Tel: 805-494-6557
Fax: 805-409-8677

            Attorneys at Law
Established: 1993


Copyrights give the right to exclude someone else from using the material. A copyright is created when the words, pictures, etc., are fixed in a tangible medium.  In other words, for a book or article


Trademarks give the owner of the mark the right to use and exclude others from using a specific mark that identifies the company or product. There is similar protection for trade names and service names and service marks. 

Registration of a trademark is extremely important.  However, just as important is the actual use of the trademark in commerce since use of a trademark determines the protection afforded to it.

Intent to Use:  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has relatively recently begun to permit individuals and business to register their intent to use particular trademarks, tradenames, etc. The filing of an intent to use statement provides certain protections for the trademark even when the trademark has not been used in commerce. 

It is vitally important that businesses consult with an attorney regarding these issues.

Trade Secrets

Trade secret law is an interesting area. Where a business has information that is proprietary (secret and belonging to the company) in nature but it is not protectable by a copyright trademark or patent

Trade secret law in California is somewhat complex and a blend of both trade secret and unfair trade and unfair competition laws. This area of law contains a series of traps for the unwary business. It includes raiding of employees from competitors, the taking of confidential information from a competitor, frequently by former employees, etc.

It is important to understand that in order for information to remain a trade secret precautions have to be taken by the company. Employees who have access to the secret information must sign a confidentiality agreement whereby they agree to keep information secret. 

Additionally, the company has to make sure that the employees know what information is secret and what is not.  For example, small business owners frequently consider their customer lists to be trade secrets. However, like any other trade secret, if it is not kept a secret, the company will lose any trade secret protection.

The law firm DONNER & DONNER is a full-service law firm practicing throughout Central and Southern California. They can be reached at (805) 494-6557 or e-mailed at for legal questions. Donner & Donner is a full-service law firm that represents individuals and businesses in litigation/lawsuits, business formation, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, contract negotiations, estate planning, IRS Problems and other legal areas.


DONNER & DONNER - Legal Warriors ®

Attorneys at Law

910 Hampshire Road, Suite R

Westlake Village, California 91361  

 Tel:  (805) 494-6557

Fax:  (805) 409-8677 *


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