Intellectual Property Practice for Clients in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Amarillo, and Abilene
Founder, Charles Moster, leads the Firm’s Intellectual Property Area which is our core area of representation for clients including startups, established companies, and inventors. His area of concentration also includes computer technology and artificial intelligence as he has represented top researchers and scientists in the field. Mr. Moster has authored several books in the area of technology – quantum/biological computers – artificial consciousness, including “Teilhard’s Arrow – A New Theory of Everything” and “How to Build an Enhanced Computer and Take Over the World.” (available on Amazon Books). The Moster Law Firm offers these intellectual property legal services to business and individual clients in Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Amarillo, Abilene, and Central Texas where we maintain physical offices.
Our areas of Intellectual Property service, including Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights are as follows:
1. Trademark Registration/Trademark Litigation – The Firm works with businesses in advising whether their trade names can be properly protected and registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. We also represent clients with regard to fighting USPTO office actions and appeals before the government. Critically, the Firm issues and defends Cease & Desist Actions and files/defends trademark infringement actions and other matters brought under the Federal Lanham Act in Federal Courts nationwide.
2. Patent Registration – The Firm offers comprehensive patent representation to inventors and businesses ranging from Oil and Gas products to technology. Our clients include established companies and prior inventors to first timers who come up with an original idea. The process involves determining whether the idea can be patented, performing a patentability opinion to determine if the new idea infringes on a prior filed patent, and the filing of provisional and utility patents.
3. Product and Service Branding – The determination as to whether the clients’ brand can be legally protected is critical to commercial success and the avoidance of costly lawsuits by competitors. Mr. Moster has represented businesses ranging from small startups to large box stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Litigation have been successfully pursued against some of the largest corporations in the world including Hobby Lobby. Many clients will actually launch a new brand without researching whether it can be properly registered as a trademark/service mark/composite mark. This is a critical and often fatal mistake. We excel at scaling these services to smaller businesses and explaining these critical concepts in a way that make business and financial sense.
4. Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) – Most clients are unaware that our Texas Legislature passed a comprehensive law which protects trade secrets including proprietary information and client lists. We were one of the first firms to obtain an injunction under TUTSA after passage of the act and provide a wide range of services to clients to assert and defend claims brought in Texas State Courts. TUTSA is a powerful weapon available to business and individual clients and we take pride in the comprehensiveness of our practice in this area.
5. Protection of Computer Programs and Applications – We advise clients on how to legally protect their computer programs and Applications in areas ranging from Oil and Gas products/services to Uber related concepts. Many clients fail to protect their IP rights which can be compromised from inception by unscrupulous third parties, investors, and even employees/contractors.
6. Copyright – We assist clients in legally protecting their creative works including photographs, original artwork, music, movie scripts, and literary compositions. Mr. Moster complements his legal knowledge with actual experience in the field as he is an award-winning playwright, composer, and lyricist. He has served as a writer for the Off-Broadway stage, National Public Radio Stations, and theatre venues across the country.
7. Cybersquatting Claims/Defense – The Firm has practiced in the area of cybersquatting and provides litigation services to clients who are battling the illegal activities of third parties seeking to trade on their intellectual property/brand and steal their clients and business. This area can be very confusing to clients and we enjoy explaining these services to first time and more experienced business clients.
8. Purchase of Intellectual Property – Buying and Selling Businesses – The Firm advises clients on the purchase and sale of their assets which involve intellectual property. This is a critical area which is easily overlooked by clients purchasing a first-time business or even more experienced individuals. We will advise on whether the business assets to be potentially purchased are legally protected in the first instance and can pass to the new purchaser, in additions to a wide range of other issues which must be properly understood by purchasers and sellers of commercial assets.
9. Review of IP Contracts and Licensing Agreements – The Firm routinely reviews agreements which include intellectual property provisions to safeguard our clients’ legal rights and to make sure that the business deal matches the enforceable language in the actual contract.
Feel free to schedule an appointment with the Firm for a complementary assessment of any of the above practice areas.
The Client Who Broke Every Intellectual Property, Trademark, and Patent Law and Learned Nothing from the Experience!
“Lonestar Lift” is out of business and its owners are broke. It gets the academy award for breaking every IP, Trademark, and Patent rule and not surviving long enough to tell its tale of insolvency.
Big Bob (“In Your Face Bob”), was the founder and CEO of Lonestar Lift and the former director of international sales for a huge computer retailer. His portfolio was more than 100 Million. He also had an executive MBA from one of the top business schools in the U.S. He also took a class on Trademarks, Patents, and Intellectual Property and convinced himself that he was an expert.
