Practice Areas

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Ramey & Schwaller takes its law practice to new heights by helping our clients succeed in the challenging global marketplace. We are a full-service, intellectual property boutique firm assisting our clients in all aspects of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, unfair competition and copyrights. In addition to the traditional services offered by IP firms, we offer portfolio analysis, IP holdings valuations, strategic planning advice, business counseling and due diligence investigations. We take the time to understand our clients’ businesses so we can offer custom solutions tailored to our clients’ specific needs and business goals.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys provide aggressive legal representation for our clients. The skilled intellectual property attorneys at our firm are experienced litigators who have technical expertise in areas such as:

  • Oilfield Equipment
  • Downhole Tools
  • Oilfield Chemistry
  • Software
  • Semiconductors

  • Computer Science
  • Telecommunications
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemistry

  • Cellular Telecommunications
  • Agriculture
  • Business Methods
  • Other Engineering Fields

Our sophisticated, technical backgrounds allow us to speak the language of engineers, doctors, professors, scientists and inventors. Our personal, knowledgeable approach puts your experts at ease and prevents key information from being lost in translation.

Our litigation practice covers the following areas:

Antitrust

The purpose of antitrust law is to promote and maintain market competition by eliminating unfair competitive practices.  While many boutique firms are not prepared to handle antitrust issues, Ramey & Schwaller attorneys gained their antitrust experience at large regional and national firms. We handle government investigations, unfair competition, mergers and acquisitions, counseling, and civil and criminal litigation related to antitrust matters for small- to large-sized companies located worldwide.

Complex Commercial Litigation

Protecting your corporate assets is imperative. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are experienced litigators who know how protect your assets from infringement. We are also adept at defending your assets when you are unfairly accused of infringing on the intellectual property of others. IP disputes typically involve complex, technical issues and require attorneys who can respond quickly and decisively. Our technical and scientific backgrounds allow us to quickly grasp the technical aspects of your situation. We are responsive and ready to begin work on your case immediately.

Additionally, we have specialized experience in litigating disputes involving enterprise resource management (ERM) systems and supplier relationship management (SRM) systems. ERM proprietary software is used to manage all of a company’s assets, and SRM proprietary systems are used to manage and track supplier interactions as well as their capabilities. These systems are integral in keeping today’s companies on track and within budget. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the operation of these systems and are experienced at both establishing and protecting the ownership rights inherent in these proprietary software systems. We are also experienced in breach-of-contract suits related to the use of these systems.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes involving intellectual property issues are complex and expensive. These cases often land in federal courts where the resolution process is lengthy. Many companies seek quicker resolution to these issues. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are skilled in alternative dispute resolution, mediation and combination approaches that reduce expenses and time while providing satisfying solutions.

Our dispute resolution services include:

  • Non-binding mediation
  • Binding arbitration
  • Resolution of international and multinational disputes
  • Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy filings to recover domain names improperly registered
  • Creation of cross-licenses and distribution agreements
  • Assessments for acquisitions
  • Neutral opinions assessing the strengths/weaknesses and potential settlement value of intellectual property cases

Every Ramey & Schwaller litigation matter is assessed to determine if it would benefit from participation in the alternative dispute resolution process.

Intellectual Property

Our intellectual property litigation practice includes disagreements involving:

Copyright

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have handled hundreds of copyright disputes, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Original work deserves the proper protection, and you should be able to ensure that others do not improperly gain financially from the use of your original work. From a defense perspective, companies are often improperly accused of infringing upon another’s copyright when the facts do not support copyright infringement. Protect your rights by hiring experienced, sophisticated intellectual property litigators.

We provide a full range of copyright services to help our clients protect their valuable works of authorship. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys work in partnership with our clients to develop a system the client can use to ensure it captures all of its intellectual property. Copyright protection is one of the most often overlooked pieces of intellectual property law that provides one of the easiest mechanisms for protection.

Inventorship Disputes

The most common issue in inventorship disputes arises when a department head or leader of a research team wants to add his/her name to the patent application. These applications list inventors and every named inventor must be able to point to at least one claim for which they provided input. These issues can sometimes be avoided by determining slight modifications to which the would-be inventor contributed and claiming these modifications in a dependent claim.

Future disputes are sometimes expected when there is risk that an inventor will be laid off or terminated. These disputes can often be avoided by making a detailed list of all the inventors’ contributions and having all involved (inventors and non-inventors) sign agreements documenting the accurateness of the list.

Inventorships can be corrected after the patent is filed, but the process is complex and difficult. Our attorneys have successfully managed this correction process on a number of occasions.

