Christina S. Loza is the Managing Partner of Loza & Loza, LLP and acts as Intellectual Property Of Counsel for Manhattan Advertising & Media Law and Buynak & Fauver, LLP.  Tina has experience in all areas of intellectual property law including trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, domain name disputes, internet law, eBay dispute resolution, as well as, IP licensing, counseling, and litigation. Tina is currently the President-Elect of NAWBO California.

SecureDocs had the pleasure of interviewing Loza, and hearing her thoughts on various aspects of IP portfolios. Our interview is as follows:

Please tell us about your law firm, Loza & Loza.

Loza & Loza is a boutique intellectual property firm that specializes in patents, trademarks, copyrights, and domain name disputes. We work closely with our clients to develop strong intellectual property portfolios, protect their ideas, trademarks, and slogans, and provide logical, straightforward solutions for all intellectual property issues. We support clients that range from solo inventors, to start-up businesses, to Fortune 500 companies. We are structured in such a way that we are able to provide our clients with high quality work for an extremely good value.

When I started the firm 8 years ago, the goal was to provide great service and rectify what we thought were some issues with how IP portfolios were handled at other IP firms. I think we have successfully done that. All my attorneys love what they do and it shows in their enthusiasm with clients and their work product. If you want to see more about Loza & Loza, check us out here.

What are some of the keys to building a strong intellectual property portfolio?

Wouldn’t it be convenient for me to say “have a wonderful IP attorney”? Really, I think that the key is to be aware that your ideas and goodwill have a value. In order to protect that value and make it a source of profit for you or your company, it is essential to invest in taking early, proactive steps to innovate, develop, and protect.

What are typical mistakes that a company should avoid in building its IP portfolio?

I think that some companies wait too long to take appropriate steps to protect their ideas. The America Invents Act was passed in 2011, but the “first inventor to file” provisions became effective on March 16, 2013. The United States used to be a “first inventor to invent” country and so this is a major change in the law and inventors can no longer rest on the laurels. It has become more important to file thorough provisional applications quickly and prior to disclosing the invention to others.

I think it is also extremely important to be educated about the process. Businesses need to have a plan, research the market, research attorneys, and understand why they are obtaining protection and what it will do for them. Obtaining a trademark or a patent is not about the beautiful certificate you can now display – are you prepared to use your patent monopoly as a sword? Are you treating your IP as a (valuable) asset of your corporation?

How can a company most effectively pursue innovation while protecting the value of its ideas? What are the smartest IP strategies that you've seen companies take?

I think these answers are very related. Bottom line: File provisional applications as early as possible to secure early rights. File provisional patents early and often to avoid being scooped by a competitor.

California ranks number one for the number of women-owned businesses and the revenue they generate. As President-Elect of NAWBO California, what are your goals for the organization?

I joined the National Organization of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shortly after I opened the doors of Loza & Loza. It has been a source of so many amazing things in my business and in my life. I have made so many connections in my own community and state wide, and I have learned that being involved in public policy is integral to the success of small businesses. It has also been so inspiring to me to know so many women who manage to juggle their personal lives and business lives and manage to have successful growing businesses.

With that said, my goals when I start my term of President in the summer will focus on growing the membership in California so that there is a wider net of women to support, mentor, and refer business to one another. I also want to try to increase opportunities to network between the nine chapters in California so that we can not only grow our businesses but band together to affect policy at a State level. To get more information about NAWBO, please go here.

Tell us about the internet law book that you are authoring.

Internet law is always changing and it touches so many areas of the law – trademark, copyright, contract, consumer protection, child abuse, bullying, fraud, etc. The list goes on and on. So, many experts need to be involved in a book about Internet law. Last year, my publisher had an internet law textbook that was out of date and needed some sprucing up. They brought in me and two other experts to update the book and make it accessible and full of good, new information to support professionals who work in these fields. You can check it out here.