
If you are looking to divide your business when you are getting divorced, it’s critical to make sure your intellectual property is protected and divided between the two of you equitably. Speak to South Jersey intellectual property protection lawyer Ron Graziano. He is well-versed in both NJ business law and NJ divorce law and he has represented many people in South Jersey, like you, who are seeking divorces from their business partners. He was also a certified trial attorney for over 25 years, so he knows what it takes to win in the courtroom.Why You Need to Protect Your Business’ Intellectual Property?
Not unlike a child, the presence of a business changes everything in a divorce. In many ways, your business is like your child. Beyond the financial implications is the emotional impact of watching powerlessly as your soon-to-be-ex spouse is tries to lay claim to the business that you put your heart and soul into for years. You’ve invested your hard-earned money and your invaluable time into nurturing your business and helping it to grow, creating your “intellectual property.” Maybe you’ve carefully crafted your company’s secret formula or spent countless hours developing and perfecting your business’ trademarked logo. You do not want to let a divorce property settlement take away your “baby.”
The first step to protecting your intellectual property is hiring an attorney who is experienced in business owner divorce cases. At Graziano and Flynn, P.C., our attorneys have 60 years of experience handling complex divorce cases involving asset protection. Ron Graziano is a battle-tested family law lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helping business owners in South Jersey protect their intellectual property in divorce cases. In fact, Mr. Graziano has devoted his career to protecting the interests of business owners throughout Camden County, including in Cherry Hill, Camden City, and Gloucester Township. As the law firm’s founding partner, Mr. Graziano understands just how important your ownership stake is to you. And, he is always prepared to do battle for you both inside and outside the courtroom.What Are the Categories of Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to a creation of the mind. This means that IP law often protects something that is intangible, but has the ability to create revenue. Most commonly, intellectual property falls into one of four categories:
- Patents. A patent is issued for an invention. Patents are crucially important in spurring innovation and encouraging technological advances.
Because licensing accounts for the majority of revenue generated by patents, you want a lawyer who will fight to help you maintain a controlling interest in any licensing royalties derived from your patent.
- Trade Secrets. A “trade secret” typically describes a business’ process or formula that is not publicly known. The best example of a valuable trade secret is the Coca Cola formula. It is vital that you protect against disclosure of trade secrets during your divorce proceeding.
When determining how to fairly distribute the assets in a divorce, a court will require a valuation of your business. An accurate valuation of your business means scrutinizing your company records and accounting books. Unfortunately, this kind of fact-checking can be intrusive, and it often risks disclosing important and confidential information. If you have a trade secret, you need to do everything possible to limit its disclosure to restricted uses and you need to ensure that the trade secret is disclosed only to relevant parties with appropriate restrictions on disclosure together parties. Sometimes, a non-disclosure agreement is necessary.
- Trademarks. A trademark protects against the duplication of a word, symbol, or design that is uniquely associated with a product or business. A trademark often signifies a particular business or company. A good example of a trademark would be the “golden arches” symbol for McDonald’s.
- Copyrights. A copyright protects against the unauthorized duplication and dissemination of an original, tangible work of authorship, such as a book, play, or film.
In divorce cases involving intellectual property, it is vital that the owner of intellectual property do everything possible to protect his or her interest in the IP. Your first step in protecting your IP interests is speaking with experienced NJ business owner divorce lawyer Ron Graziano. For a free consultation about your case, call us anytime at 856-499-4351 or toll-free at 866-948-7568. You can also get in touch with us via email.