KNOW-HOW. PERSONAL ATTENTION. INNOVATIVE THINKING.
These are the hallmarks of Hiaring + Smith, LLP. We know our specialty, we know our clients, and we know their businesses. We offer comprehensive intellectual property (IP) legal services from counseling to procurement, prosecution, licensing, and litigation. We provide our clients with legal and industry expertise, coupled with a goals-oriented approach aimed at cost-effectively protecting your IP.
Our Founding Partners
After years of big firm and corporate practice, founding partner Anne Hiaring saw the need to provide personal, state-of-the-art IP legal services without the high overhead costs of a big law firm. In 1990, she founded her own firm, primarily focused on registering and enforcing her clients' trademarks and copyrights.
After nearly twenty years of practice in her own firm, Anne wanted to expand the services she offered by starting a new firm that offered a wider array of IP legal services. In 2009, Anne Hiaring and Carol Smith joined practices in September 2009 to establish Hiaring + Smith, LLP (H+S). In forming H+S, Carol Smith returned to private practice after spending the past twelve years of her career as IP counsel at various Bay Area technology companies where she counseled internet and media executives in the areas of IP strategy, licensing and litigation. In March 2010, Vijay Toke, an IP litigator with a particular focus on trademark and copyright litigation, joined as a founding partner of the firm. Today, H+S provides in-depth global advice on intellectual property matters, particularly with regard to trademarks, copyrights, rights of publicity, and transactional licensing.
Supporting associates, research and paralegal assistants round out the firm's expertise. Today, Hiaring + Smith provides over 50 years of business and law firm experience to serve the needs of our clients.
Diverse Client Base
Our client base is diverse in every way. Our clients come from the United States and around the world and range from publicly-traded corporations to sole proprietorships. Our clients' products and services are equally diverse - hospitality and restaurants, software and publishing, food and wine, fashion, jewelry, and retail, financial and consulting services, skateboard wheels and collectibles. We work hard to understand these varying industries to provide our clients with knowledgeable, targeted advice specific to their industry.
Our advice doesn't just stop at the border. Though we focus on IP law in the United States, we have extensive experience with international aspects of IP and regularly counsel our clients on such issues. And where our clients need counsel abroad, long-standing relationships with law firms around the world enable us to meet our clients' international, as well as domestic, state, and national needs in all aspects of IP.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
We assist clients in selecting marks through trademark searching, protecting them through domestic and international registration strategies and enforcing them through effective infringement monitoring and enforcement measures. We also defend infringement claims raised against our clients.
We have extensive experience in prosecuting opposition and cancellation actions before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and have also prosecuted and won domain name dispute proceedings.
Global trademark protection strategy is a specialty. Our staff has decades of experience in global trademark protection , both in obtaining registrations and fighting infringements around the world. We use state-of-the-art proprietary search technology and trademark docketing systems to provide up to date information and accountability. We work with litigation counsel and local counsel outside the U.S. in infringement matters.
We advise clients regarding copyright ownership, registration and enforcement and on defense in cease and desist matters. Our clients in core copyright industries include software developers, book publishers, writers and artists, card, calendar and newspaper publishers and licensors of copyrighted products.
We provide audits of copyright rights, analysis of existing copyright registration coverage and advice on implementing proper internal policies for copyright protection and retention.
On-line commerce has opened new areas of potential liability - we are well-versed in safe haven and other issues under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Avoiding liability and implementing sensible business terms and procedures is our goal for our clients.
We advise clients on domain name registration as well as trademark registration priorities.
Rights of Publicity
Celebrity images turn up in a surprising number of contexts. Besides publishing and software content providers who use celebrity images in their products, we represent many different types of businesses that have celebrity rights questions that arise in the marketing of their products. We also represent celebrities to ensure that their rights of publicity, trademarks and copyrights are protected.
Rights of Publicity Article
Licensing and Business Transactions
Depth in both trademark and copyright law support the firm's work in software and internet licensing, trademark and copyright licensing and the range of business agreements and due diligence involved in any transactions involving trademarks, copyrights and rights of publicity. We also provide counsel on trade secret, non-compete and other business contracts. IP audits, recordation of domestic and international rights and creation of form contracts provide our clients with knowledge of their rights and the tools to work with internally.
Internet Content Licensing
Risk Assessment and Counseling
Doing our job well means our clients will reduce their risk of IP infringement liability. We educate our clients on the tools available to them to know the IP rules and to perform as much research as possible (or desired) in-house. That involves knowing our clients and their business, educating key staff about IP clearance and procedures and monitoring trademark and copyright acquisitions to ensure the rights are solid.
Risk Assessment Article