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Luca is a registered patent attorney and is energized by working with talented and passionate inventors, artists and musicians. Coupled with his background as a dual United States-German trained electrical engineer, Luca now brings his technical problem-solving skills to navigate his clients' legal matters.

As an entrepreneur himself, Luca understands the “real world” challenges his clients face running a business. He helps clients – especially startups – with a myriad of issues including contract negotiations, employee handbooks, intellectual property licensing agreements, and End User License Agreements (“EULAs”) for software companies. Luca also conducts patent prior art and trademark clearance searches, prepares and prosecutes patent, trademark and copyright applications and prepares patent non-infringement opinions.

Luca also has experience working on high profile business and contractual matters, including multi-million dollar mergers and acquisitions involving publicly traded companies and celebrities, assisting clients with creation and management of intellectual property portfolios, brand licensing and anti-infringement matters – including extensive anti-counterfeiting work and creating and overseeing global trademark portfolios.

Over the years, Luca has handled a variety of multi-jurisdictional litigation matters involving copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret infringement, breach of contract and non-compete agreements, as well as cases concerning environmental protection, real estate disputes and hurricane related claims. Using his background in engineering, Luca also defends engineers, architects and other design professionals against design defect and other professional liability claims.

Luca is admitted to practice in all Florida and Illinois state courts; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Courts for the Middle, Southern and Northern Districts of Florida; U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Tax Court, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Court. Luca is also a non-resident Patent Agent and Trademark Agent with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

Product packaging is a critical part of every manufacturer’s operations (and even that of many wholesalers and retailers). A product’s packaging is often the first thing customers see: and first impressions count. That is why, for example, an entirely new discipline – packaging engineering – has grown over the last several decades and why companies like Starbucks® and Apple® work so hard to have every napkin, cup, box and bag uniformly branded.

Yet despite the obvious commercial and marketing importance of product packaging, many companies fail to protect the intellectual property rights embodied in such packaging – rights which can often be secured under patent, copyright and/or trademark law.

Product packaging is one of those often overlooked areas of intellectual property. Manufacturing clients rightly focus on protecting their products but sometimes forget that consumers usually see their packaging first. Failing to protect such packaging can be a major misstep since competitors often infringe upon both packaging as well as products.

Design Patent

A design patent protects the ornamental design (i.e., the “look and feel”) of an invention. In other words, design patents protect the way an invention (including, potentially, product packaging) looks. When most people think about patents, they think about a “utility patent” – something which protects utilitarian or functional aspects of an invention. But a “design patent” is different – it protects the appearance of an invention. That’s often perfect for packaging. In general, that means that new, useful and non-obvious packaging designs can potentially be protected.

Major companies have been using design patents to protect product packaging for over a century. For example, U.S. D48160 is a design patent issued in 1915 over what we now know as the Coca-Cola® bottle. More recent examples include everything from Chobani’s design patent covering product packaging for yogurt boxes (U.S. D828766S1) and Kraft’s design patent covering a salad dressing bottle (U.S. D659000S1) to Starbucks’ design patents for a coffee cup (U.S. D529762S1) and a coffee cup lid (U.S. D516424).

How should companies decide whether or not to consider seeking design patent rights?


Continue Reading Copyright and patent protection apply to product packaging, too

In today’s internet-driven economy, businesses recognize the importance of using digital content to reach consumers. However, this often creates unique intellectual property issues – including potential copyright infringement questions.

Photographs and videos are amongst the most effective digital content – garnering significantly more likes, comments and click-thoughts on social media than text-based posts alone. While the use of photographs and videos presents an enormous marketing advantage, it also raises additional potential for legal exposure where such photographs or videos are not carefully sourced.

Protections under Copyright Law

Copyright law protects the creative expression of an idea – be it words on a page, notes in a song, brushstrokes on a canvas or the various compositional elements in a photograph or video: such as lighting, shadow, camera angle, etc. Such copyright protection can extend to photographs of products, places and people. While you cannot “copyright” a person, for example, copyright protection could extend to a particular photograph of a person.

Copyright protection over photographs has been recognized in the U.S. since the late 1800s – and therein lies the challenge. Often we are left trying to fit 21st century issues into 19th century legal frameworks. Sometimes, this results in illogical outcomes.


Continue Reading Copyright Issues Using Photographs and Videos on Websites and Social Media