Intellectual Property Lawyer

Intellectual property—including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets—is the lifeblood of many businesses.

Whether you believe your intellectual property has been misappropriated or you have been accused of misappropriation yourself, you need a lawyer who can protect your best interests.

Hoge Law Firm in San Diego, CA, can connect you with an intellectual property lawyer who understands how to protect your rights and help you avoid potentially devastating setbacks.

It Pays to Take Prompt Action
When It Comes to Intellectual Property Claims

The statute of limitations regarding intellectual property lawsuits varies according to the type. In every case, it serves your best interests to take action as soon as possible by contacting a lawyer.

If another party is claiming that you misappropriated their intellectual property, it's important to understand that evidence to the contrary only becomes more difficult to gather as time passes. Make your priority a consultation with an attorney.

Charlie Hoge is a business attorney who has helped businesses and individuals navigate intellectual property litigation for more than 30 years. When you reach out to his San Diego law office, you will be connected with an attorney who can help you take the right legal steps toward the results you need. To get started, write to us or call:

Charlie Hoge
Charlie Hoge is a business attorney who has helped businesses and individuals navigate intellectual property litigation for more than 30 years.

Trademark Litigation

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines a trademark as “a word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies your goods and services,” distinguishing a company's products from those of their competitors. Common examples of this type of intellectual property include the Apple logo and the Nike swoosh.


Once this type of intellectual property becomes a registered trademark, its use by another party without the owner's permission can be legally prevented. Our San Diego firm can help clients secure the counsel they need to take full advantage of the protections a trademark affords.


Common defenses in trademark infringement claims include:

Fair Use

Making a statement such as "Brand X® cars are roomier than Brand Y® cars" is permitted under fair use. It is also considered lawful to use a trademarked term in a statement such as "We sell Brand X® cell phones." Parody can also be considered fair use of this type of intellectual property if it is clearly intended to amuse or make social commentary. Fair use is highly subjective, making a lawyer's involvement in your case essential.

Prior Use

If a party can demonstrate that they were using a trademark before it was registered by another party, they may not be held liable for infringement. 

Patent Litigation

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states that "a U.S. patent gives you, the inventor, the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling an invention or importing it into the U.S." Patents generally grant this exclusivity for 20 years. Patents cannot be renewed. A contemporary example is Bluetooth, which was issued a patent in 2003.


As long as the patent is active, it gives the inventor the right to decide who can and cannot use the invention. During that time, it is unlawful for certain parties to make, distribute, import, or sell the patented invention.

Statute of Limitations

Patent holders typically have six years to initiate patent litigation. Let Hoge Law Firm in San Diego put you in touch with an attorney who helps clients take prompt and prudent action.


If you are facing allegations of patent infringement, our San Diego firm can coordinate the counsel you need. Common defenses used in patent infringement lawsuits include:

  • Non-Infringement

    The defendant's invention is not the same as the one outlined in the patent.

  • Invalidity

    There are many measures of a patent's validity. One measure is obviousness; in other words, is the invention truly novel, or would anyone of ordinary skill eventually have arrived at the same invention? For example, if a component of a kitchen utensil breaks easily, the same utensil using a more durable component might be considered too obvious to patent. An attorney can be invaluable in challenging the validity of a patent.

Copyright Litigation

Copyright protects original artistic, musical, and dramatic works like songs, architecture, and poetry. It also provides protection for software. As soon as the work is created and takes a tangible form that can be perceived either with or without a device (such as a speaker broadcasting an original song), it is likely protected. Copyrights don't have to be registered, but having a record of the facts relating to your copyright can make it easier to protect, and easier to collect damages if infringement occurs.

lawyer reviewing contract with client


Copyright gives you several exclusive rights, including the reproduction of the work, development of derivative works based on the copyrighted material, public display of the work, and public performance. 

Statute of Limitations

You most likely have three years from the date of the alleged infringement to file suit. Our San Diego office places clients in touch with lawyers who can provide counsel regarding copyright infringement or any other type of intellectual property law violations.


The most common defense in copyright infringement claims is fair use (a legal doctrine allowing limited use of copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission). For example, quoting a few lines of lyrics in a music review may be permissible. Using a song's complete lyrics set to different music would not likely be considered fair use of the intellectual property.

Fair use is highly subjective. Get in touch with our San Diego firm to be connected with an attorney who can uphold your rights. We only work with attorneys capable of guiding clients through complex business litigation.

We connect clients with lawyers who can provide counsel if a copyright or any other kind of intellectual property has been misappropriated.

Trade Secret Litigation

Trade secrets can be formulas, recipes, marketing strategies, and other information that:

  • Is valuable to your business because it is a secret
  • Is only known to limited parties
  • Is being carefully maintained a secret through measures like nondisclosure agreements
Person sneaking pictures of documents


Generally speaking, when a trade secret meets the criteria outlined above, the owner can take legal action against parties who misappropriate the trade secret. Misappropriation includes stealing the trade secret through means such as hacking, breaching a contract such as a non-disclosure agreement, and knowingly utilizing or sharing a trade secret.


Defenses against charges of this type of intellectual property misappropriation may include:

  • Independent development. In other words, the trade secret was developed by an employee using their own resources on their own time.
  • Inadequate security, meaning the owner of the trade secret was making inadequate efforts to maintain its confidentiality.
  • The trade secret was already publicly known.
Hoge Law Firm in San Diego can place you in touch with an attorney versed in intellectual property law to help you avoid unjust legal consequences. 

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