Big Bob hailed from NYC and thought he was something special – so unique and experienced, that he did not need a business and Intellectual Property lawyer to set up his new company, Lonestar Lift – a slight variation of Uber and Lyft, but with a Texas twang. From his office overlooking the Austin skyline, Big Bob had it all figured out – after all – he was an IP expert.
The idea was to get drivers and utilize the “Lyft/Uber” model, but to dress them up as cowboys and cowgirls. The cars would also have huge longhorns on the front and cowhide seats. Only country music was allowed. His plan was to throw several million at Lonestar Lift with the help of three former colleagues who had the cash and startup rapidly with a great Lonestar Lift Logo, branding, huge website footprint with the best SEO, and a new software system which allowed Lonestar Lift to identify customers before they actually needed a ride. It was a brand-new concept where the software tracked the profiles of potential customers, captured their emails and texts, and intuitively contacted them right before they needed a ride to the doctor or store (over 70 crowd), to work (carpool set), or a date (anyone using dating websites).
The business idea was a huge hit and Big Bob could not be happier. The Texas branding was quirky but caught on and the brand and logo got everyone’s attention. What’s more, the software system turned out to be brilliant and allowed Lonestar Lift to grab markets that Lyft and Uber never even considered.
It all turned out great until it turned out very bad for Big Bob. It started with a “cease and desist” demand letter from a big law firm in California representing Lyft who accused Lonestar Lift of trademark infringement. They argued that the Lonestar Lift name infringed on the Lyft name because it created a likelihood of confusion in the mind of potential customers. Lyft demanded that Lonestar Lift take down the use of their name immediately, cease operations, and account for all of their profits since every penny was illegally gained.
Big Bob told Lyft to take a hike and was promptly named in a huge lawsuit filed in Austin Federal Court seeking millions in damages for trademark infringement.
To make matters worse, an international trucking company with offices in Manhattan and Singapore also sued Lonestar Lift for patent infringement claiming that they already patented software identical to Big Bob’s company. The only difference was that it tracked potential trucking clients, not passengers seeking a lift. The Patent Infringement lawsuit was brought in Manhattan Federal Court.
Big Bob was at first undaunted and found a Texas attorney who convinced him that he had a great Intellectual Property and Trademark defense being that Lonestar Lift was very different in branding than Lyft and that a customer would not be confused. He also came up with a theory that the software relating to consumer traffic was different than trucking so there was no patent infringement or violation. Big Bob liked the advice but not the legal fees – but he took the bait and was immediately 200K in the hole as the law firm required a retainer of 100K to defend both lawsuits.
Fast forward one year and Big Bob is now “Broke Bob”. The retainers were used up within a few short months and his former partners and Bob spent about 700K in legal fees without success. Not only did they lose but they were required to pay millions of dollars in damages to the Plaintiffs in the two lawsuits.
Here’s what Big Bob learned the hard way:
1. Lonestar Lift Infringed on Lyft. Federal Trademark Law prohibited Big Bob from using Lonestar Lift as it could not meet the test that there was no likelihood of confusion in the minds of a potential customer of Lift or Lyft. Although his lawyer came up with an argument, the chance of success was maybe 10% – which he failed to share with Big Bob.
Take Away – Big Bob should have consulted an IP lawyer before attempting to use the Lonestar Lift name and brand. He would have been told that the name would never survive a legal challenge and that he had to rebrand. Although Big Bob would not have liked the news, he would have saved massive legal defense costs and the total loss of his new business. An experienced trademark attorney would have worked with the client to come up with a viable name which would not face legal challenge.
2. Software Infringement. Big Bob’s software infringed on the trucking company software which was patented. Although the markets were slightly different between the two companies, the software performed identical functions.
Take Away- Big Bob should have consulted a patent attorney before launching his software. An experienced patent attorney would have performed a “patentability search” from the beginning to see if there were registered patents already in place which conflicted with Big Bob’s big software idea. A search would have disclosed the patent owned by the international trucking company and advice to Big Bob to come up with another approach. This was a fatal mistake.
Big Bob moved to Hawaii and convinced himself that the next great idea would be “WikiRides”, based on his old business concept. He consulted a software engineer and made some changes to his software to further distinguish his system from the trucking company. Big Bob found an attorney on the Big Island who was more than happy to feed the client’s enthusiasm with legal theories of little merit.
And what a surprise – Big Bob got sued all over again.
Moral of Story: NEVER embark on a new business venture like Big Bob without consulting an “experienced” Intellectual Property attorney. Search out lawyers who have extensive experience in this area and will provide the “objective” legal advice which you need to not only survive but prosper. Finally, don’t let your ego get in the way of your success. Carefully consider all of the risks associated with your new venture before you launch!