The Polasek Law Firm

Experienced Intellectual Property Law Firm

The Polasek Law Firm (TPLF) is an intellectual property litigation law firm dedicated to providing exceptional legal service to companies and individuals. Its attorneys have 30 years of litigation experience, with over 25 years of experience in patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright, and other commercial litigation. The focus of the firm’s practice is on patent and trademark litigation. The firm is also experienced in trademark applications, technology licensing, providing opinions, and general IP counsel.

When you find yourself embroiled in a dispute involving Intellectual Property, you need patent lawyers and trademark lawyers that have experience in handling those types of disputes. Please contact TPLF. The initial consultation is at no charge.

TPLF strives to provide exceptional service to every client, on every matter. TPLF is experienced in engineering that allows the firm to effectively represent clients in numerous technology areas. TPLF has extensive experience in litigating cases in courts all over the United States for clients from all over the world. At TPLF, clients receive one-on-one attention from the firm.

The Polasek Law Firm recognizes that clients expect quality legal representation at a reasonable price. The firm provides its clients with affordable representation at hourly rates significantly lower than those charged by big firms, and for certain matters provides result-oriented fee arrangements, such as a contingent fee option.

TPLF has years of experience in enforcing patents through patent litigation and licensing for clients seeking hourly or contingent fee representation and defending companies accused of violating the intellectual property rights of others.

Ted Polasek

Ted Polasek Headshot

Ted Polasek

Founding Attorney

Ted has litigated patent infringement, trademark infringement, trade secret, copyright infringement, and other commercial disputes over the past 30 years. Ted has litigated many patent infringement cases on behalf of patent owners and companies accused of infringement. He has also successfully negotiated patent licenses covering patent portfolios of more than 100 patents.

Ted understands that clients seek counsel that works efficiently and provide high-quality representation.

Cases The Firm Handles

Polasek Law Firm has decades of experience handling cases in intellectual property and patent litigation.

Polasek Law Firm is located in Bellaire, Texas which is part of the Houston metroplex area, and concentrate in the area of intellectual property law, with an emphasis on litigation and licensing, specifically dealing with patent infringement, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trade secret lawsuits on a reasonable hourly basis, contingency fee or result based fee.

TPLF is experienced in mediation, rendering infringement and validity opinions, licensing and technology transfer, and client counseling.

The Firms Law Library

Attorney Portrait

Do I Need a Lawyer to Register a Trademark?

