Intellectual Property (IP) - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual property is an important part of every business today. In fact, for many clients, it is one of their primary assets.

We work with clients in the areas of soft IP (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, confidential information, but not patents). We help clients register, license, and protect their IP so they can protect and use it most efficiently and effectively. This involves IP audits where we inventory client IP along with the protections and uses in place which can be modified or improved to accomplish client goals. We can also advise clients on how to fashion and implement an intellectual property strategy that takes advantage of the legal framework so they can maximize their protection, and increase the value, of their IP. In addition, we assist clients with developing or reviewing non-compete and non-solicitation provisions, drafting or reviewing non-disclosure agreements, and with devising appropriate prevention and enforcement mechanisms including injunctive relief.


Trademarks for businesses are distinctive marks that indicate the source of particular goods or services traded in commerce. These marks are things like names and logos, but can also include trade dress such as product and store designs or layouts, or even colors. These distinctive marks have value, and gain additional value, because of the investment made by businesses to make the mark into something people recognize, a symbol of the quality and value consumers expect from the business. Trademarks are an therefore an important asset for small businesses representing their goodwill and hard work building their reputation and brand in the market. We assist clients with obtaining, protecting, and managing their trademark assets.


Copyright protection attaches to original works of authorship to give the author the right to control the use of the work. In our information economy, copyright law applies to much of the resources and assets of a business. For example, copyright law applies to software, graphic designs, architectural plans, work reports, training materials, websites, and a lot more. We help clients recognize their copyrightable works, properly manage and protect those works, and navigate the rights and obligations associated with those rights both with other businesses, and with their employees and independent contractors. Copyright licensing and management is essential for businesses in all industries.


Trade secrets include information of a business that is both valuable and secret. One of the most common, and recognizable trade secrets almost all businesses have is a client list. Trade secrets are not protected by law like copyrightable works or trademarks. Rather, trade secrets gain their protection by the way that a business manages the information. The business must proactively take steps to protect the information and keep it secret, so it will maintain its value. Much of this protection and confidentiality exists and is maintained through the use of contracts and policies. We work with clients to shore up their trade secret protection and use. This may involve developing policies, advising on the use and storage of such information, creating non-competes or non-solicitation agreements, and other methods.