The Copyright Act allows the owners of copyright-protected material to pursue financial damages in the event that another party pilfers and profits from their intellectual property. The damages that the copyright holder can pursue in these cases is the actual amount of damages caused by the infringement in addition to the profits earned by the violator of the copyright.
Let's imagine for a moment that you write the next "Great American Novel," and -- since no publisher has recognized the greatness of your work -- you decide to post your entire novel on the Internet. A year later, you're pleased to find that you have a number of fans who are enjoying your work. However, you're not pleased to find that certain individuals have made a copy of your manuscript, and they're now selling hard copies of your work without your permission.
Establishing a trademark is essential for your brand because it will prevent others from hijacking your name and image, and thereby prevent others from stealing your customer base and hurting your business profits. In order to set up the trademark for your business in a legally appropriate way, you may want to work with a California attorney who is familiar with this area of the law.
You've spent decades building a successful business. During this process, you've acquired numerous tricks of the trade, amassed extensive client and customer contact lists, invented new ways of doing things more efficiently and developed proprietary technologies that help you keep your customers happy. These are your "trade secrets," and you need to protect them if you want to stay competitive in your industry.