SHOP LOCAL: Safeguard your intellectual property

By: David Eaton

Your business is likely to have a wealth of Intellectual Property (IP) – from the name on your door, to an innovative new process, design or product invention.

It’s this that distinguishes your business apart from your competitors, and as your business grows, so too will the importance of these assets.

Because IP is not a physical asset, it can easily be overlooked.

Safeguarding your IP is an important step in developing and maintaining a competitive edge.

When establishing a presence in the marketplace, protecting and managing your IP will give you ownership rights over important aspects of your business.

IP protection should stop competitors copying or stealing your unique ideas.

If you’ve developed a new product, service or idea, visit ipaustralia.gov.au to check whether anyone else has registered the IP and if they haven’t, find out the cost for you to apply for the registration.

While there are seven types of IP protection, most businesses use patents, trademarks, copyright and design registration.

One of the most common IP assets overlooked by small business is protecting a unique business name – consider registering it as a Trademark to legally protect it throughout Australia.

Not all business names however can be registered as a Trademark.

There are 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services to be considered – choosing the right class is important.

When starting a business, business owners often don’t see IP as a priority, when in fact it is.

IP is your unique selling proposition and could be the key ingredient to making your business a success.

With businesses constantly redefining themselves there is a greater need to protect your IP and your business.

For more information on intellectual property, copyrights, patents, and trademarks and how to protect your business visit smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or contact one of our experienced business advisers on 13 12 49.

Source >> https://www.communitynews.com.au/western-suburbs-weekly/business/shop-local-safeguard-your-intellectual-property/

Why Trademark

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

WHY TRADEMARK. . .

> to sell a business
> to attract investors
> to stop competitors
> to protect a web site domain name

What you can trademark:
 a word, phrase, or slogan
 a logo or design

Competitors can trade on your good name. Unless, that is, you have strong trademark rights. And what rights are those? The best trademark rights would be based on a federally registered trademark.

If you want to protect your company's web site domain name, you will need to be able to prove trademark rights in the name itself. There is no surer way than ownership of a federally registered trademark, which can usually confer nationwide rights.

There are other trademark rights too: state registrations, and common law trademark rights. Those may be very worthwhile too, but may not have national scope.

Common law rights sometimes require proof of instances of actual confusion, but even then there is a question of proving priority, i.e. who was first.

This brings us to federal trademark rights. In advertising, you may see a trademark followed by the symbol “R” in a circle. That indicates that the trademark is federally registered. A trademark followed by the symbol “TM” indicates that the owner wishes to claim common law trademark rights, or has other trademark rights.

A good trademark can help any business, and a successful one also attracts investors and can help when selling your business. Without a trademark, there is often nothing of value to sell.

Considering a trademark?
A trademark search is strongly recommended. Skill is required in interpreting the results, since even identical trademarks can be registered if they are in sufficiently different classes of goods/services.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/Why-Trademark.html

Keeping Track of Your Competitors’ Intellectual Property

By: Kathleen Kuznicki

As businesses grow and develop, so does its intellectual property (IP) assets. And if these businesses are engaging in proper IP management, they are filing trademark and patent applications to protect their IP. However, because of the public nature of both trademark and patent prosecutions, one may get an inkling of their competitors’ business plans if they monitor these application filings. Though not a perfect way to predict the exact nature of your competitors’ future offerings, keeping track of your competitor’s intellectual property filings can be a guide to where your competitors are moving.

Trademarks
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes a source of goods and services. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows entities to file trademark applications before the marks are in use under the Bona Fide Intent To Use basis. That way, businesses can secure their branding before their product or service offering is fully commercialized. Pending trademark applications are available online for public viewing  approximately a week or two after their submission. Using the online database, trademark applications can be searched using the owner name. For example, if you do a search using Microsoft as the owner, you will find numerous pending trademark applications, many of these filed under the Bona Fide Intent To Use basis.   Some of these Bona Fide Intent To Use marks, such as Battle Toads, Eden Falls, and Screamride are being applied for as marks to cover video/computer games. This may indicate that Microsoft wants to expand its footprint in the video/computer game market, with the word marks potentially indicating the nature of these games.