Patent Litigation

Our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating patent infringement cases in the Federal Circuit, ITC and District Courts, including more than 20 district courts. Our attorneys have experience litigating technologies related to oilfield equipment, downhole tools, oilfield chemistry, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, computer software, semiconductors, cellular telecommunications, medical devices, agriculture, and business methods.

The skilled intellectual property attorneys at our firm have technical expertise in areas such as chemistry, software, semiconductors, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, computer science, cellular telecommunications, telecommunications, agriculture, business methods and a variety of engineering fields.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have experience representing both claimants and respondents in ITC 337 proceedings. An important distinction between an infringement action in the ITC and in federal district court is that ITC actions do not usually involve monetary awards. ITC actions typically move faster than similar cases in district courts. Lastly, ITC injunctions, both permanent and temporary, can be broader in scope than their counterparts handed down in district courts.

Trade Secrets

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act defines trade secrets as information (such as a method, program, technique, etc.) that gives a company an advantage, provided that information remains unknown outside of the company. These trade secrets must be protected by controlling what information employees bring in and what information leaves the company through employee termination, business relationships and other avenues.

In matters involving trade secrets, prevention is of prime importance. However, we realize that situations arise in which trade secrets are in immediate danger and steps must be taken quickly to enforce noncompetition, nonsolicitation and confidentiality agreements, and restrictive covenants; and to act to protect assets and property through temporary restraining orders, preliminary and permanent injunctions, and other legal remedies. In these situations, where rapid responses and quick legal reflexes are imperative, Ramey & Schwaller’s experienced attorneys are prepared to advise our clients as to the appropriate measures and move swiftly to take the proper action.

Trademarks

Owners have exclusive rights to the use of their trademarks. When another person uses that mark or a close proximity of that mark in such a way that would likely cause a consumer to become confused as to the source or origin of goods related to that mark, there is cause for an action based on trademark infringement. To prevail in a trademark infringement action, the plaintiff must prove that it has a valid mark entitled to protection and that the defendant used that mark or a similar mark in connection with the sale of services or goods without the plaintiff’s consent. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have significant experience in trademark disputes, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants in such disputes for many years.

Unfair Competition

Your company has worked hard to build its creative, intellectual and economic intellectual property portfolio. These assets are valuable investments. Over time, you have established good will in your community and industry based on your good name and reliable products. Your customers know that your company name can be depended on to create quality products and services. And your opposition knows they cannot produce junk if they hope to compete with you in the marketplace.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys know the importance of protecting your business and are experienced at guarding their clients against a variety of threats related to unfair competition involving fraudulent and deceptive practices, including interference with business relations; infringement on trademarks, trade names and service marks; infringement on copyrights, patents and theft of trade secrets; and false advertising, trade defamation and misappropriation of a name or likeness.

Ramey & Schwaller’s seasoned team aggressively represents clients engaged in the development of advanced technology in order to address the future implications of their investment, ideas and inventions. We craft tailored strategic and protective intellectual property policies that can be enforced and defended, enabling our clients to support, protect, commercialize, license and capitalize on their IP assets. Our attorneys are efficient and focused on achieving our clients’ objectives while working within an agreed-upon budget.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are highly skilled and possess extensive engineering and scientific backgrounds. We counsel regional, national and international clients in areas where science, technology and commerce intersect. Our clients include manufacturers, educational institutions, hospitals, research centers, entrepreneurs, individual and joint inventors, and other developers of leading-edge technologies across a wide range of industries. These clients range from local start-ups to well-established companies around the world.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys advise clients in all areas of intellectual property transactions, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, contracts, due diligence, enforcement, unfair competition disputes, licensing agreements, public offerings for high-technology companies, regulatory guidance, employment agreements and related legal issues. Our attorneys negotiate innovative business and strategic collaborations, such as joint ventures, co-development arrangements, and manufacturing and distribution agreements.

Ramey & Schwaller’s IP attorneys place our clients in optimal positions to succeed in today’s complex global marketplace.

Our transactional practice covers the following areas:

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys often represent clients in corporate law on behalf of both purchasers and sellers during corporate transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. We deliver a thorough evaluation and analysis of issues triggered by impending purchases, policies, procedures and audits.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys handle complex agreements and licensing, including:

  • Technology Transfer Agreements
  • Technology Marketing Agreements
  • Patent, Trade Secrets and Copyright Licenses
  • Technology License Agreements
  • Entity formation documents
  • Manufacturing agreements
  • Master Service License Agreements
  • Outsourcing Agreements
  • Professional Services Agreements
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Non-compete Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employee Trade Secret Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements (Employee Invention
    Assignment Agreements)
  • Web Site Agreements
  • eCommerce Agreements
  • Software Development Agreements

Specific technical areas of prosecution:

