Patent or Trademark?

  Introduction: I continue to receive questions prefaced with a statement “I have an idea and I don’t know if I should patent it or trademark it?”  Patent or Trademark.  The question is often stated in various ways but I think you get the idea.  There are fundamental differences between requirements and rights of patenting…

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What NOT to do before you file

Introduction This is an update of my previously published WARNING.  If you have made and innovation, you don’t want to lose the right to protect your innovation and to exploit it for possible income. The easiest way to lose your rights is to make a public disclosure of the innovation. As you probably know, the…

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TRADEMARK OPPOSITION

Introduction Trademark opposition is one step in the process in registering a trademark on the Principal Trademark register of the USPTO.  This step requires passing through the phase termed “publication for opposition”. Discussion Recall the first step in the registration process is filing of the trademark application. The application is either based upon actual use…

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PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS

Introduction Provisional patent applications can be of great benefit in protecting innovation. They must be used, however, with a full understanding of the limited protection provided. Discussion A provisional application is a patent application. It is a type of a utility patent application. It may be thought of as a temporary application good for only…

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Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

Introduction The following is a brief summary of each tool for protecting intellectual property (IP). The tools discussed are Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights. Patents Patents protect an idea (invention) that is embodied in a device or method.  This is different from Copyright and Trademarks. The vast majority of patents are “utility patents”. There are also plant patents…

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DIY Provisional Applications

Introduction I talk to many start-up entrepreneurs regarding protecting their IP.   Typically they do not have a lot of time or money to seek patent protection.  However Congress created the provisional application for patent procedure for the benefit of just that group of entrepreneurs. Although I do not recommend filing your own provisional application without assistance of a…

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PATENT APPLICATION FLOW CHART

  Introduction The following is a simplified description on one possible chain of events that occur in the patenting process.  This is a hypothetical patent application flow chart.  See my article on “Behind the First to File Rules“.  Also review my article regarding “Patent Application Elements“. Pre-Filing Outline Document invention in writing, signed and dated…

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Prior Use Defense: Trade Secrets v. Patenting II

Indroduction This blog is a clarification of my prior article entitled Trade Secrets v. Patenting.  In my prior article, I stated that a party using a technique or method in manufacturing as a trade secret would lose the right to continue practicing the trade secret if the secret technique or method became subject of a patent by…

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Notice to Competitor of Application

Introduction: Unless you expressly opt out, your non-provisional application will be published 18 months after the application filing date. Note if your non-provisional application claims priority to a prior provisional application, the 18 months are calculated from the filing date of the provisional application.  Thus, your application can be published as soon as 6 months after filing….

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WHAT NOT TO DO BEFORE YOU FILE

Introduction In many circumstances, once the innovative horse has galloped out (or been lured out) of the barn, it is impossible to lead it back. Note also, that even your own offer to let the horse out of the barn or offer to sell the horse, sight unseen, to a potential buyer, can jeopardize patent…

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