Patent Applications
Another way to track competitors is to monitor their patent application filings. Entities apply for patents to protect inventions that they intend to become commercialized products. Before the America Invents Act (AIA), inventors were the applicants for patents and assignments were not always recorded with the USPTO, since it was not required to do so. However, as of September 16, 2012, the AIA allows assignees to be applicants, bringing the US in line with the rest of the world. And because of this, potentially more businesses have their names on patent applications. The USPTO and other databases allow you to search patent applications by assignee (or applicant) name. The caveat, however, is that patent applications are not published until 18 months from their priority date. So there is a blackout period where applications are confidential and not able to be found on the patent databases. But as it takes approximately three years in the US before an application becomes an issued patent (or becomes abandoned), it is still possible to track your competitors’ developing products, especially because it may take several years before a commercialized version of the invention is finalized and put up for sale.

Monitoring Intellectual Property
Businesses should either set up internal procedures to track their competitors’ Intellectual Property filings, or if they can afford it, outsource the tracking to companies who specialize in tracking IP. Tracking your competitors’ IP not only lets you know what your competitors are up to, but may also be a guide to direct your business’ product development. You can assess the quality of your competitors’ potential products and can compare it to your current and potential products. Similarly you can assess whether the market will become too crowded for a certain type of product (too many patent applications filed on similar inventions), or discover whether one of your developing products could potentially be infringing the claims in a competitor’s application which may ultimately issue as a patent, affording you the opportunity to “design around” your competitor’s invention.

Source >> https://exitpromise.com/competitor-intellectual-property/

How to Patent an Idea

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

How to patent an idea? There are several good approaches, as follows. Easiest: file a Provisional patent application ("PPA"). Advantages: low cost, low government fee, few formalities, true "patent pending" status, priority rights for any later-filed utility or PCT applications filed within one year. No examination occurs.

How to file a Provisional patent application (PPA): service fee is relatively low and very affordable; call or email for a quote for a specific invention idea.

Next up: file a Design patent application. Yes, it protects just the appearance of the inventive product or design, but costs much less than a utility patent application, has lower government filing fees, and often has better chances of success with the US Patent Office. Call or email for a price quote for a specific inventive idea, there is no charge or obligation.

Or, get a utility patent application on your idea. The Utility patent application is sometimes referred to as a regular application. It costs about three or four times what a provisional application costs, but should still be relatively affordable. It does require formal drawings, and will be examined by the patent office, possibly requiring a response. The chances of success are unpredictable, and vary depending on the invention itself and the specific examiner who examines it for the US Patent Office. Call for a price quote for a specific inventive idea, there is no risk or obligation.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/How-to-Patent-an-Idea.html

Make Protecting Intellectual Property Your First Priority

By: Frontier Business

Protecting your company’s intellectual property rights is vital for your business. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents give you grounds to pursue legal action should anyone steal your innovations, but it is also imperative to prevent cyber intruders ahead of time by having digital security in place. A single cyber attack can eliminate your business’s competitive edge and can cost you thousands of dollars to fight someone who uses your company’s unique information without permission.

Below, we at Frontier have provided a few tips on helping protect intellectual property (IP) from hackers and other cyberthieves.

What Is IP?

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines IP as a “creation of the mind.” Those creations can include products, manufacturing processes, artistic creations, and company logos. Depending on the type of innovation, legal protection falls into one of the following categories.

Copyrights

Copyrights specifically cover artistic works, like novels, poems, plays, films, music, paintings, software, and logos that show artistic merit. Once an original work is created and “fixed in a tangible form,” it’s protected under copyright law—though copyright registration is required to file a lawsuit.

Trademarks

Trademark registration is the most common type of IP protection. It refers to unique logos, packaging, or symbols that the public associates with a specific company. Under common law, you hold the rights for any mark distinguishing your company as soon as you start using it, but registering it with the trademark office sets up “legal presumption of ownership.”

Patents

Inventors who want to protect their inventions from being copied or stolen can apply for the government-granted right of a patent. To be considered for patent protection, an invention must be useful, novel, and not obvious.

Once you hold a patent, no other company can manufacture or market your product, although you do have exclusive rights to offer licensing.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are formulas, devices, or patterns a company values enough to safeguard. Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example, classically protects its trade secret recipe within a locked vault. Trade secrets are covered by state law and don’t have to be registered, but you should have anyone working with such proprietary information sign a strong nondisclosure agreement.

Why Is It Important to Protect IP?

When IP is stolen, it risks a company’s existence. Every year, IP theft costs US businesses roughly $600 billion, and in 2016, half of business executives said their companies were hacked. It’s essential for businesses to protect their IP—there’s no shortage of hackers, insiders, and even countries employing everything from malware to botnets to web-based attacks to steal these valuable assets.

