A Patent Is Not a Guarantee That The Patented Invention Does Not Infringe Other Patents

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The issues of patentability and infringement are entirely separate. A patent granted by the U.S. Patent Office confers upon the owner the exclusive right to exclude others from “making,…

The Patent

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The financial cost of enforcing a patent against a potential infringer is highly dependent upon the complexity of the case, but legal expenses alone can easily reach hundreds of…

Cost To Obtain Patent Protection

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The expenses associated with obtaining patent protection fall into two general categories: patent attorney fees and government fees, both of which are discussed below. Patent Attorney Fees Patent attorney…

Patent Pending

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The words “patent pending” can be placed on an invention once the inventor has filed a patent application. After a patent issues, the patent number should be placed on…

Experimental Use

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. A patent will be denied if an invention was in public use or on sale more than one year prior to the date of application. However, there is an…

Confidentiality

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. All U.S. applications filed after November 29, 2000, are published at eighteen (18) months from the filing date (or priority date if earlier). One benefit of the…

Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. Identical Inventions Developed By Two Separate Inventors One of the main changes adopted by the America Invents Act relates to determining how to award patent applications when…

Options Available After Receiving A Final Rejection

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. Once an Examiner issues a final Office Action, patent applicants have limited ability to amend the claims of that application to distinguish those claims from the references cited by…

Examination Of The Patent Application By The Patent Office

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. An application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office is assigned for examination to a group of patent Examiners having responsibility for the category of inventions to which the…

Types Of Patent And Length Of Protection

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The type of patent described thus far is known as a utility patent. The term of utility patents was changed after passage of the General Agreement on Tariffs and…

Patent Protection

This post is part of a series of posts entitled A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection. For a comprehensive list of articles contained in this series, click here. The United States patent system was created to help achieve various socially desirable goals. By providing an inventor with an exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, or…

A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection

This and the following posts have been copied or adopted from A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection, published through a collaborative effort by the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development and Merchant & Gould. Preface to A Guide To Intellectual Property Protection Innovation, invention and the process of translating ideas into products and services has…

What is a DBA?

What is a DBA?

In this video, you’ll get answers to these questions: What is a DBA?  Why would you want a DBA? Who can get a DBA? How do you get a DBA? How long does a DBA last? What is an assumed name? (Minnesota) What is a fictitious business name? (California) What is a trade name? (Louisiana)…

Do Minnesota Courts Permit Zoom Depositions?

Do Minnesota Courts Permit Zoom Depositions?

Yes, Minnesota courts permit Zoom depositions. Zoom Depositions in Minnesota State District Court In Minnesota state court, depositions by Zoom or other virtual means are permitted by stipulation between the parties or by court order. “The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that a deposition be taken by telephone or other…

Is It Illegal for an Unlicensed Life Coach to Provide Counseling?

Is It Illegal for an Unlicensed Life Coach to Provide Counseling?

The growth of the life coach industry has raised many questions about whether life coaches are providing counseling services that require a license. In short, some counseling requires a license but other counseling does not. On the spectrum of counseling services provided, the edges are black and white, but in the middle is a blurry…

Public Benefit Corp, Nonprofit 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or LLC? Pros & Cons for a Mission-Based Entity

Public Benefit Corp, Nonprofit 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or LLC? Pros & Cons for a Mission-Based Entity

In this video, you get answers to these questions: What are the pros and cons of a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization? What is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization and what are its pros and cons? When are 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(3)s a good idea? What about business entities? What are the pros and cons of a Public Benefit…

Lawyer Ethics Violations & Consequences: In re Petition for Disciplinary Action

Lawyer Ethics Violations & Consequences: In re Petition for Disciplinary Action

In Minnesota, a licensed attorney can face charges of violating ethics rules. These are not criminal charges. For example, the consequence do not include a prison sentence. Rather, the consequences may affect the lawyer’s license to practice law. This article discusses the consequences of ethics violations, the legal basis for ethics violations, disciplinary proceedings, and…

Who Can a Nonprofit Give Funds to When Dissolving?

Who Can a Nonprofit Give Funds to When Dissolving?

Note: This article is based on Minnesota law. The law in other jurisdictions may vary. Most nonprofit organizations—including charities, churches, hospitals, and schools—eventually come to an end. As an organization’s Board of Directors prepares to close the doors and terminate, it needs to determine what to do with the organization’s remaining funds. That is, the…

What Is ‘Reasonable Compensation’ for a Subpoenaed Witness?

What Is ‘Reasonable Compensation’ for a Subpoenaed Witness?

Under Minnesota court rules, a subpoenaed witness is entitled to “reasonable compensation” for time as a witness. But how much compensation is “reasonable?” Does the law set a fixed rate for compensating witnesses? In short, there is no fixed rate for the amount that must be paid to a subpoenaed witness. The amount of “reasonable…

Member-Managed vs. Manager-Managed vs. Board-Managed LLC

Member-Managed vs. Manager-Managed vs. Board-Managed LLC

In Minnesota, a limited liability company (LLC) is allowed to select one of the following three management structures: member-managed, manager-managed, and board-managed. This is usually done when the LLC is created, but it can be changed later by agreement of the members/owners. These three options became available to LLC owners in 2014 when Minnesota overhauled…

Do Company Managers Have a Right to Rely on Information from Others?

Do Company Managers Have a Right to Rely on Information from Others?

Can you rely on information provided to you by your employee, attorney, or CPA? For example, imagine a reliable employee tells you that she completed a task—do you have a legal duty to verify she completed it or can you reasonably trust her statement? Right to Rely on Information The right to rely on information…

Unrelated Business Income Tax: Nonprofit Organizations & UBIT Cases

Unrelated Business Income Tax: Nonprofit Organizations & UBIT Cases

1. Unrelated Business Taxable Income The purpose of this article is to explain developments in the area of unrelated business income (“UBI”) and the unrelated business income tax (“UBIT”). This article focuses on important court decisions. The decisions have been grouped, for the most part, into three perennial areas of controversy: social clubs, advertising, and…

Do Corporations Need Paper Stock Certificates?

Do Corporations Need Paper Stock Certificates?

Do corporations need paper stock certificates? No. Most states allow uncertificated shares. The “stock certificate” or “share certificate” was historically used as proof that someone was a shareholder in a corporation. In today’s world, as companies and shareholders are trying to become “paperless,” corporate laws generally allow companies to avoid stock certificates. This includes paper and…

How Can YouTubers and Influencers Avoid Legal Pitfalls?

How Can YouTubers and Influencers Avoid Legal Pitfalls?

In this video, you get answers to these questions: What are the most common legal problems for YouTubers? What are examples of influencer legal problems? Why are influencers targeted for lawsuits? How much do YouTubers usually spend on attorneys? Who spends more on lawyer fees, YouTubers or other businesses? How can YouTubers and influencers avoid…

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization?

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization?

When business owners want to give back to their community and support their philanthropic values, they sometimes ask me how much it costs to start a tax-deductible charitable donation. This article summarizes the costs (as of 2020) to creating your own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. What are the costs to set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?…