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Patents grant the owner of the patent the exclusive right to prevent others from making (or importing), using or selling whatever invention is specified in the patent claims. The patent owner may grant others an exclusive or non-exclusive right to make (or import), use or sell the patented invention. The owner’s granting of such rights to another is called a “license”, which is essentially a temporary lease of those rights. By contrast, the conveyance of ownership/title to the patented invention is accomplished by an “assignment”.

Calhoun Law Firm assists clients in obtaining patents, and in patent licenses and assignments. Calhoun Law Firm is also experienced in cases involving enforcement of (or defense against) patent infringement claims. Our webpage entitled Disputes summarizes a representative sample
of intellectual property cases (including patent infringement) wherein Joe Calhoun is counsel of record.


Copyright registrations provide the creator (or owner) of works of art or authorship with the exclusive right to display (or perform) the original work in public, or make copies, or make derivatives of the original work of art or authorship. The owner’s granting of such rights to others is called a “license”, which is essentially a temporary lease of one or more of those rights. By contrast, the conveyance of ownership/title to the registered work is accomplished by an “assignment”.

The attorneys at Calhoun Law Firm are experienced in registering copyrights, transferring copyrights by license or assignment, and enforcing (or defending against) copyright infringement claims. Our webpage entitled Disputes summarizes a representative sample of intellectual
property cases (including copyright infringement) wherein Joe Calhoun is counsel of record.


A trademark or service mark can be anything that consumers perceive as a source identifier for the provider of such products/services. Trademark rights enable the owner of the mark to prevent another from adopting a mark that is likely to confuse consumers as to the source or sponsorship of the products/services, if that later adopter used that mark for products/services that are the same as or related to those of the owner. Registration at the U.S. Trademark Office provides procedural advantages and additional means to enforce those trademark rights, possibly throughout the United States, against later adopters of a confusingly similar mark. A license is a lease of one or more trademark rights; an assignment conveys ownership/title to the trademark.

The attorneys at Calhoun Law Firm are experienced in registering, licensing and assigning trademarks, and enforcing (or defending against) trademark infringement claims. Our webpage entitled Disputes summarizes a representative sample of intellectual property cases (including trademark infringement) wherein Joe Calhoun is counsel of record. 


In general, trade secrets may include any types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic or engineering information, if: (A) the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret; and (B) the information has actual or potential independent economic value from not being generally known to (and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by) another person who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. Misappropriation of trade secrets can occur in several ways, including (1) acquisition of a trade secret by a person who has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means, or (2) disclosure or use of a trade secret by a person who used improper means to acquire the trade secret, or who, at the time of disclosure or use, had reason to know that the trade secret was
derived from somebody who used improper means to acquire it.

Calhoun Law Firm is experienced in designing measures deemed legally reasonable to keep such information secret, and in disputes involving the enforcement of (and defense against) claims of misappropriation of trade secrets.


Unfair competition is closely related to trademark infringement, with similar proof elements but with more general forms of violations and with broader implications. For example, unfair competition applies to various courses of business conduct deemed competitively “unfair”, as well as to the misuse of trademarks. Moreover, the federal statutes protecting trademarks (the Lanham Act) provide federal court jurisdiction over unfair competition involving unregistered trademarks, whereas a federally registered trademark is required for federal court jurisdiction over a trademark infringement dispute.

Calhoun Law Firm has decades of experience in assisting business clients navigate through competitive minefields and unfair competition litigation.


Advertising content necessary to establish a case for false advertising generally falls into one of two categories:


  1. commercial claims that are literally false as a factual matter; and

  2. claims that may be literally true or ambiguous, but which implicitly convey a false impression, or are misleading in context, or likely to deceive consumers.


Calhoun Law Firm provides guidance concerning what you (or a competitor) may or may not claim in advertising; the Firm also provides courtroom representation in enforcing (or defending against) claims of false or misleading advertising.


Calhoun Law Firm is fortunate to have a number of clients that it helped start and expand, and that now continue to rely upon our prompt and cost effective guidance. Our services include guiding clients in accomplishing many of the everyday endeavors encountered in starting or growing a business. We greatly value long-term relationships, and typically treat each new client as if a long-term relationship is a shared objective. And when disputes arise during business competition, Calhoun Law Firm can be relied upon to provide competent and cost effective legal representation.


Contract forms abound on the internet, some good and some not so good. Calhoun Law Firm maintains an impressive library of contracts amassed during the past 30 years, and the Firm has decades of experience in “stress testing” contracts through litigation involving enforcement of (or defense against) breach of contract claims. We regularly tailor contracts selected from our library, to fit the particular context of the client’s circumstances and to satisfy the client’s legal needs spawned by those circumstances.


Commercial law encompasses many areas of law relating to businesses engaged in commerce, such as the sale of products or the rendering of services. Examples of such legal fields include company formation or organization, product development and manufacturing, distribution and sales of products or services, and the acquisition or sale of business assets. Calhoun Law Firm is well-steeped in most aspects of those fields due to our historic core legal practice emphasizing intellectual property law, and business start-up and growth. Experience in commercial law fields is a natural offshoot of our core legal practice.


Knowing what your company can (or cannot) do in business competition, or what a competitor can (or cannot) do, will provide a firm foundation for developing strategies to successfully market your products or services. Calhoun Law Firm knows the do’s and don’ts.


Alternatives to lawsuits include mediation and arbitration, ideally administered or managed by a disinterested third party (paid by one or both parties). Mediation and arbitration cannot be forced upon anybody; both require an agreement to submit the particular type of dispute to mediation and/or arbitration, either as a substitute for a court proceeding or as a prerequisite to the filing of a lawsuit. Arbitration is typically “binding”, meaning the decision (award) of the arbitrator is final and can be converted into an enforceable judgment by a court. But there is no requirement that arbitration be binding, unless it is required by the contract. By contrast, mediation is never binding; mediators typically discuss the case facts and law with both sides, then attempt to use persuasive powers to get the parties to agree to a resolution of the dispute.
Calhoun Law Firm is experienced in representing clients in arbitration and mediation, and in court proceedings to either enforce a contractual arbitration clause or to declare it unenforceable.


Following entry of a judgment by a court, either or both side(s) may decide to appeal portions of the judgment that are adverse. Although most appeals are filed with the applicable state or federal Court of Appeals, the respective state or federal Supreme Court may have jurisdiction to accept some appeals before they are ruled upon by the Court of Appeals. Many nuances accompany the identification of appealable issues, the standard to be applied by the appellate
court to determine each such issue, and the overall structuring of the client’s arguments for reversal of the adverse portions of the judgment entered by the trial court. It is sometimes advantageous to have “fresh eyes” review the case and trial transcript concerning appeal strategies, in conjunction with (or as a replacement of) trial counsel. Calhoun Law Firm will capably provide such services in whatever capacity is requested by the client.

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