DON’T LOSE THE IP BATTLE

By | General | No Comments

DON’T LOSE THE IP BATTLE BEFORE YOU START

IN AUSTIN, DALLAS, AND HOUSTON

          Many computer program developers and technologists in Austin, Dallas, and Houston lose the IP protection battle before it starts and it all begins with their source code.  In my experience representing computer program developers in Austin, Dallas, and Houton over the many years, most clients fail to recognize the importance of protecting their computer code at inception.  Whether they overlook this because of their technical focus or they think it is a legal matter to resolve later, they put it off. Frequently, the codes are stolen or misappropriated before the first beta test is completed.  The result is tragic as the entire investment and technology is lost.

          This can be easily overcome by consulting an IP attorney in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.  We at the Moster Law Firm enjoy representing computer developers at all stages in the process and recommending the legal steps necessary to protect the technology whether they are seeking and IP Lawyer or Technology Lawyer in Austin, Dallas, Houston, or elsewhere in Texas.

          In some instances, the legal recommendation is simply to obtain a copyright of the code which can now be done in a redacted fashion to prevent reverse engineering of the product.  In other instances, we may recommend that a patent be obtained given the underlying nature of the claims.  We often confront a situation where there is urgency that the code may be stolen and thus will advise on immediate steps to protect and defend including the filing of a provisional patent.

 Give us a call and find out how to protect your computer code.  We are here to help.

 

Contact Us Now

Wind Energy A Texas Giant

By | General | No Comments

Wind Energy A Texas Giant

       Are you a first timer to wind energy or an experienced participant in this emerging industry?  Regardless, you know that Texas is a leader in wind power and renewable energy resources which goes hand in hand with our Oil & Gas industry.  Contrary to media hype, Texas is all about development of energy and we are open to more of it from any source. 

        Our clients in the Wind Energy Industry, Wind Turbines, and Wind Farms are in Austin, Dallas, Houston and throughout Texas.  Not all law firms practice in the legal area of Wind Energy and must acquire experienced Wind Energy attorneys who can provide the discrete services required.  If you are looking for Wind Energy Lawyers, the Moster Law Firm is here to help.

        If you are considering investing in a wind energy venture for the first time, it is critical that you receive the advice of an experienced wind energy attorney who practices in this legal area of wind farms, wind energy projects, and wind turbines.  Although developers do their best to present the complexities of the projects and challenges, you need seasoned legal advice to determine whether investment in this area is right for you.  The first step in the process is gaining an understanding of the legal and business issues which must be confronted in the development process.   This is a wide-ranging area which includes real estate law, land leases, environmental law, and tax aspects.  Our job as attorneys is to introduce you to the fundamentals which will guide you through the process from start to finish. 

        We also enjoy working with established participants in the wind energy area whether at the investment, acquisition, development, or generation stage.  Many of our clients have substantial experience in this area and seek guidance in a particular area which is problematic or challenging.  We love the challenge and are prepared to help.

        Give us a call for a complementary consultation.  We are as fast as the wind.

 

Contact Us Now

Get a Trademark

By | General | No Comments

Top Texas Legal Advice for Texas Business Owners: 

Get a Trademark

 

          As a practicing Texas trademark attorney for over 34 years, I have worked with Texas startups and new Texas businesses in almost every area including Texas restaurants, Texas construction companies, Texas technology firms, Texas retail stores, Texas medical practices, and Texas professional services. Although starting up a new business in Texas as an LLC or S Corporation is always a challenge, one particular mistake rises to the top of the list – not getting a trademark.  Unfortunately, most clients fail to understand why registering a trademark is critical to the success of their new Texas company.  Falling into the Trademark Trap can lead to business failure and expensive litigation in Texas.

          Without a trademark you cannot protect the name of your company and its brand.  Although you can register the name of your business with the Texas Secretary of State to get an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or S Corporation, it does not protect your name from being shut down for trademark infringement if someone else in Texas or another state decides to use it.  The vast majority of clients fail to understand this critical fact and will often run into difficult and expensive problems later on.

           For example, let’s say you come up with a new name for a Texas steakhouse called the “Happy Rancher Texas Roadhouse” and register it as an LLC in Texas.  However, you decide not to register the trademark with the United States Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. 

