California Intellectual Property Law

The intellectual property provisions of California law are distributed throughout California’s many topical codes. Please use the search form below to search the various code sections. Also, to see a listing of cases in Los Angeles County Courts, the Los Angeles County Bar Association provides direct access to cases of specified interest: Los Angeles County State Court filings and cases.

The most common intellectual property laws in California are listed below, or feel free to search for any California law using the search function at the bottom of the page:

California Uniform Trade Secrets Act –Calif. Civil Code Sections 3426-3426.11 
A trade secret is secret information that has purposefully been kept private and derives economic value by not being known to the public.  The economic value derived from the secret may be actual or potential, and damages could be awarded due to misappropriation even if neither party has successfully commercialized the secret at the time a lawsuit is filed. This is separate and apart from the Federal Trade Secrets Law.

California Right of Publicity Act –Calif. Civil Code Sections 3344-3426.1
California protects against the unauthorized commercial use of someone’s (currently living or deceased) name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness.  A court could award the injured person any damages caused by the unauthorized use or any profit earned by the unauthorized user of the injured person’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness.

California Trademark Act –Calif. Business & Prof. Code Sections 14200-14342
The California Trademark Act covers: (1) trademarks, which are words, names, symbols, or devices or any combination to indicate the source of the goods; (2) service marks, which are words, names, symbols, or devices or any combination to indicate the source of a service that you provide; and (3) trade names, which are a name used to identify a business or person’s profession. This is separate and apart from the Federal Trademark Law known as the Lanham Act.

California Unfair Competition Act –Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200 et seq.
California also has its own Unfair Competition Act that prohibits any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising.

California False Advertising Act –Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17500 et seq.
In California, it is against the law for businesses and people to advertise in a deceptive manner.  This would include anything that would mislead a consumer to purchase products or services under false pretenses.

California Fictitious Business Names –Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 1900
California created this section to protect people who are dealing with individuals or partnerships doing business under a fictitious name.  This section of the California Business & Professions Code discusses the disclosures and requirements of filing to operate a business under a fictitious name.

California State Cyberpiracy Statute –Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17525-17528.5
California provides protections to your rights online.  The Cyberpiracy Statute prevents others from using another persons’ or businesses’ name online as their own or to take advantage of other persons’ or businesses’ reputation online for financial gain or malicious purposes.

California State Court Opinions and Rules of Practice by Court
This link directs you to the State Courts of California where you can find decisions or opinions by each court in the state court system.  You can also find forms and rules of practice that will help you navigate the state court system.

California Civil Jury Instructions
The California Civil Jury Instructions are a set of instructions that help explain the elements of the law in non-legalese.  The intention of this set of instructions is to help juries properly decide issues in court. They are also a very useful source to look up any questions you have about the laws in California.

Fictitious Business Name Search by California Counties
This service allows you to search for the businesses and individuals that are operating under fictitious names in each county.

Fictitious Business Name Filing in California Counties
This service helps you file a business name with California so you are compliant the fictitious business name requirements of the state.

Findlaw California Codes:

CA Commercial Code
CA Corporations Code
CA Education Code
CA Evidence Code
CA Government Code
CA Labor Code
CA Penal Code
CA Probate Code
CA Revenue and Taxation Code
CA Unemployment Insurance Code