Real Estate & Property Rights

Property law, one of the oldest areas of law since civilization, involves that “bundle of rights” one or more persons possess with respect to a thing, whether its movable or immovable like land.  This area of law explores the rights some have to property and the duties others owe toward the property.  Property law deals with legal ownership as well as possession of a tangible or intangible thing.  It is one of the foundational areas of law every student of law must study before engaging in the practice of law.  An understanding of the “black letter law” of Property requires a solid understanding in other areas of law such as Contracts, Torts, and Wills and Estate.  Property Law also includes the specialty area of intellectual property law.

Our property law practice encompasses the areas of real estate, landlord-tenant, personal property, and some intellectual property touching on such seemingly innocuous issues as business logos, marks, practices and methodologies, and slogans and mottos.  We advise a wide range of clients from commercial and residential buyers and sellers, rental and investment property landlords and tenants, and existing property owners.

Real Property Law

Our practice includes all aspects of legal rights to real property.  We help our clients understand the conveyances of real estate rights through sales, lease, wills, or trusts.  Alaska has unique laws pertaining to single and concurrent estates in law.  It is critical to have an Alaska licensed lawyer handle your real estate needs to avoid making mistakes in your real estate transactions.  Real property law includes matters related to fixtures, encumbrances to land like easements and rights-of-way, licenses, neighborhood covenants, conditions, and restrictions, zoning and other government use restrictions, legal title and possession, adverse possession, lending and security interests, deeds, tort liability, contract validity, and many other issues involving the real property rights

Real Property Law
alaska property laws

Property Law

Personal property laws primarily fall under case law issued by courts applying black letter law to factual situations. Some of the same issues found in real property law can arise in cases involving personal, tangible property such as transfers through sales, leases, gifts, wills or intestacy laws, security interests under Alaska’s Commercial Code, legal title transfers involving bona fide purchasers, or where there has been loss, mislaid, or abandoned property, bailments and other such issues arising through common carriers.

Intellectual Property Law

This area of law is can be a bit esoteric as it deals with the protection of the owner’s nonphysical property that is the product of an idea. Basically, IP is concerned with the product of one’s mind, and once produced, becomes the originator’s intangible, personal property with rights to its ownership and use. This area of law is concerned with protecting those personal property rights that inure to someone who creates something.  Known as “IP” law, it protects those inventors, artists,  authors, and other originators, who produce and then sell, lease, or otherwise share the works of their own ingenuity and creativity with the world. By protecting creators of ideas, inventions, products, and works of art, IP law works two-fold: It rewards the originators by protecting, for a short period or indefinitely, their inventions, and it encourages others to invent and create future works for the benefit of all with the promise of such legal protection.  IP has a value of its own apart from the physical item.  The value of IP depends upon how successful the owner is in protecting this property right from unauthorized use by others.  The four types of intellectual property are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.  

Patten Law

Business Confidential Information and Trade Secrets

Patents are exclusively protected under federal law and through the U.S. Patent and Trade Office. Your original expressions in tangible form are the substance of copyright law. Federal law protects both published and unpublished original works. Infringement involves copying a work without the owner’s permission and without resort to one of the recognized defenses, such as Fair Use.  Likewise, a trade secrets is IP that is valuable information not publicly known that used in a commercial enterprise.  This would be any creation that an originator decides not to patent or protect under copyright laws.  Instead, the originator seeks to protect it for longer than a 20-year patent provides or keep it from eventually transitioning to the public domain after the life of the author plus 70 years through the use of ongoing efforts to keep the information confidential. Misappropriation of a trade secret is a serious act that can lead to litigation under Alaska’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, AS 45.50.910 – .945.

Business Trademarks

While IP involving patents and trademarks typically fall under federal statutes and case law, Alaska statutes also protect IP through its unique trademark rules that allow businesses and others to protect the fruits of their creativity.  We can help you protect words, phrases, symbols, designs, logos, or a combination of these used to identify your goods made or sold, or services provided in Alaska.  Our attorneys can assist you protecting your trademark or service mark property rights under Alaska’s Trademark Act, AS 45.50.010 -.205. 

Call or email us today for a complementary initial consultation involving property matters.  You can also sign up on our website at

Intellectual Property Laws
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