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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Design Patents: $1 Billion Stepchild

INTRODUCTION: Everyone remembers Apple being awarded $1 billion in damages against Samsung for copying the design of Apple’s iPhone.  The award was the product of Apple obtaining a patent on a smart phone design, particularly the curved corners of the smart phone frame.  Samsung’s copying of a curved frame probably seemed a trivial detail to some.  However Apple…

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WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

Introduction What is a trademark?  Basically, a trademark is exactly what it says it is; a “mark” used in “trade” to distinguish the goods of the trademark owner from the goods of others. For services, the term is (not surprisingly) “service mark”. A mark may be a symbol, design or word. Frequently a mark is…

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PERSONAL NAME TRADEMARKS

Introduction People are proud of their workmanship and service. Accordingly, it is natural that people want to name their products and services with their name, e.g., Ford automobiles, Hewlett Packard printers, etc.  I suggest this is not, however, a good strategy for establishing a brand.  As I continuously urge, the best trademarks are arbitrary words and symbols.  Coined words…

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