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Practice Areas

Tolar Harrigan & Morris LLC provides a broad range of legal services in numerous practice areas including all aspects of intellectual property, labor and employment, business litigation and legal malpractice. Our diverse, expansive practice means we are essentially a full-service law firm capable of handling most legal issues that our clients typically face.

Patents

Patents are important for protecting innovations but must be pursued quickly to avoid relinquishing available rights or being thwarted by a more zealous inventor. Expeditiousness is particularly important considering that the U.S. has adopted a “first-to-file” system meaning that if two or more inventors invent substantially the same subject matter, the first to file a patent application is entitled to the patent. Our firm provides a comprehensive array of patent-related services including patent searches, patentability opinions, licensing, patent prosecution before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and infringement litigation. Our lawyers have vast experience assisting clients with pursuing patent protection as soon as possible to secure the earliest possible filing date that will not jeopardize patent rights.

Trademarks

Trademarks often are the only available means of distinguishing your products or services from those of your competitors. Properly protecting a trademark to assure that it is strong and distinctive requires vigilance. Although using a trademark in commerce confers some trademark rights (i.e., “common law rights”), the rights are substantially limited, typically to the geographic areas where such use occurred. Therefore, filing a trademark application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is essential to establish nationwide protection. Furthermore, a U.S. registration confers additional rights and legal presumptions that are not afforded to common law trademarks. Similarly, aggressive enforcement of trademark rights against infringers is paramount to maintaining the mark’s strength and value. Unfettered third-party use can cause devastating market dilution and, in some cases, result in the mark being deemed generic and no longer protectible. The attorneys at Tolar Harrigan & Morris LLC regularly assist clients with protection by filing trademark applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. We also assist with enforcement by monitoring third-party uses of clients’ marks and, when warranted, filing trademark infringement actions in both state and federal courts to stop infringers.

Copyrights

Although copyrightable works attain some copyright protection at the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium, registering a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office enhances those rights. Furthermore, a registration is required in order to sue infringers. The thought of copyrightable subject matter commonly invokes books, poetry, music and works of art. However, copyrights can also be applicable to more esoteric subject matter, such as software source code, jewelry, fabric patterns, dolls, figurines, choreography, pantomimes and architectural works. And some copyrightable works are also subject to other forms of intellectual property protection. For example, a tabletop shaped like the State of Louisiana could be a copyrightable three-dimensional work but could also be protected by a design patent. Similarly, a trademarkable logo used with goods or services may also be copyrighted as a two-dimensional work of art if it is an original creation. The attorneys at Tolar Harrigan and Morris LLC have a wealth of experience in assisting clients with evaluating whether certain works are available for copyright protection and/or other possible forms of intellectual property protection.

Labor and Employment

Employers and employees often erroneously assume that the mandates of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) will not apply if the parties agree that the worker is an independent contractor, a professional employee or some other exempted worker. However, a worker’s coverage under the Act is dictated by his or her activities and job duties, not according to arbitrary labels or employment agreements. Therefore, FLSA coverage is often complicated and requires careful analysis by an experienced lawyer to best advise either an employee or an employer as to the entitlement to, or the obligation to pay, minimum wages and overtime. The attorneys at Tolar Harrigan & Morris have represented both employees and employers in FLSA actions and can readily assist with any wage-and-hour issues.

Before filing a lawsuit for discrimination, a plaintiff must exhaust all administrative remedies by first filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). However, filing a properly pled complaint with the EEOC is critical to prevent a subsequent lawsuit from being dismissed. Therefore, obtaining the assistance of a labor lawyer experienced in discrimination matters before filing a complaint with the EEOC is highly recommended. The attorneys at Tolar Harrigan & Morris LLC have substantial experience with filing EEOC complaints based upon unlawful discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.

Business and Civil Litigation

Business disputes are inevitable. Such disputes typically involve a breach of contract, unfair competition, corporate officer and partnership disputes, tortious interference with contracts, and fraud. If you or your business is faced with any of these types of disputes, you should immediately consult an experienced business litigation law firm to assess your rights.

Copyright Services
  • Copyright Registration
  • Copyright Enforcement
  • Copyright Licensing
  • Copyright Portfolio Management
  • Copyright Litigation and Enforcement
Trademark Services
  • Flat-Fee Trademark Applications
  • Office Action Responses
  • Trademark Opinions
  • Foreign Trademark Prosecution
  • Trademark Portfolio and Brand Management
  • Trademark Litigation and Enforcement
Patent Services
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Patent Searches and Patentability Opinions
  • Patent Applications
  • Patent Litigation
Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Insurance Claims
Client Reviews
★★★★★
Tolar Harrigan & Morris is one of the very best Attorney groups I have worked with in the last 25 years. Smart and very responsive.. John Gutierrez
★★★★★
Compassionate - not an attribute I would have originally associated with a law firm. Tolar, Harrigan, & Morris was that and much more. From the first point of contact, it was apparent that this team was not only highly competent in their craft, but also genuine and determined to produce positive results. I have said it many times and will continue to say that if we would have chosen another firm, our results would have been much different. With an over-the-top work ethic, it is no surprise that we prevailed. My family and I could not have asked for a better equipped firm and are very happy with the results. Sherie Naquin