Intellectual Property

intellectualProperty2Phil Summa and the staff at Summa PLLC bring over 70 years of combined experience to the intellectual-property field. Phil has drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent and trademark applications in the US and throughout the world, and has enforced and defended numerous patents in the US and other countries.

During his career, Phil has also evaluated hundreds of potential trademarks, has obtained hundreds of Federal registrations, and on behalf of clients has defended and asserted trademark rights in numerous situations.

In intellectual property, Summa PLLC can help you accurately determine your legal position, your desired goals, and the best way to reach them.

Summa PLLC seeks to encourage the intellectual property owner that securing, protecting, maintaining – and, where necessary, respecting – intellectual property is a craft not a commodity; a value not a cost; and a legacy not an afterthought.

A patent is a government monopoly for an invention, granted after examination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A patent is a property right that should, when properly considered, prepared, and prosecuted, provide the owner with recognition for an accomplishment, an asset for ownership, a value benefit for transactions, and—when necessary— a weapon for enforcement. Obtaining maximum patent protection that will support a potential 20 year lifetime, is one of the fundamental challenges for the patent practitioner.

In a complementary fashion, these same factors provide the basis for a vigorous analysis of the patent positions of other parties, and when necessary, a thoughtful defense against patent infringement.

A trademark is any name, symbol, or other designation that serves to distinguish a source of goods. A trademark represents an owner’s identity and perhaps more importantly, their reputation. Trademark law continually returns to the basic concepts of distinctiveness and likelihood of confusion. Trademark law presents the client—and thus the lawyer—with a challenging blend of factors that must be evaluated to maximize, assert, and periodically defend the owner’s interest. Practically, the client needs the expertise necessary to recognize the relevant factors in any given situation, a straightforward and understandable explanation of their position, and the best possible solution within the legal and factual framework.

A copyright protects the expression of an idea, but not the underlying idea itself. Copyright, although simple in concept, encompasses a bundle of individual sub-rights. These rights can provide the client with commercial value, or can shield the client from unreasonable or unfair assertions. The potential complexities of copyright law blended with rapidly moving technology, make experience of particular value.

A trade secret is information that has value because it is not generally known. From a legal standpoint, trade secrets are best enforced with good business practices, with appropriate agreements when the information must be shared, and with an understanding of the statutory and common law that applies.