(510) 649-1331 sjadams@adamslaw.biz

Intellectual Property

Patent & Trademark Legal Services

Expert Legal Advice

Adams Law Office specializes in providing a full range of intellectual property (IP) services to start-ups, small, and medium sized businesses.  These services include filing patent applications, responding to U.S. Patent & Trademark Office actions, filing trademark applications, representing clients in proceedings before the U.S. Trademark Trial & Appeal Board, drafting licensing agreements and other IP agreements, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of our more commonly received questions and answers. If you should have any questions that are not listed, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to working with you!

What happens if I select the wrong Trademark classification on our application?
The Classification is very important!  Failure to identify the proper Classification means that the entire trademark application will be rejected, and the applicant will have to re-file. There is no way to change a Classification once a trademark application has been filed. In addition, it’s essential to accurately describe the goods or services to show that the trademark is actually being used for the goods or services described.  A trademark application may be rejected if goods or services are not accurate because it will not be possible to show “use-in-commerce” for the goods or services described.
What is the difference between a design patent and a utility patent?
Design patent protects and claims the ornamental design of an object, or a design that is applied to an object. It is essential to have high-quality patent drawings showing all the required views of the invention in a design application.


Utility patent protects the way a product or method works, and uses words (rather than drawings) to describe the function and uses of the invention. Utility patent applications must be drafted to provide a detailed and accurate description of the invention that adequately supports the claims. Subsequently, drafting and filing a utility patent application than a design patent application.

NOTE: It is possible to have both a design patent and a utility patent on the same device.

Don’t worry if you are not sure which one applies to you, that is what I am here for and I am happy to help!

A Company wants to hire me as an independent training consultant and is presenting me with a contract that states the Company will own all my intellectual property. What can I do?
In these situations, you can frequently negotiate the terms of the intellectual property ownership with the Company. Often, it’s possible to draft language that allows you to retain ownership of your intellectual property, while granting the Company a license to use any training materials you may provide.


For more information on patents, check out our “Licensing” page

Sharon Adams does all of the legal work for two companies I run. Her specialty is trademark and patent law–she helped us with acquiring several trademarks. She also writes our contracts to ensure they protect our intellectual property, a large component of our business. She understands people and what motivates them, which she uses to our advantage to protect our interests. She’s brilliant, and her deep grasp of the field and superior attention to detail ensure that nothing goes unnoticed. Very highly recommended.


I have known and worked with Sharon for many years. She is smart, competent, and easy to work with. She has provided legal advice and helped guide the non-profit company, Youth Fitness Coalition Inc. for over a decade. If you need a patent, TM, or Intellectual Property attorney, I highly recommend Sharon Adams.


Sharon Adams is a true professional. Having zero experience with patent and trademark filing, Sharon skillfully guided and advised me through what would have been a very difficult and exasperating process if I had chose to do it myself. What I am most thankful for, is the level of enthusiasm and sincere interest Sharon expressed for for my idea, and how willing she was to help me protect it. Sharon has singled handedly changed my impression of what a lawyer should be. I can’t wait to work with her again.