Patents and Trademarks: The Process of Intellectual Property

Patents and Trademarks: The Process of Intellectual Property

Patents and Trademarks: The Process of Intellectual Property

If you are looking to register and protect your intellectual property, then it is important to understand the process of going about it. But before you jump into filling any applications, you have to first determine what category of intellectual property law your invention falls under. Trademarks and patents can be tricky things to confuse, since they both deal with unique inventions and processes. However, once you understand the difference, knowing which way to go becomes easier.

How is a patent different from a trademark?

A trademark protects the unique identity of your company and brand. It can be a logo, a phrase, a name, a specific type of color/font/design/part of a design, or any unique and innovative identifier that becomes your brand’s identity.

On the other hand, a patent is used to protect a specific invention that serves a function in terms of its process. This can include the materials used to invent it, but it certainly includes the blueprints of the invention and the process of inventing the product.

For instance, the name of a cellular phone would be protected by the trademark of the company that assembles, markets, and sells it. However, the technology within the phone would be patented by an inventor, or different groups of inventors, since each invention serves a specific purpose. The chip patent could belong to one entity, the screen to another, and the software to another. Patents usually apply to machines, software, pharmaceutical and biomedical formulae, etc.

How to file for a patent

The patent filing process is much longer and roundabout than the process of filing a trademark. An applicant can first file for a provisional patent application, which allows them time to finetune and improve their invention under the label of “Patent Pending.” From there, their official patent application is reviewed by examiners. This process includes publication of the patent.

Once published, the patent might be contested. In this case, the applicant has to then file responses, which the examiner reviews again. If the process goes smoothly, then the patent is granted. Sometimes these disputes can last a long time – but waiting is worth it, since a patent protects your invention thoroughly. It also ensures that nobody can commercialize or benefit from your hard work without your authorization.

How to file for a trademark

The process for filing a trademark is more straightforward. Once a trademark is created, an applicant must ensure that no prior trademarks have been registered under the same name, phrase, or design. Under USPTO law, the right of way is given to the person who first utilizes a trademarked creation, not the one who is first granted registration. Since the dispute can hold up the process, it is important to register your trademark as soon as you create it.

Similar to a patent, the trademark application is examined by attorneys and then published in the weekly USPTO trademark gazette. Here, it allows people to contest the trademark registration, similar to a patent application. If the contesting process goes without any issue, then the trademark is registered.

Both patents and trademarks hold equal value in the commercial production of a specific product. They both go hand in hand to protect an entire invention, and for any company intending to commercially benefit from their inventions, it is important for them to both trademark and patent everything involved in the process of production.

Ultimately, this can make the key difference between watching your hard work be wrongfully utilized, or your brand name being smeared or misused by an entity that is unrelated to your company.

Whether you need to file a patent or a trademark, intellectual property law is a field that comes with a lot of technicalities that inventors and creators are not often aware of. Instead of wrongfully filing for something (and losing) or being granted a right that does not fully protect you, it is better to get legal help right from the start.

Legal teams, like that at MDE Patents, have tons of experience in helping people file their applications, fighting any contesting, and then ensuring that all infringements are dealt with properly.

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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How To Draft A Provisional Patent Application

How To Draft A Provisional Patent Application

How To Draft A Provisional Patent Application

Provisional patent applications are often seen in two lights – either as the “hack” version of a patent, or simply a “gateway patent” until an official patent application can be filed. While there are merits to both claims, it depends not on which is true, but rather how the applicant files the application and what its intended use is. Obtaining a utility patent for an invention is a very long process. It is no surprise then, that inventors often turn to provisional patents as a solution or as a process step towards obtaining further clarity on the process.

One of the main reasons inventors prefer filing a provisional patent application is because the costs are much lower (patent filing can be an expensive investment). This saves them a lot of cash, especially if they are a bootstrapped inventor. The second reason is that provisional applications are just that – provisional. As a result, there is no examiner process. This allows patent applicants to improve their invention and finetune it while being able to legally use the stamp of “Patent Pending”.

Drafting a provisional patent application means doing a lot of research on existing utility patent applications, and studying them carefully. Understand how a successful applicant has described their invention and try to ask yourself the same about your product. It is important to be as detailed as possible, so that there are no loopholes in the filing. But at the same time, it is also important to be as broad in its function as possible (without becoming redundant) so that you can clearly define the scope and necessity of the product.

It is also important to discuss the problem areas of your invention and how you are working to solve them. Ultimately, a provisional application comes with an expiry date unless it is moved into an official patent application status. So, the time that you buy with it is judicious, and the USPTO needs to see it too. Just make sure that your finetuning doesn’t completely alter the product!

It is a good idea to invest in some legal aid to help you appropriately draft a provisional patent application. This can avoid missteps that can later cause problems in obtaining a full patent. At MDE Patents, we can help you through the whole process – from filing the paperwork, to helping you obtain the actual patent.

