Intellectual property (or "IP") describes things that are less tangible than real property or personal property but have legally-recognized rights.

Where businesses are involved, intellectual property is usually close at hand.  But IP rights aren't limited to businesses.

A song, a manufacturing process, computer code, or corporate logo—among many other things—can be protected by various federal, state, and international laws.  HLO focuses on three key types of intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

It's important to distinguish between the different types of intellectual property rights.  A TV commercial for Coca-Cola can be copyrighted, but it can't be trademarked.  The Coca-Cola logo and slogan can be trademarked, but not copyrighted.  The scientific formula for Coca-Cola would be considered a trade secret, so it couldn't be copyrighted or trademarked.  (Copyrights and trademarks are publicly-accessible, after all, so it would be hard to call it a "secret.")

The firm provides the following intellectual property law services:

What Can Be Copyrighted?
Anything that constitutes an "original work of authorship" fixed in a physical form of expression.  So what does this mean?  Some of the more obvious examples of copyrightable material would be books, movies, and photographs; however, copyright law also protects things like songs, plays, sculptures, and blueprints.
 
What Can't Be Copyrighted?
Although it seems like practically anything could be copyrighted just by putting it down on paper, that's not the case.  The law recognizes that some things don't qualify for copyright protection, such as ideas, concepts, or facts; lists of ingredients; color; measurements; or anything that isn't in a tangible form.
 
So Why Do I Need to Register a Copyright?
The vast majority of authored works never get registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.  "If that's true," you ask, "then do I really need a copyright?"
 
Here's the rub: until a work has been registered, you can't bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  On the other hand, if a work is registered prior to the infringement, you may be able to recover statutory damages and attorney's fees if you win your case; otherwise, they aren't recoverable.
 
Moreover, if you decide to license the work later--for example, a song, photograph, or computer program--you'll likely have a very tough time finding someone willing to pay you for it.  Without a registered copyright, the potential buyer couldn't be sure that you aren't already infringing on someone else's copyright and wouldn't want to open themselves up to liability.
 
In order to protect your rights, you should copyright any of your works that could have significant value.  HLO can assist you with the registration and enforcement processes.

A trademark gives its holder the right to use a particular and distinctive word, logo, slogan, or design in connection with its business and to prevent others from using it.  When people use the word "trademark," they're usually talking about three separate types of marks: a trademark; a service mark; or trade dress. 

A trademark is a mark used in connection with promoting or branding goods, while a service mark is used to promote and brand services.  A can of Coca-Cola is a good, so the word "Coca-Cola" and its logo is a trademark; same for Microsoft's ownership of the phrase "Microsoft Windows."  In contrast, television networks like Fox and NBC provide programming, which is a service.  As a result, the marks these companies own are generally service marks. 

If the owner instead wants to use a distinctive packaging, shape, or other appearance in connection with promoting a good or service, this is called its "trade dress."  For instance, Coca-Cola holds a trademark on the distinct shape of its glass bottles.  This means that Coca-Cola can prevent other companies from using the same shape in their products, or could license its use to other businesses for a fee.
 
These three types of marks are very valuable for developing and protecting business reputation and brand recognition.
Trade secrets are a major cornerstone of the business world.  Generally speaking, a trade secret is any confidential information that is not widely-known, cannot be reasonably determined, and provides the business with an economic advantage.  For instance, a product design or formula, a manufacturing process, or a company's customer lists would all constitute trade secrets.
 
This information is considered valuable specifically because it's not well-known.  Because of that, the law doesn't protect information that is no longer secret, and typically requires that the business take reasonable steps to maintain its secrecy.  Some examples of reasonable steps can include the use of nondisclosure or noncompete agreements and restricting who has access to the information.
 
Losing trade secret protection can be devastating to a business, especially where the majority of its value is derived from the information.  A skilled attorney can assist you in maintaining that protection and value.