Patent and Trademark Office Agrees to Extend Comment Period for New Regulations

Patent and Trademark Office Agrees to Extend Comment Period for New Regulations

Largely at the bequest of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that is extending the public comment period for its proposed rules implementing the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the “America Invents Act.” USPTO has reopened the comment period until November 5, 2012. You may submit comments via email to…

Patent Protection – Not a Guarentee and Time Required

Patent Protection – Not a Guarentee and Time Required

A Patent Is Not A Guarantee That The Patented Invention Does Not Infringe Other Patents 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, using, and selling” the patented invention. The issuance of the patent…

Minnesota Patent Protection Attorney | Enforcement Of Your Patent Rights

Minnesota Patent Protection Attorney | Enforcement Of Your Patent Rights

Enforcement Of Patent Rights A patent entitles the patent owner to prevent others from making, using or selling the patented invention within the United States for the term of the patent. While others may make the patented invention outside of the United States, they are not permitted to sell or use the patented invention within…

Federal vs. State Trademark Registration

In this video, you get answers to these questions: Is it better to register a trademark through your state or through the U.S. Federal Government Patent Office? Why is federal registration the best option? Transcript My name is Aaron Hall. I’m an attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clients often ask me, “Should I do federal or…

Can I Register an Abandoned Trademark?

Can I Register an Abandoned Trademark?

Minnesota trademark attorney Aaron Hall explains the issues faced by those who register an abandoned trademark. Clients often ask me if they can register a trademark that has been abandoned. Typically they mean they went on the USPTO website, they looked at the trademark there, and they identified that it was named abandoned, or under…

Protecting Business Secrets: Intellectual Property Protection for Employers

Protecting Business Secrets: Intellectual Property Protection for Employers

In the course of carrying out a business, there is undoubtedly going to be some information that a business owner is going to want to keep strictly within the business. This information is valuable to the company and could dramatically harm a business if competitors were to get their hands on it. There are many…

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement from Illegal Website User Content

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement from Illegal Website User Content

Any website that allows users to post or upload images, audio, video, or text content may be concerned about being liable for illegal content such as copyright infringement, illegal porn, or other illegal content. This affects website owners, internet service providers, SaaS companies, social media, and hosting companies. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way…

Online Retailer May Use Manufacturer’s Trademarked Brand without Infringement

Online Retailer May Use Manufacturer’s Trademarked Brand without Infringement

Ecommerce websites often sell generic versions of a manufacturer’s product. These might be replacement parts, compatible parts, or another product that works with the manufacturer’s brand name product. Obviously, manufacturers will make more money if consumers buy directly from the manufacturer rather than some online generic or compatible version. So manufacturers often threaten, through their…

Copyright Infringement Tips for Illegal Movie & Music Download Cases

Copyright Infringement Tips for Illegal Movie & Music Download Cases

I have represented a number of defendants in cases involving claims that they illegally downloaded a movie, video, music, or software. The following outlines the process involved in these illegal downloading cases and what to do about them if you find yourself defending claims that you illegally downloaded copyrighted material. Illegal Download Lawsuit Process The…

‘Nominative Fair Use’ Allows Trademark Used on Website & Domain Name

‘Nominative Fair Use’ Allows Trademark Used on Website & Domain Name

Nominative Fair Use Overview “Nominative fair use” is one exception to the general rule that you may not use another’s trademark in commerce. That is, use of another’s trademark is allowed under the nominative fair use doctrine. Nominative fair use, by definition, is not trademark infringement because such use is not likely to confuse consumers….

Why You Must Register a Copyright

Why You Must Register a Copyright

The reason that everyone must register a copyright is simple: In general, you cannot sue for copyright infringement unless you have a registered copyright. You Cannot Sue for Copyright Infringement of an Unregistered Copyright Copyright law is unique. By simply creating something with artistic value, you own a copyright to that artistic work. However, you…

How Employers Can Protect Trademarks and Service Marks

How Employers Can Protect Trademarks and Service Marks

A Minnesota employee or independent contractor who conceives of a successful trademark or trade name may conclude that the mark is personal, not employer, property. As a matter of law, however, if the employer has used the mark, the employee has little or no claim to ownership of it. Unlike patent law, rights in trademarks…

Patents for Minnesota Employers & Employee Invention Rights

Patents for Minnesota Employers & Employee Invention Rights

Although rules of ownership applicable to copyrighted works are established by statute under the federal Copyright Act, ownership of inventions is generally governed by applicable state law, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Absent an agreement to the contrary, the law vests ownership of inventions in the inventing party, whether that party is an…

Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, and Intellectual Property Rights

Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, and Intellectual Property Rights

In a world of global trade and instantaneous communication, the best investment a business can make may be in intellectual capital, and its greatest source of wealth may be knowledge. Intellectual capital is likely to be developed by employees paid to think and to apply their ingenuity and talents for the benefit of employers. To…

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 14: Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 14: Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information

Item 14: Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information Like Item 13, Item 14 of the amended Rule follows the UFOC Guidelines in requiring disclosure of information about intellectual property related to the franchise. Franchisors must disclose the types of intellectual property, their ownership rights or licenses in each, details about, and the duration of, their rights,…

Cease & Desist Slander Template, Example, Sample Form

Cease & Desist Slander Template, Example, Sample Form

This Cease and Desist Letter is written from the perspective of an attorney representing a client who has been slandered. Because every case of slander is different, this cease and desist letter slander template should not be used without first consulting with an experienced defamation attorney. Cease & Desist Slander Letter Free Download Cease and…

Cease & Desist Trademark Infringement Template, Example, Sample Form

Cease & Desist Trademark Infringement Template, Example, Sample Form

This Cease and Desist Letter provides a starting point for dealing with trademark issues. Every trademark dispute is unique and this trademark infringement cease and desist letter template should not be used without first consulting with an experienced intellectual property attorney. Cease and Desist Trademark Infringement Free Download: Cease & Desist Trademark Infringement Free Download…

Employment Agreements – Assignment Of Patents And Inventions

Employment Agreements – Assignment Of Patents And Inventions

Assignment Of Patents And Inventions An employer may require an employee, as a condition of employment, to assign the employee‘s rights in certain inventions to the employer. Under state law, such an assignment must exclude inventions for which no equipment, supplies, facilities or trade secret information of the employer were used, and which were developed…

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 13: Trademarks

Franchise Disclosure Documents – Item 13: Trademarks

Item 13: Trademarks Consistent with the UFOC Guidelines, Item 13 of the amended Rule requires franchisors to disclose whether each of its principal trademarks is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), as well as application, renewal, and other related information. If not, Item 13 mandates the following prescribed statement: We do…

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Intellectual Property What is the difference between a design patent and a utility patent? A utility patent covers the concept or idea behind a device or process, whereas a design patent protects only the appearance of the article. After issuance, a utility patent has a term of 20 years from the…

Copyright Protection – Fair Use, First Sale, Duration and Summary

Copyright Protection – Fair Use, First Sale, Duration and Summary

Fair Use Other people can use (copy, perform, display, etc.) a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research without infringing the copyright. Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis. Whether a use is indeed a “fair use” depends largely on the effect of the use upon the…

Minnesota Copyright Protection Laws

Minnesota Copyright Protection Laws

Copyright Protection A third type of intellectual property is the copyright. A copyright protects literary and artistic “expression” as well as other types of informative media that derive their value from the particular manner in which the information is expressed. Books, musical works, plays, computer programs, paintings, sculptures, and movies are among the types of…

Trademark Protection in Minnesota – Protecting Against Trademark Infringement

Trademark Protection in Minnesota – Protecting Against Trademark Infringement

Trademark Infringement A trademark can be infringed even if the infringer is not using an identical mark. Trademark infringement occurs when another trademark is confusingly similar to the original trademark. Whether the two trademarks are confusingly similar depends on a number of factors, including: The existence of actual confusion in the marketplace between the trademarks;…

Trademark Protection – The Federal Trademark Registration Process

Trademark Protection – The Federal Trademark Registration Process

The Federal Trademark Registration Process The registration of a trademark is not a mere formality. The applicant must first have used the trademark in association with goods or services in interstate commerce. The application process involves filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office a fee, specimens of the trademark as it is actually…

How to Select a Trademark: Trademark Selection & Protection in MN

How to Select a Trademark: Trademark Selection & Protection in MN

Trademark Selection The selection of a trademark can be very important in terms of the trademark owner’s ability to obtain registration and prevent others from using the mark. Trademarks can generally be classified into four basic categories: (i) generic, (ii) descriptive, (iii) suggestive, and (iv) arbitrary. A generic trademark is really not a trademark at…

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention

Finding Someone To Manufacture And Distribute Your Invention Minnesota to disclose how many individuals who have come to that service for help have made money on the invention after contracting for the service. This number is usually quite small, such as 1 out of 500 or 1,000 people. If the service refuses to provide you…