          You seem to have the restaurant “Midas Touch” from the first day of operations. You have a banner first year and open another Texas restaurant location.  Things are going great until you get a nasty letter called a Cease & Desist in the mail from a law firm in NYC stating that their client in Manhattan has the trademark for Happy Rancher Texas Roadhouse.  The attorney letter informs that you must stop using the name of your restaurant or face an immediate lawsuit. 

          You cannot believe this is happening and visit a trademark attorney in Texas who delivers the bad news:  You have to take down the name of your restaurant and start all over again with a new brand because someone else in another state got the trademark before you did.

          Sounds unfair but there is no way out of this dilemma unless you reach a deal with the owner of the trademark to license the use in another state.  That almost never happens and if it does, expect to pay a fortune for it!

          Moral of the story is to consult a Texas trademark attorney about protecting your company name before you open your doors.  Even if the name is available in Texas, you must still find out if the trademark is available in the United States.

          The process of getting a trademark is critical to the success of your Texas startup and new Texas business.  We’ve been handling trademarks for decades and look forward to answering your questions.

Give us a call for a complementary consultation at our Austin, Dallas, or Houston offices of the Moster Law Firm.

Contact Us Now

Holdem or Foldem

By | General | No Comments

LITIGATION IN THE LONE STAR STATE:

KNOW WHEN TO

HOLD’EM & KNOW WHEN TO FOLDEM

           If more Texas litigators and Texas Trial Attorneys appreciated the Kenny Roger’s lyrics of his great song, clients would be a lot better off.  The problem for Texas litigation clients is that they often think their litigation cards are better than they turn out to be.  If it is a weak or problematic case, folks need to know that straight up and not labor under false expectations that bring revenue to a law firm and lost dollars to the clients.  Given the level of competition between litigation law firms in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, it is critical that you choose the right horse before the race begins.

          The key to litigation success in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, is to get an experienced assessment from the very first meeting.  It is always best to consult with an Austin, Dallas, or Houston litigation attorney who has practiced in the specific area at issue and for a considerable period of time.  For example, if you are dealing with a lawsuit involving technology law in Texas, you want to seek out a Texas intellectual property law firm that handles litigation.

          The next question to to qualify the Austin, Dallas, or Houston lawyer who might handle your case based on their Texas courtroom experience in the specific technology issue involved whether it is infringement, theft of trade secrets, or whatever the matter might be.  As a word of caution, be wary of advertising labels which attempt to depict your lawyer as a super hero.  Most of these accolades are paid for and not earned.  The best indicator of excellence is conferred by the State Bar of Texas or Martindale Hubbell which offers an AV Rated “Preeminent” ranking to the best attorneys in America, including the Moster Law Firm.

          An excellent Texas lawyer will lay out the cost benefits of any action as there is never a guaranty that you will win.  If the attorney appears overly enthusiastic you might seriously consider exiting the law office as rapidly and safely as possible.  Although law firms avoid giving you a success percentage, always ask for one. 

          Critically, you need to understand the strengths of your case, the weaknesses, and the potential legal costs and expenses to litigate.  Without this critical information which many Texas litigation firms will not volunteer, you have no way to complete a cost-benefit as to whether the case should be pursued at all.

          Also, watch out for who will be responsible for the legal work.  Is the partner doing the job or handing it off to a brand new attorney?  You are more likely to get a green associate in a large firm which attracts clients given the national or international power of its brand.

          A seasoned and experienced lawyer should be able to listen to your fact pattern at the first meeting and make a recommendation as to the merits or your case or lack thereof.  If you sense hesitation, might be best to head for the exit door again.

           Oh, and final word of warning.  Don’t pay a law firm to research whether you have a good case or not.  If they don’t have that answer from the get go, best to get another legal opinion.

          At the Moster Law Firm we are here to give you a sound assessment of your potential Texas litigation in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.  Give us a call for a complementary meeting to discuss your litigation concerns in a wide array of areas including Texas technology litigation, Texas IP litigation, Texas infringement,  Texas copyright infringement, Texas trademark infringement, Texas theft of trade secrets,  Texas civil litigation, Texas business litigation, Texas commercial litigation, Texas complex litigation, Texas shareholder litigation, Texas partnership litigation, and other Texas disputes. 