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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What Is a Utility Patent?

What Is a Utility Patent?

What Is a Utility Patent?

If you are in the field of research & development, or any kind of discovery and invention, then you have definitely come across the phrase “patent”. Simply put, a patent is a legal protection to any kind of inventive work that prevents it from being used without a license. However, there are multiple different kinds of patents – and understanding the difference between them is key to knowing which patent to file, and how to protect your work. Keep reading to know exactly what utility patents are.

 

When people speak about patents, more often than not, they are referring to a utility patent. Under U.S Law, a utility patent can be defined as a patent that protects the creation of new or improved (and useful) product, process, or machine. This is also known as a “patent for invention.”

 

What is the use of a utility patent?

 

This is important, because the utility patents prevents the commercial reuse or sale of the product illegal if done without authorization. It also prevents people from trying to recreate the particular invention.

 

This is different from design patents and plant patents. A design patent only protects the aesthetic nature of the product – that is to say, it is only applicable to how a product looks and feels. On the other hand, a plant patent us a unique patent specific to asexually reproducing plants.

 

Utility patents are completely different from this. They protect the functionality of the product, and therefore the intellectual property behind the work put into inventing the product itself. There are also particularly useful because protecting the process is how you can prevent unauthorized reproduction of a product that has the same intended use.

 

Is it easy to obtain a utility patent?

 

Not quite. Patent application in itself is an expensive and grueling process, even more for utility patents. It is not enough to simply create an innovative product. For one, until the patent is granted, the responsibility of proving the uniqueness of the product lies on the applicant (especially if anyone chooses to contest the patent application while it is being processed). Moreover, the applicant also has to prove the merit of the product.

 

A utility patent is only granted to those inventions that have some purpose, or whose use has some kind of meaningful contribution. A unique invention that serves no purpose would not be granted a utility patent. Some common fields in which inventions are granted utility patents include machines, software, chemical compositions, etc.

 

How does one obtain a utility patent

 

Given the need for the invention to be both unique and useful, it is first important to do a thorough background search on the invention’s related field. Having a legal team to aid you is a good way to start. It is crucial to not only ensure that your invention is as unique as you assume it to be, but also that there is no existing patent holder who can fight your patent application.

 

It is also important, while filing, to be as specific as possible in its inventive process, and intended use. That way, it makes it easier for the examiner to fully understand the invention and to also determine if it serves a purpose that is worth patenting.

 

It is best to get help from a patent attorney while trying to obtain a utility patent. There is a lot of legal process and technical jargon that can be easily missed by someone who does not belong to the legal field. Having aid ensures that the correct parts of your invention and its blueprints are protected, and that there are no loopholes in what the patent covers. Moreover, it also makes it easy for you to protect your patent through the coming years once it is granted.

 

Finding a competent patent legal team is not difficult. At MDE Patents, we have a qualified set of patent attorneys who are intimately familiar with the patent filing, infringement, and protection process. If you are considering obtaining a patent for your invention, then you can reach out to our team to help you through this long but necessary process!

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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Trademark Filing: What is the Application Process?

Trademark Filing: What is the Application Process?

Trademark Filing: What is the Application Process?

A trademark is something that is uniquely attached to your company and/or brand. Sometimes, the brand itself is a trademark. This can be anything from a name, to logos, a font, a design, a phrase, or even a specific portfolio/collection of products (the “Mc” in McDonald’s products, for instance. Or “i” in Apple products).

The process to file for a trademark is fairly straightforward, and a lot less complicated than a process to file a patent. This is because of the unique intellectual property grey space that trademarks occupy, between the inventive nature of patents and the existing creations that come under copyright.

The first step to filing an application for obtaining a trademark is to do your research on the TESS – the Trademark Electronic Search System, available on the database of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. This acts as a background check to make sure that there is no existing trademark for whatever it is that you are filing an application for.

It is important to note that the USPTO favors the first entity to use a trademark, not the first entity to obtain registration. But that doesn’t mean that fighting an existing registered trademark is an easy process.

If you want to proceed with filing an application, then you simply have to fill in the relevant form on the USPTO website and pay the application fees (which are non-refundable, regardless of the outcome). Your application is then examined for any errors or issues. Once resolved, it is published in the The Trademark Official Gazette, which is a weekly publication.

This publication gives others a chance to review new applications and to contest an application. While it may not be grounds for automatic dismissal, it can definitely cause some speed bumps in your road to obtaining a registered trademark. If someone does contest your application, this would also be a good time to involve legal aid to help your application. Ultimately, if things go smoothly and there are no contests (or contests are withdrawn) then you receive your registered trademark.

Though simple enough to understand, intellectual property law has a lot of loopholes and easy mistakes that can take place. For anyone unfamiliar with the practice, it is best to file through an I.P attorney. At MDE Patents, we are a trained group of professionals who can make your trademark obtaining process much smoother.

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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