  • Mechanical (including oil field technology and service tools, medical devices and other complex mechanical applications related to downhole applications/methods), chemical engineering and processing equipment;
  • Chemical, including applications related to the polymer arts (polyethylene, styrene, copolymers and the like), gas separation, metallocene and other catalysts, and agricultural chemicals and equipment;
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, including biochemistry, cell immunology, small molecule and cell biology, siRNA, virology and genomics;
  • Agricultural patents related to bioremediation equipment and plant patents, including hibiscus plants and other plant-variety patents;
  • Co-generation; process improvement and fluidized beds;
  • Nanotechnology, including MWCNN, SWCNN, Carbon nanotube synthesis, processing, modification and composites, Carbon nanotube spun fibers, Nanoparticles and their applications, Block co-polymers and Photovoltaic devices;
  • Business methods and insurance improvements;
  • Electrical, including computer programs and semiconductors;
  • Software;
  • Databases;
  • Network architecture;
  • Compression standards;
  • Oilfield equipment;
  • Computer hardware ;
  • Wireless networking;
  • Handheld communication devices;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Semiconductor technology;
  • Electrical engineering; and
  • Mechanical engineering.

Business Counseling & Strategic Planning

We assist our clients by helping them determine where they are going in reference to the competition, developing plans to protect their intellectual property by providing counseling on current options and assisting them in preparing a strategic business plan. The preparation of a strategic plan is a multi-step process covering vision, mission, objectives, values, strategies, goals and programs. These are discussed below.

The Vision

The first step is to develop a realistic Vision for the business. This vision should present an image of where you see your company in the future and serve as the inspiration for all of your planning.

The Mission

The nature of a business is often expressed in terms of its Mission, which states the purpose and activities of the business in terms of operations, (unique) characteristics, functions, customers, offerings, sectors/segments, scale/scope/penetration, methodologies, technologies and resources.

The Values

The next element to address is the Values governing the operation of the business and its conduct or relationships with society at large, customers, suppliers, employees, local community and other stakeholders.

The Objectives

The fourth key element is explicitly stating the business’s Objectives in terms of the results it needs/wants to achieve in the medium/long term. Aside from presumably indicating a necessity to achieve regular profits (expressed as return on shareholders’ funds), objectives should relate to the expectations and requirements of all the major stakeholders, including employees, and should reflect the underlying reasons for running the business. These objectives should cover growth, profitability, technology, offerings and markets.

The Strategies

Next are the Strategies — the rules and guidelines by which the mission and objectives may be achieved.

The Goals

Next are the company’s Goals. These are specific interim or ultimate time-based measurements to be achieved by implementing strategies in pursuit of the company’s objectives.

The Programs

The final elements are the Programs, which set out the implementation plans for the key strategies. These should cover resources, objectives, time-scales, deadlines, budgets and performance targets.

Business Methods

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys have proven experience in helping clients document and patent their business methods. Some examples of business methods we have patented are systems for buying stocks, identifying undervalued assets, insurance strategies and placing value on mutual funds.

Copyright

Copyright protection is one of the most often overlooked pieces of IP law that provides one of the easiest mechanisms for protection. We provide a full range of copyright services to help our clients protect their valuable works of authorship.

Corporate Practice

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys often represent clients in corporate law on behalf of both purchasers and sellers during corporate transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. We deliver a thorough evaluation and analysis of issues triggered by impending purchases, policies, procedures and audits.

Ramey & Schwaller attorneys handle complex agreements and licensing, including but not limited to

  • Technology Transfer Agreements
  • Technology Marketing Agreements
  • Patent, Trade Secrets and Copyright Licenses
  • Technology License Agreements
  • Entity Formation Documents
  • Manufacturing Agreements
  • Master Service License Agreements
  • Outsourcing Agreements
  • Professional Services Agreements
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Non-compete Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employee Trade Secret Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Assignment Agreements (Employee Invention Assignment Agreements)
  • Website Agreements
  • eCommerce Agreements
  • Software Development Agreements

Employment

Ensure ownership of work created by your employees and vendors. Don’t assume the employer owns the work regardless of the rules in place in your state. Secure a clear assignment of rights and make sure everyone signs, including board members, management, company owners and employees. And don’t forget about your vendors and contractors. Take steps to ensure you own all research and development created by these people on behalf of your company. Ramey & Schwaller assists its client in preparing employee agreements, including non-compete and non-disclosure documents, in order to protect their valuable intellectual property.

Due Diligence

Savvy buyers inspect property thoroughly before making a purchase. They have mechanics test used vehicles and home inspectors pour over every inch of a house they are planning to buy. The same reasoning applies to corporate purchases, and mergers and acquisitions. All patents are not created equal. Our attorneys at Ramey & Schwaller are experienced at inspecting intellectual property and proving assessments as to the strength and coverage of the portfolio.