If you are seeking outstanding counsel in Austin, Dallas, or Houston, set up a meeting with the Moster Law Firm. 

We are here to help !

Contact Us Now

Covid-19 Pandemic and Technology

By | General | No Comments

During the Covid-19 Pandemic

How to Protect Computer Programs and Software

Copyright and Patent IP Protection

How to Navigate Your Way Thru This Craziness!

Over the many years, I have been involved in the intellectual property protection of computer programs.  Whether the client has come up with software which applies to accounting, oil & gas applications, or even advanced artificial intelligence, the underlying legal and business issue is whether the invention can be protected by a copyright or patent.  This can seem quite complex and confusing. It’s really not difficult at all.

         Most inventors approach the Moster Law Firm when the computer program is at its beta testing phase or shortly before.  The client will typically send me a link or demonstrate the operation of the system in my law office.  It is always fascinating, whether it works or not!

         My initial advice is to protect the Intellectual Property by taking immediate steps.  Inventors invariably fail to see the value of their technology and often think that anyone could come up with the idea.  This is dead wrong and I try to dissuade the client almost immediately of this false notion.  I emphasize that the world is full of people who will steal your idea in a heartbeat and misappropriate your IP for their financial gain.

         My recommendation is typically two-fold: get a copyright and at least a provisional patent if the software qualifies.  First as to copyrights which apply to various original works like books, music, and artwork.  Computer programs are considered a literary work and can be copyrighted under federal law. If you think about it, computer programs are based on configurations of code, not unlike a combination of words which comprise a novel.  An important nuance many are unaware of is that the actual pages of code can be redacted to prevent a competitor from reverse engineering your hard work.  You don’t have to copyright the entire code but excerpts from the beginning and end and highly edited if the code constitutes a trade secret which it almost certainly does.  Critically, you must get a copyright filed to assert enforcement rights to prevent third parties from stealing your original work.  Copyright laws provide a myriad of enforcement remedies from getting an injunction to damages.  The life of a copyright is equal to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.

         A patent is also available but only if the program provides specific functionality and does not solely constitute an abstract idea.  This is exceedingly difficult for a non-lawyer to understand and requires the knowledge and counsel of an experienced patent attorney.  Assuming the invention qualifies, there are two options at vastly different costs.  The least expensive and most expeditious route is to get a provisional patent also known as a patent pending.  This is simply a filing which is not examined by the patent office but protects the invention for one year subject to the filing of a vetted utility patent.  The latter is a far more expensive undertaking than the former. 

         Many inventors will opt for a provisional patent as it gives them time to present their new protected technology to potential investors and test the market.  The lifespan of a patent is a mere 20 years.

         

We love working with new ideas in the field of technology in any sector area.  Feel free to give us a call at the Turing Technology Group to find out more. 

 Let’s Visit.  Call 806-778-6486 or Click Here to send us a message.

 

The new technologies and computer systems of the 2020’s

By | General | No Comments

The new technologies and computer systems of the 2020’s –

Will we pass the Turing Test?

By Charles Moster, Esq.

Founder/Moster Law Firm

 

image281

The 2020’s will see a rapid transformation of new computer and software technology which will fundamentally change the way we do business in the 21st Century.  This massive shift in technology has been predicted by computer scientists and visionaries like Ray Kurzweil in his fascinating book, The Spiritual Age of Machines, and in my own works, Teilhard’s Arrow – A New Theory of Everything and Midnight at Mount Vernon – the Cyber-Surrender of the United States of America.

         We all know that computer capacity has increased at almost exponential rates as predicted by Moore’s Law.  Finally, with the advent of new computer programs and fledgling software based on quantum and even “wetware” technologies, our intelligent systems are beginning to approximate human level intelligence.  That said, will these systems ultimately pass the Turing Test as exemplified by such wonderful movies as Ex Machina and Her?  My answer is an unqualified, “Yes!”.

         I have worked as an attorney in the IP protection of these systems and startup of the new technology companies.  I am also a Co-Founder of a Texas company which is attempting to create the worlds first interactive computer capable of passing the Turing Test.  Although we are definitely on the verge of passing the Turing Test, the first applications will not be as elaborate or “dramatic” as the flirtatious and toxic AI systems otherwise known as Ava and Samantha in the previous films above cited. 

