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Intellectual Property Misconceptions Debunked

Many people have misperceptions about what intellectual property (IP) protects, and some common IP misconceptions are debunked below. (1) Ideas Cannot Be Patented. Only inventions can be patented. The legal...more

Fighting Patent Trolls

When it comes to suppressing U.S. competiveness, no one does it better than patent trolls. A 2017 study concluded that 5,100 patent infringement lawsuits were filed in 2016. Patent Trolls account for about 67% of...more

Trademark Rights Based on Common Law or Federal Registration

This article analyzes trademark rights depending on: (1) whether a user is relying on common-law rights or a federal trademark registration, (2) the effective date on which a user’s rights began, and (3) the geographical...more

Ten Tips on Preparing and Prosecuting Patent Applications

1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. A patent defines a piece of intellectual property. As with a parcel of land, the patent’s owner can legally prevent any trespass (called an infringement) on the patent. Analogous to the...more

Why Inventions Fail

I. Introduction. U.S. and worldwide patent filings are at all-time highs. About 620 thousand patent applications were filed in the United States in 2016, and about 2.9 million patent applications were filed worldwide in...more

Provisional Patent Applications Versus Utility Patent Applications

Provisional applications were introduced in the United States in the Inventor’s Protection Act of 1995. The purpose was to facilitate a quick filing, if necessary, to establish a priority filing date and salvage potential...more

Considerations When Using Descriptive or Generic Trademark Terms

I. Adding Distinctive Terms or Logos to a Descriptive or Generic Term Will Not Protect the Descriptive or Generic Term. A descriptive trademark1 is one that immediately brings to mind a use, purpose, function,...more

Considerations When Creating Your Brand

I. Conducting a Clearance Search - A clearance search is an investigation to determine whether a new trademark1 can be used without interfering with an existing, senior trademark. No matter how unique you think your...more

Generating Wealth Through Inventions

Once the U.S. was a manufacturing powerhouse, but much of its industry has now moved overseas or south of the border to low-cost countries such as China, India, and Mexico. About eighty percent of the U.S. economy is now...more

11/1/2016  /  Inventions , Manufacturers , Marketing , Patents

Eight Ways to Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

Today, building a strong patent portfolio is critical for businesses wanting to create exclusive technology sectors to generate greater market share and profits. A strong patent portfolio also provides defensive leverage...more

Trademarks, Service Marks, and Trade Dress: Key Facts and Pitfalls to Avoid

1. The Difference Between a Trademark, Service Mark, and Trade Dress. A trademark is any word, term, phase, symbol, logo, design, shape, tag line, background, color, scent, sound, device, or combination thereof that...more

Ten Common Intellectual Property Mistakes

Mistake No. 1 - Not Obtaining an Obligation to Assign Inventions From Employees and Contractor - Example: Employee/contractor agreements do not: (a) assign rights to you in inventions made for you; (b) require the...more

Selecting a Patent Attorney and Avoiding Invention Marketing Companies

I. Considerations When Selecting a Patent Attorney. A. The Goal - The goal is to obtain a patent with valuable, broad claim scope. You want a patent potentially worth millions - not a worthless piece of paper...more

Patents: Important Facts, Takeaways, and Pitfalls to Avoid

1. Broad Claim Scope is Key. Merely getting a patent is not the goal. The goal is to maximize the scope of meaningful patent protection to which your invention is entitled. Put yourself in a competitor’s shoes - how would you...more

Selecting the Right Intellectual Property Protection

Competition is increasing daily. Competitors are quick to copy and customers are looking for the best price. Brand name and personal relationships still carry some weight, but not as much as in years past. One way for U.S....more

Interpreting Utility Patent Claims

Utility patents constitute about 90% of the patents in the United States. Design patents and plant patents, which are not discussed here, comprise the other 10%. Utility patents protect the functional aspects of a machine,...more

The History and Purpose of Trademarks

I. History - There are two generally accepted origins of trademarks: pottery marks and the branding of livestock, both of which are believed to date to about 6,000 B.C. Marks on pottery or bricks first served the...more

The History, Purpose and Benefits of Patents

Britain has the longest known continuous patent system. British patents can be traced to the 15th Century, when the British Crown began granting exclusive rights, called “Letters Patent,” to certain manufacturers and traders....more

Invention: A Path To Financial Independence

Today’s economic world is fraught with uncertainty. Companies come and go in the blink of an eye. Employment is a gamble instead of a sure thing, even for experienced and talented workers. There is no solid ground. You...more

7/15/2015  /  Entrepreneurs , Inventions , Patents

Protecting Your Trademark in the United States

Protection Mechanisms in the United States. After selecting your mark, the next step is to decide how to protect it. In the United States, there are three basic types of trademark protection: (1) common-law, (2) state...more

9/16/2014  /  Registration , Trademarks , USPTO

Proper Trademark Selection to Create a Strong Brand

What a Trademark is and What it Does. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device, or combination thereof, used to identify and distinguish the goods (i.e., products) of one supplier from those of others. A...more

9/16/2014  /  Brand , Marketing , Trademarks

Maintaining Strong Trademark Rights

I. Determining the Strength of Your Mark. The strength, or scope, of a trademark as used in the marketplace is determined by a multi-factored analysis called the likelihood of confusion test, and the scope can differ...more

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