One valuable asset in a business is to have a registered trademark. It requires legal counsel from a trademark lawyer to register a trademark. This helps to avoid complications and rejection of the trademark.
A trademark lawyer advises clients to help protect and enforce their trademark rights. If you’re involved in the entertainment industry, you may want to hire a trademark lawyer for the following reasons:
- You’re entering into or negotiating the terms of a contract
- Creating contracts that involve companies, vendors, and financiers
- There is a problem dealing with locations and film commissions
- Someone else has violated a contract.
- Someone stole your intellectual property.
- You are figuring out publication or distribution rights.
- You are suing or are being sued for any reason related to intellectual properties, contracts, etc.
Finding an Entertainment Lawyer
The first step in finding a trademark lawyer for the entertainment industry is to be clear and certain of your goals.
One of the best ways to find an entertainment lawyer is through referrals from other entertainers. That is, the referral is from someone who has experienced the services of a trademark lawyer.
You can also hire an entertainment lawyer through an online lawyer’s directory.
Another important resource is the bar association. The bar association is a professional organization for lawyers in a state and refers you to lawyers best suited for your case. They also have lists of lawyers in different areas of law.
Law school clinics are another similar option. Some assist independent filmmakers with legal issues without cost.
Expectations from Meeting with an Entertainment Lawyer
Making an Introduction
The first appointment with an entertainment lawyer is often an introductory discussion in which you identify your specific legal issues. The lawyer will enlighten you about their experience and how they can assist you.
Inquire about the Consultation Charge
The second phase is reserved for consultation. Consultations vary based on the lawyer and company. Initial consultations last from fifteen to sixty minutes. Some lawyers offer free initial consultations, while others charge consultation fees. Before you plan a meeting, inquire about the lawyer’s consultation charge.
Prepare to Pay a Retainer
Before beginning to represent you, many lawyers demand a deposit. This payment will go into a trust account. Ask your lawyer whether they require a retainer; not all lawyers do. You need to sign a retainer agreement if you are to pay a retainer.
Before signing, please make sure you have read the terms well. Taking the terms of the retainer and the merits of the case home and giving it some thought the next day is a healthy habit. You do not want to engage that lawyer if they object to you bringing the case home to consider it. No lawyer should compel you to sign anything.
Take Note of Your Questions
It is important to ask questions when meeting with an entertainment lawyer. This allows you to make the most of your appointment. You can make an informed judgment about whether the lawyer is a suitable fit for you.
Some questions you need to ask are as follows:
- Their experience with entertainment law
- Their experience in the entertainment industry
- Some of the most common legal issues they help clients with
- Their experience with your specific legal needs
- Their fees and the method used in charging for services
- What you can expect if you decide to work with them
Things to Consider When Hiring a Trademark Lawyer
Popular categories of intellectual property include patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Entertainment lawyers all have a unique specialty, but many people who are not lawyers are not aware of the distinction.
It’s not always true that experience in trademarks translates into specialization in patents. It is thus important to ask the lawyer you are talking to about his or her real area of expertise.
A good lawyer should be knowledgeable about the law and not just anybody who is willing to show up in court to handle your case. There must be track records of cases handled for the entertainment industry. Also, consider a sound track record in cases similar to yours in a prospective trademark lawyer. You get to know this by asking the lawyer questions related to past cases. This gives you an understanding of the lawyer’s capacity to defend your case, while also boosting your confidence in their skill and knowledge.
You can inquire about things like the following:
- How many years of experience do you have as an entertainment lawyer?
- Have you represented individuals/organizations with similar cases as mine?
- What was the outcome of those cases?
Some lawyers pretend to be entertainment lawyers but are not. You must be thorough in your research. Hire a trademark lawyer with experience in entertainment. One who is the best in the field with the requisite skills, knowledge, and qualifications.
Hire someone who can defend your freedom and puts his client’s needs first.
An experienced trademark lawyer responds to all your inquiries in detail. The lawyer must fully comprehend the legal concerns of your case.
It is important to hire an experienced and good trademark lawyer. It is also important that you can afford their services. Determine the lawyer’s fees and compare them to his track record and experience. This helps determine if the price is reasonable.
Factors that determine a lawyer’s fees are as follows:
- level of experience
- the complexity of the case
- the location of the court
A disorganized and unprofessional lawyer will not guarantee you a positive outcome. It is a must to hire and keep the services of a lawyer who conducts himself/herself with professionalism.
Hire someone who is careful in the smallest details, e.g., someone who returns your calls after committing to do so. He attends your meetings and gives you as many updates as possible about your case.
- Good Communication Skills
Effective communication between you and your lawyer is crucial. The trademark lawyer should be able to communicate with you in a way you understand. Communication with your lawyer is key to enforcing your intellectual rights and any infringement on it.
What to expect after you have hired a trademark lawyer?
Any legal agreement drafted by your trademark lawyer should be easy to understand by you.
If you sue another person and win, you can expect to receive either money or sole ownership of your work. Your entertainment lawyer should do everything possible to prove your innocence when sued.
There are no guarantees in a lawsuit. You have the best opportunity when you have a lawyer who understands the law and court procedure.
In conclusion, when you have done your research and made sufficient inquiries of the lawyer’s experience, it helps a lot when considering the use of their legal services. It is also critical to recognize that entertainment law is a complex area of law. So, ask questions and express your concerns to your lawyer.