Do you need a lawyer to apply for a trademark registration? Well, that depends on who you are. A trademark lawyer is a legal necessity for a so-called “foreign applicant,” for example. But given the complexities of the trademark application process, hiring an attorney is also a very good idea for anyone else seeking trademark protection. Benefits of Federal Registration You can obtain common law trademark rights simply by creating a distinctive mark and using it in commerce. You can also file a state trademark application with state governments. The Secretary of State of Texas, for example, will register your trademark for five years at a time assuming all other requirements are met by your application for trademark. Federal registration, however, offers the following additional benefits: Nationwide trademark protection, instead of the mere statewide protection that state law offer and the limited trademark rights offered under common law; Easier enforcement of your trademark rights; The possibility of attaining “incontestable” status after five years of registration, which makes your trademark difficult to challenge; The right to Use the ® symbol on your products; Help from US Customs and Border Protection to prevent the importation of infringing products (if you notify them); and Access to the US federal court system. The foregoing list is not exhaustive. You can discuss other benefits federal registration may offer you with your attorney. The Attorney Requirement for “Foreign Trademark Registrants” As of August 3, 2019, a foreign trademark registrant must retain a US-licensed attorney to complete a trademark registration. A “foreign trademark applicant” is anyone who is not: A US citizen; A lawful permanent resident; or Someone (an individual or a company) who is applying for international trademark registration under the Madrid Protocol. Even if you are a foreign trademark registrant, meaning that you fall outside of the three foregoing groups, you can still file an initial trademark application without the help of a US trademark attorney. The problem is that you will not be able to respond to Office Actions or execute trademark renewals without a US attorney. These restrictions effectively prevent foreign trademark applicants from completing the registration process without the help of a US attorney.   Why Is a Trademark Registration Attorney Necessary for Domestic Trademark Registrants? For domestic trademark registrants, retaining a trademark registration lawyer is a practical necessity rather than a legal one. A trademark registration attorney can help you: Identify and understand the legal issues at stake. Trademark law can be complex, and the legal issues that present themselves in a trademark application may not be at all obvious to a non-lawyer. Advise you on how to select a strong and effective trademark and evaluate the strength of the trademarks you are already using. Perform a trademark search to identify any similar marks that might prevent your mark from being registered. It is relatively easy to identify an “exact match” trademark. Identifying a “confusingly similar” trademark, however, requires the exercise of legal judgment.  Draft a proper product description for your trademark. Determine which class or classes your trademark should be filed under. File your initial trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Respond to Office Actions. Failure to respond promptly and appropriately to an Office Action can lead to rejection of your registration application. If your application is rejected, prepare and file an appeal with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Keep up with deadlines. You will probably have to file a Section 8 and 15 Affidavit after five years and file a trademark renewal application after 10 years. Advise you on how to use your trademark effectively without infringing someone else’s trademark. Fight back when someone infringes your trademark rights.This may mean sending a “cease and desist” letter, negotiating a settlement, or taking the offending party to court. These complex tasks are not things you want to confront without legal experience. You can avoid future conflicts by relying on a knowledgeable trademark attorney to help you obtain appropriate trademark protection at the outset and take steps to protect your trademark moving forward. Contact a Trademark Application Attorney Today The earlier in the process you seek a trademark application lawyer, the better your odds of eventual approval will be. Contact The Polasek Law Firm for a free consultation. I have spent years helping people across the nation with their intellectual property needs. Just call 832-400-4191 or contact the firm online.

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Attorney Portrait

Trademark vs. Copyright—What Is the Difference?

I frequently receive calls from potential clients seeking to protect their brand or a writing, but unsure whether they need to file a trademark application or obtain a copyright registration.  What is the difference between trademark and copyright law? In fact, they are distinct from one another in several different ways. In a nutshell, a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design that is associated with your goods or services, while a copyright is a form of protection for an original work of authorship.  If you have any questions or need help registering your trademark or copyright, please call (832) 485-3580 or send us an online message. What Is a Trademark? A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device used to identify your goods and services. In most cases this representation is visual—think of McDonald’s Golden Arches, for example, or the KFC slogan “It’s finger lickin’ good.” A trademark, however, can also be a sound or even a scent. You may acquire “common law trademark” protection through your use of a trademark in commerce. However, common law rights are limited, typically only to the specific geographic location of its use in commerce. You can obtain more expansive rights by obtaining a state registration, or better yet, a federal registration.  A federal registration provides you with the strongest protection. What is a Copyright? A copyright protects creative works such as novels, paintings, photographs, websites, and even computer software source code. A “copyright” attaches to a work the moment it is affixed in a tangible medium.  You must register your copyright with the US Copyright Office to enforce your rights in a federal court.  Trademark vs. Copyright: A Summary of the Major Differences Following are some of the primary legal differences between trademarks and copyrights: Trademark law protects your brand that distinguishes your products and services from others. A copyright protects an original work of authorship, whether or not it represents a particular business or product. Affixing a work in a tangible medium automatically generates a copyright, while actual use (or filing an “intent to use” application) in commerce generates rights under trademark law. A trademark cannot be “confusingly similar” to a prior trademark, while a copyrighted work must be “original.”  A trademark endures as long as you continue to use it in commerce and file renewals as required under law, while a copyright expires after a set period (typically the life of the author plus 70 years).  Although you can register both a trademark and a copyright at the federal level, the registration process is different for each one. Potential Pitfalls The process of generating, registering, and protecting trademarks and copyrights can be complex. The following are some of the most common pitfalls: Failing to perform a trademark search to make sure that your mark is not confusingly similar to another mark. Failing to properly use a trademark. Failing to monitor the market to make sure someone else is not infringing your trademark or copyright.  Failing to properly identify your registered trademark or copyright.  When it comes to protecting your business’s intellectual property rights, it is critical that you get it right the first time around.  Contact The Polasek Law Firm Today For a free consultation, contact an experienced intellectual property attorney at The Polasek Law Firm by calling (832) 485-3580 or by contacting us online.