Intellectual Property

Ramey & Schwaller’s patent practice includes preparation and prosecution of patent, trademark and copyright applications in the United States and abroad, particularly in North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Europe. Services include reexamination, reissue and interference cases, electronic filing, monthly docket reports to clients, and tracking and reminders of deadlines and renewal/maintenance fee payments. We also offer opinions regarding patentability, infringement and validity.

At Ramey & Schwaller, we know how imperative it is for every company to have an intellectual property strategy. We work with our clients to develop a system the client can use to capture all of its intellectual property.

Our attorneys and professionals perform a wide range of services that are designed to maximize the client’s intellectual property position and internal strategy. These services include:

  • Clearance Opinions
  • Portfolio Development
  • Agreement Drafting
  • Patent Landscape Analysis
  • Internal Patent Diligence Analysis and Development
  • Validity Opinions
  • Patent Searches
  • Trade Secrets

We utilize the latest patent search processes and research tools, including the LexisNexis database, PubMed database and the USPTO website. We are well versed in the use of the Index to the U.S. Patent Classification and the Classification Schedule in the Manual of Classification. For international patent research, our experience includes in-depth knowledge of the WIPO search database, Canadian Patent Search Database, European Patent Register, British Gateway, British Patent Status Enquiry, Japan’s Industrial Property Digital Library, Germany’s DEPATISnet database and Australia’s AusPat database.

Our intellectual property transactional practice includes:

Design Patents

Design patents are granted on the ornamental characteristics of your invention and are an important tool for creating overlapping protection in your intellectual property portfolio. Design patents are relatively easy to obtain and should be layered with other patents, such as utility patents, to fully protect your invention.

International Patents

Once you have filed your U.S. patent application, the clock starts ticking on one of the three routes available to U.S. applicants to seek foreign patent protection. Although foreign filing can be expensive, it is important to protect your property from being duplicated in other countries. The most direct route is to file the patent application directly in the applicable patent office in each country or region of interest. Alternatively, you can choose to file an application with the International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system or via the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Ramey & Schwaller intellectual property attorneys can assist in determining which route is best for your assets and inventions, and prosecute your international application until your work is patented and protected.

Plant Patents

Plant patents are granted to inventors of new strains of asexually reproducing plants. Ramey & Schwaller attorneys are experienced in organic plant patent prosecution, including hibiscus plants.

Post Grant Review Proceedings

The enactment of the America Invents Act opens an entirely new process for challenging the validity of a patent within the Patent Office at, presumably, a lower cost. Ramey & Schwaller remains ahead of these changes and is committed to keeping our clients informed of these and any other impending changes. Due to our diligence in remaining knowledgeable about this new legislation, we are well positioned to assist our clients in making use of the new procedures. We anticipate the dynamics of patent practice and litigation to change with the institution of the Post Grant Review Procedure, and we will be there to guide our clients through these changes.

Utility Patents

Utility patents concern three main factors: operability, beneficial uses and practical uses of invention. Utility patents protect the way your invention is used and works. These patent filings concerning the “nuts and bolts” of your invention are one of the most common types of patents filed, and our attorneys have successfully prosecuted hundreds of these applications.

Licensing

Licensing agreements are formed between the intellectual property rights owner and those entities or people authorized to use those rights. Examples of licensing rights are copyright licensing agreements, technology licensing agreements, trademark licensing and franchise agreements. Ramey& Schwaller attorneys are experienced in forming licensing agreements that protect both the rights of the owners and the licensees.

Opinion of Counsel

It is helpful for companies to receive opinions of counsel when they are starting a new product line or preparing to advance new technology. Our attorneys are skilled at conducting prior art searches and patents searches so you can have peace of mind knowing your new project is patentable and unlikely to be the subject of an infringement suit.

Our attorneys are also experienced in the reexamination process and can assist in having patents modified, restricted and, in some cases, rendered unenforceable. Reexamination is considerable less costly than an infringement lawsuit and, successfully presented, can result in early dismissal of an infringement lawsuit.

Trade Secrets

Ensure ownership of work created by your employees and vendors. Don’t assume the employer owns the work regardless of the rules in place in your state. Secure a clear assignment of rights and make sure everyone signs it, including board members, management, company owners and employees. And don’t forget about your vendors and contractors. Take steps to ensure you own all research and development created by these people on behalf of your company. Ramey & Schwaller assists its client in preparing employee agreements, including non-compete and non-disclosure documents, in order to protect their valuable intellectual property.

Trademarks

We provide a full range of trademark services to help our clients protect their valuable brands throughout the trademark life cycle. Our attorneys are also experienced in worldwide trademark prosecution.

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