Not to speak with an IP attorney, and for at least the reasons stated below, most attorneys won't sign a "confidentiality agreement" with a prospective client as it's unnecessary and not required and would be highly unusual.
In the near term, a provisional or utility patent application might be worth considering, keeping in mind that the U.S. is now a "first inventor to file" system (time is not on the inventor's side like it once was). Whether the device, the drug, or a combination of the device and...Read more »
No, a "4 million series" patent would be from the 1980s and probably expired years ago. Setting aside continuation applications and other theoretical considerations, U.S. Pat. No. 4728812 likely expired in the early to mid 2000's, assuming that its "maintenance fees" were...Read more »
I am filing for a trademark with the USPTO to protect my company name. But we provide a particular service that I want to protect, as we are about to be nationwide soon. This service is what differentiates us from other companies similar to mine.
A federal trademark application will be rejected for a business name standing alone (see TMEP 1202.01). A federal trademark/service mark registration must be directed to a mark that is used with some underlying goods/services (or is intended to be used with goods/services). It sounds as if a...Read more »
Nothing HAS to be patented. But any "new, useful, and nonobvious" machine, article of manufacture, process, composition of matter, or improvement on those things may be eligible for a "utility patent." While a utility patent protects the way an article is used and works (35...Read more »
We own a list channel on YouTube, we make videos such as “7 Biggest Houses in the World” everything is under fair use (we have a voiceover over the clips and we use minimal footage as possible) and sometimes there are watermarks on video clips, are we allowed to blur the watermarks on the clip?... Read more »
A trademark might still be in use under "common law" even if the associate federal registration has been abandoned and listed as dead. It's even possible that the registration was unintentionally abandoned and if not too much time has passed, the owner could petition to revive the...Read more »
I've done educational consulting for years and am considering an independent consulting contract as a trainer with a national company. The contract has a clause about intellectual property that I am looking for clarification or help with. I plan to continue work outside of this new contract... Read more »
Usually, unless an employee (of an employer) or a contractor (of a client) invents something or creates a copyrightable work FOR the employer/client as an express part or condition of the person's employment or as a "work for hire," the invention/work would belong to the...Read more »
Yes, possibly. If there's likelihood of confusion (LoC); i.e., trademark infringement, then the mark owner has various options to stop the infringement. Options might range from a demand letter to a Domain Dispute action to a federal lawsuit.
No, standing alone "naturally occurring phenomena" are not patent eligible.
35 USC 101 dictates that Processes, Machines, Articles of Manufacture, or Compositions of Matter are eligible for patenting (ultimately, the subject matter also has to be new, useful, and not obvious to...Read more »
I agree with my colleagues Mr. Billick and Ms. Suero. I would only add - because you state that you "want to print shirts with a certain word on it" - that if the "word" is "common," is being used in a decorative or ornamental sense and not in a trademark sense, then...Read more »
USPTO records don't appear to show that the inventor assigned the patent to anyone, so presumably it remained the inventor's property and passed to his estate upon death. Assuming that the inventor left a will, the patent - like other property...Read more »
Your question doesn't mention a patent number, but U.S. patents typically show "Attorney, Agent, or Firm" on the front page of each patent. Depending on how the attorney or firm fills out the issue fee paperwork, a U.S. patent might list only the firm name, or only the attorney, or...Read more »
Basically, I have a short "album" of dingy 1:30 - 3:00 songs that I might want to share with the world via YouTube, but there's the nagging fear in the back of my mind that somebody may be able to use it without my permission. I've discovered that I can order other channels to... Read more »
As my colleague Mr. Vondran notes, filing a U.S. copyright application is a relatively inexpensive way to protect your music. More particularly, YouTube's internal strike/take down procedures are only applicable to other YouTube channels. To assert your copyright against infringers on other...Read more »
I worked for a company that had an application patent on how to attach a polymer onto sand.
I was instrumental in buying lab equipment to test cps of coated sand. The company had no testing procedures before I was hired. I used my vendor relationships to source polymers to create new coated... Read more »
The claims of the patent are the key - if someone contributed to an inventive concept in even one claim (typically there are about 20 claims per patent) that person is likely an inventor. Typically, contributing to an inventive concept means that the person helped solved a problem or added...Read more »
I make ornaments using commercial clear ornaments & books that I buy and cut apart & curl into ribbons to put into the ornament. I do not advertise them by the book name so that I don't risk infringing on anyone's copyright or IP even though the books I use are public domain.... Read more »
"Can a nondescript item be trademarked?" Trade dress is a bit different than its more common cousins, word marks (e.g., "Apple") and stylized (special form) marks (like the Nike "swoosh"), which are usually tagged or stamped on their associated products. Trade dress...Read more »
A petition to revive an abandoned registration might be an option, but there are time limits involved. A revival petition must be filed no later than 2 mos. after the expiration notice (so that seems to have been September based on your July date). But if the registrant didn't receive the...Read more »
I am planning to create videos to tutor test prep students. Every student will register and sign in and purchase a hardbound copy of the textbook I use to access the videos. Can I use excerpts from that textbook for examples and explain solutions to problems from that textbook legally? I will... Read more »
Generally speaking, using "limited" parts of a copyrighted work is OK for criticism, commentary, teaching, etc. See 17 U.S. Code § 107. This is called "Fair Use." But Fair Use is just a defense to infringement; it can't prevent a suit. In other words, if a copyright...Read more »
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