Dumke Law



Formation Through Dissolution: Businesses may take the form of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and more.  The legal form an entity takes will dictate the future of the business, for better or worse.  More than any other area, disputes and litigation arise because business owners selected an entity that was ill suited for their particular needs.  Conversely, when the time comes, the way in which a business dissolves can be as important as the way in which it was created.  Irrespective of the type of entity that is most appropriate for your business, our attorneys have the ability to comply with the initial, continuing, and concluding legal requirements so that your business can thrive without legal complications.        

In-House Counsel Service: Regardless of the nature, size, or scope of a business, every entity requires persistent legal counsel.  Competent legal counsel is essential to the success of a business—whether the need involves reviewing contracts, drafting an option agreement, representation during complex litigation, or simply quick legal advice.  While every business would love to have their own in-house counsel at their immediate disposal, the reality is that most small or new businesses do not have the resources to employ full-time legal assistance or retain a large law firm to resolve their legal matters on a need basis.  Due to this need, our firm has created a monthly flat-fee in-house counsel service, which can be tailored to meet the needs of any business.  Depending on the requirements of the business, a set number of hours per month will be established, which is negotiated in advance, and can be adjusted to your business’s needs.  Given our firm’s familiarity and experience with small business matters, we can appropriately and efficiently advise your small business.

Dispute Resolution:  Unfortunately, for every business there exists a minefield of problems waiting to explode.  Fraud, breach of contract, partnership disputes, infringement, and the like are frequent realities for any business.  Yet, it is often critical to retain professional and personal relationships with those you have disputes.  Rather than taking an immediate adversarial approach like so many other law firms, our attorneys has the experience and skill to amicably resolve your disputes through informal negotiations, mediation, arbitration, or litigation in federal or state court—if no other option yields results.   

Advising:  While counseling a business concerning legal matters is necessary for an entity to exist, seeking advice regarding business decisions can enable a business to flourish.  Often, business owners need advice concerning product development, investment opportunities, licensing, stagey, or conducting due diligence.  Fortunately, for our clients, our firm has a wealth of experience in the private sector, and most hold advanced degrees beyond their Juris Doctorate.

Transactional: Without a doubt, the transactions conducted within a business dictate their future success or failure.  If a contract or other transaction is not properly executed or if the terms are unfavorable, a business could expend valuable time and resources to correct the problem.  Our firm has the ability to negotiate, draft, and execute any number of documents that your business requires, such as: sale or purchase agreements; partnership and operating agreements; non-compete, work-for-hire, or employment agreements; requirements or output agreements, franchise, license, or assignment agreements; and so forth.   


Intellectual Property

Patent:  Many businesses cannot succeed without owning or using patented technology.  While many patents are the product of employees within the scope of their employ, many patents must be licensed or assigned from third parties for companies to realize their value.  Our firm has the resources to seek patent registration, negotiate favorable licenses and assignment agreements, and avoid disputes.  However, due to vast utilization of patented technology, many businesses find themselves involved in lengthy patent litigation, which can drain resources and devastate a business if not handled properly.  Understanding that litigation is burdensome, our firm has the ability to efficiently protect patented technology through negations, mediation, actions for injunctive relief, declaratory judgment, and infringement within federal district court and the court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  

Trademark: By Far, the most valuable asset a business may possess is the goodwill and reputation associated with its name and products.  Trade and service marks such as logos, slogans, and jingles designate the origin of the goods and services a business provides.  Due to the heightened value of trademarks, they are vulnerable to theft unless business owners take the necessary steps to protect their marks using accomplished legal counsel.  Our firm has the experience and expertise to successfully aid in trademark selection, clearance, domestic and international registration, licensing and assignments, and misappropriation actions, including proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 

Copyright: Copyright law protects original creative works like literary works, music, movies, architectural design, logos, art, photographs, and more.  Unlike other types of intellectual property, copyright generates intricate difficulties in protecting an original creative works.  With these difficulties in mind, we counsel individuals on copyright clearance, registration, licensing and assignment agreements, and works for hire and joint authorship contracts.  Moreover, in the event litigation is unavoidable, we have the experience to protect individuals’ copyrights during actions involving claims of infringement, misuse, and fair use. 

Trade Secrets:  Intertwined with patented technology, a trade secret is a business’s confidential information that gives the business an economic advantage over competitors.  Trade secrets may take the form of processes, formulas, technical information, laboratory research, designs, programs, financial data, product plans, or customer and supplier lists.  Due to the vast forms a trade secret can take, they may be among a business’s most valuable assets.  Given the overlap between patented technology and trade secret, our firm can assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of seeking a patent verses ensuring trade secret protection.  Conversely, trade secrets are inherently volatile and may be unintentionally lost in the course of business without legal protection.  Our familiarity in protecting trade secrets makes us uniquely suited to represent business owners in negotiating and drafting confidentiality agreements, joint development contracts, non-compete agreements, licenses and assignments, and ensuring protection during trade secret misappropriation litigation.    

Transactional: Like any type of property, intellectual property can be bought, sold, leased, or given away.  However, given the unique subject matter, it takes attorneys whom are familiar with the scope and subtleties of any proposed transaction in order to effectively transfer, lease, or create your rights in intellectual property.  

Licensing: Licensing agreements essentially allow business owners to lease their intellectual property to others in return for near effortless streams of revenue.  Such agreements afford businesses the ability to enter new markets with nominal risk or cost.  Nevertheless, in order for both the licensor and the licensee to reap the advantages of a license agreement while staying protected, the agreement must be properly crafted and managed to yield maximum results.  Our firm has the knowledge and experience to assist in strategizing, negotiating, drafting, and executing licensing agreements for patented technology, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, domestically and abroad.   

Joint authorship/ownership & “Work for hire”: More often than not, when two or more individuals create intellectual property, disputes inevitability arise as to who actually owns the final product, resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation.  With the aid of our firm, we can carefully construct agreements that define the scope of ownership to avoid future disputes.  

Assignment: Assignment agreements dictate the transfer of intellectual property rights.  Assignments are invaluable tools to sell your rights or capitalize on another’s intellectual property rights.  Most often, a business’ greatest asset is its intellectual property ownership.  Yet, if an assignment is drafted poorly, the consequences may result in an invalid transfer or total loss of the intellectual property.  Whether you require purchasing or selling your intellectual property rights, in whole or in part, our attorneys can facilitate a well-written and favorably negotiated assignment agreement, which ensures maximum value while keeping all parties protected.