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What Is the Process of Copyright Registration?

What is Copyright Registration? From the moment you create an original work, you have an exclusive intellectual property right to make copies of your work. This is known as copyright. This right exists regardless of whether you publish your work or register it with the federal government. However, there are many benefits to registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, such as: Providing evidence that your copyright is valid; Allowing you to sue for copyright infringement in federal court; Putting others on notice of your copyright; and Allowing you to collect statutory damages for copyright infringement. If you have created a new work, consider consulting an experienced copyright attorney to help you understand what is the process of copyright registration. They can help you prepare your copyright registration, advise you about copyright infringement, and help you with contracts to publish or license your work. Steps in the Copyright Registration Process If you decide to register your copyright, you will need to pay a fee depending on is you are re-registering one piece of work. The typical copyright registration cost for standard registration is $65 and if you are submitting for a piece of work that has been registered before and you are the only author, the fee is $45. You will also need to submit an application to the U.S. Copyright Office. This process involves several steps: Prepare Your Registration Materials Your copyright registration consists of three things: Your registration form, Your registration fee, and Copies of the work you want to register. Generally, you should plan to include one copy of your work if it is unpublished and two copies if it is published. Determine How You Want to Register Your Copyright You can register a copyright either by mail or online. The easiest and quickest way to register your copyright is by submitting your registration online with the U.S. Copyright Office. Online copyright registration also has cheaper filing fees than paper registration. In many cases, you will need to mail the copies of your work separately, even if you complete registration online. However, the following works may be submitted electronically: Works that are published only electronically, Unpublished works, and Architectural works. If you prefer to register your copyright by mail, you need to choose the appropriate form for the type of work you are copyrighting. The Copyright Office has different forms for visual arts, performing arts, literary works, sound recordings, and single serials. You can download the forms online or request to have them sent to you by mail. You can mail your form to: Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office-SR101 Independence Avenue SEWashington, DC 20559-6000 If you complete your registration by mail, you need to include your fee and copies of your work in the same package as your registration form. Follow Up on Your Registration If you register online, you will receive an electronic confirmation. If you register by mail, you should consider using certified mail to confirm receipt. The U.S. Copyright Office will not send you a confirmation. It generally takes about three to nine months for the Copyright Office to process your registration. The length of time depends on whether you submit your registration and copies electronically or by mail and whether further communication is needed before the copyright can be granted.  If you file online, you can check the status of your claim online. If you file a paper application, you can contact the Copyright Office to check your claim?s status after about six weeks. If the Copyright Office has questions or needs more information from you, it will reach out by mail, email, or phone. If the Copyright Office cannot grant your copyright, it will send you a letter explaining why it rejected your registration.  If all goes well and your copyright is registered, the Copyright Office will send you a certificate of registration by mail. How Long Does Copyright Last? The length of time a copyright lasts depends on when it was registered and whether the author is an individual or an institution. For any copyrights registered after January 1, 1978, the following rules apply: Individual Authors If the author of a work is an individual, their copyright will last for the length of their life plus 70 years. If the work has more than one author, then the copyright will last for the length of the last surviving author?s life plus 70 years. Institutional Authors Different rules apply if the author is an institution, such as a corporation or nonprofit organization, or someone they hired to complete work on their behalf. In this circumstance, the copyright lasts either 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever comes first. This rule also applies to anonymous authors. Contact an Intellectual Property Lawyer Today If you have questions about copyright registration or if you have questions regarding trademarks or patents, our experienced intellectual property attorneys are here to help. Contact us today and see what Polasek Law Firm can do for you. 

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