My prediction is that we will see and experience the replacement of entire human sectors of our economy over the next ten years with the first onslaught in the area of customer service. Employees in this sector occupy entry level positions in many of the largest corporations in America and field a myriad of functions from answering the phone, responding the customer inquiries, and compiling/processing information.  Critically, they reflect the” brand” of the companies they work for in an attempt (not always successful) to convey competence, customer service, and caring. 

         As any employer is keenly aware, a poorly placed or trained customer service representative can kill a business by repelling existing and new clients.  Employee retention is extremely difficult and attrition a constant challenge.  The new AI systems will replace this entire sector of the economy in short order.      

         I am proud that many of these new technologies are being spawned in the TexaPlex, a huge sector of innovation which extends from Austin to San Antonio and on up to Houston and Dallas.  As I type away, new companies are emerging to develop these systems and bring them to market.

         The Moster Law Firm Dallas & TexaPlex is uniquely positioned to provide integrated legal and business services to emerging companies and startups in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and the TexaPlex.  Our forte is to launch new technology businesses and provide the sophisticated legal services our clients demand including corporate, intellectual property, and employment. 

         Our first order of business is protecting the IP of our founders and inventors through our patent, copyright, and other legal services designed to prevent the theft or misappropriation of new technologies.  This is usually a critical and immediate issue for our clients who are concerned that competitors or even employees within their own companies might abscond with the family’s IP jewels.  We have various rapid solutions to offer in that regard.

         Additionally, we stand ready to safeguard the ownership and financial interests of our clients who require seasoned and vigilant guidance during the early stage operations of their technology companies.  A poorly constructed partnership agreement or inability to protect ownership and control within the context of venture capital infusion can derail new ventures before they launch or shortly thereafter.  An often-overlooked element is the implementation of employee agreements necessary to protect trade secrets from inception.  The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, passed a few years back by our legislature, offers an array of IP protections and new safeguards for our clients.

         Critically, these new companies also require counsel and advice on how to bring their products and services to market including distribution and licensing regimes and agreements.  We stand ready to assist.

         At Moster Law Dallas & TexaPlex we are excited about the future which is being forged every day by our technology clients in a myriad of industries including medical, energy, financial, insurance, retail, and services.

         Feel free to give us a call to discuss your new technologies and critically, your dreams of the future.   Visit us at our unique Turing Technology Group ™ to find out more.

         Click Here – Let’s visit. or Call 806-778-6486

Covid Law Business Response Team

By | General | No Comments

          The Moster Law Firm’s

     Covid Law Business Response

Covid Law Business Response

Covid-19 The Perfect Storm

         “Unprecedented times require

unprecedented focus and legal solutions.” ™

COVID has destroyed entire economic markets in all sectors
affecting our clients from restaurants/bars/hospitality to Oil & Gas,
transportation, agriculture, distribution, industrial, finance,

and even technology.

We are here to help with the issues you face !  

 click www.themosterlawfirm.com/covid
              or call 806-778-6486 .

How Not to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Legal Victory in Lubbock and Amarillo

By | General | No Comments

The key to winning a case before the Lubbock court or Amarillo court – or any court for that matter – fundamentally turns on the strength of your legal team. Obviously, having a good hand to play as to the facts and evidence is critically important. That said, an ineffective legal team can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. So what steps should a client consider to increase the probability of success? Here are a few suggestions: Read More

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Copyrights

By | General | No Comments

Having represented clients in the area of intellectual property for many years, I am surprised how much incorrect information is out there regarding copyrights and the importance of copyright protection. Here are a few of the major misconceptions that clients often harbor:

1. If you mail yourself back a copy of your original work that counts as a proper trademark.

Read More

How to Lose a Lawsuit in Lubbock or Amarillo Without Really Trying

By | News & Essays | No Comments

This is how it starts. Your former partner, ex-wife/husband, or competitor publishes in the local newspaper that you have an IQ of 50, that you operate a still in your backyard or otherwise disparage your reputation and/or family dog. You are angry, humiliated, victimized and you are ready to strike back by filing a lawsuit. Enough is enough! It’s time to lawyer-up and get even.
Read More