Vickie Papapetrou, a cybersecurity advisor at Ernst & Young, cautions businesses to accept that their security will be breached.

“Companies must identify their most important information and where this data resides. They must then monitor access to this data across networks, systems, and endpoint devices,” she says. “Other security tips include the use of threat detection and tracking software, appropriate access levels and login criteria, and storing files in backup copies to continue operations in the event of a ransomware attack.”

Read More >> https://business.frontier.com/blog/protecting-intellectual-property/

Ways To Make Money From Your Patent

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

Ways To Make Money From Your Patent

Here are some ways inventors can make money from their patents. These come directly from actual successes of actual inventors, as told by the inventors themselves in published interviews.

It is important to realize that every invention is different, with different markets. And, different inventions tend to attract different types of investors. Focus on what makes your invention different, and the rest will be easier.

The Licensing Approach - Accumulating Licensees 
There are several approaches to gaining licensees. The following is one of the most successful approaches, where there are a number of different infringers. Where there is only one infringer, it may be necessary to threaten litigation, but that only works if the infringer believes you have the resources to do it.

First: identify which companies, products or services may be infringing your patent. Make a list, and try to estimate the sales of each one.

Then, line up the infringers by the estimated amount of infringing sales. Send demand letters to the smallest infringers, asking relatively small royalties. It would not be unreasonable to offer petty infringers royalty rates of 2%, or in some cases even a 0% royalty; all conditioned upon sales being below a certain limit.

As you accumulate more and more licensees, you will approach larger and larger infringers. The more licensees you have, the easier it is to sign on bigger companies as licensees. And, you can ask form somewhat larger royalty amounts. Having ten licensees, for example, is a persuasive factor to a company you approach for royalties, when that company is deciding whether or not to risk being sued for infringement. By this time, the royalty demands should be in the 6% to 9% range.

The largest infringers are saved for last. For those companies, seeing your list of licensees suggests you will have substantial reserves in case of litigation. It is much easier, by this point, to persuade them to pay the higher royalties in the range of 10% to 18%.

Market Your Invention the Easy Way – Consignment Sales 
If you are able to make products embodying the invention, it makes sense to make small batches of those products. Many stores will carry the products, if you offer them on consignment.

So, what is a consignment sale? This occurs when you offer the goods to a retailer for a period of time, say one week, and at the end of the period the retailer either returns the items or pays a percentage of the selling price for each one sold.

A reasonable rate is 25% for the first batch. If the retailer sells out, then they will want more, in which case it is likely you can get 50% of the selling price for that batch. If sales are very good, then higher percentages are attainable, up to a maximum of about 75% in many cases.

Why try this method? Well, it is profitable, and if one retailer is selling, others will want the product too. And, it attracts the attention of large companies, who have been known to offer substantial sums of money (in the millions of dollars) for the rights.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/Ways-To-Make-Money-From-Your-Patent.html

Signs Your Patent Attorney Does Not Have Your Best Interests In Mind

By: Stephen Key

Conflict exists between the interests of inventors and patent attorneys who are tasked with protecting their inventions.

Inventing and commercializing a new product is extremely challenging, period. Obstacles abound. You have to be committed, dedicated and full of passion. Even then, you’ll still probably fail. That’s the nature of entrepreneurship. To become a successful inventor, you must learn from your mistakes and keep getting up to bat.

In my experience, many inventors are blind to this reality. I can relate. I remember feeling so determined to make my invention happen, I refused to listen to anyone else. This attitude is typical of inventors I’m afraid. Our inventions are so consuming, we aren’t always able to see clearly.

This is especially problematic when it comes to the patenting process. Because if you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a patent that goes nowhere, how likely — let alone able — are you to take action on your next idea?


Selling fear is easy. “If you don’t file a patent, someone else will beat you to it!”

This is very shortsighted, I feel. Providing knowledge is much more difficult, and thankless. That’s just how it is.

Intellectual property is only valuable when deployed strategically, to further a business goal. That’s a far less sexy sentiment than what I hear over and over again online, which is that having a patent will stop someone else from stealing your invention. If only it were that simple!

Source >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenkey/2018/10/30/signs-your-patent-attorney-does-not-have-your-best-interests-in-mind/#2d23c1573b0a

How to Get a Patent

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

How to Get a Patent

How to get a Patent? That’s a good question! The short and long answers are below.

The short answer is : In the US, file a US Utility Patent Application, or a US Design Patent Application. Note that a US Provisional Patent Application does not become a US Patent, but does give “patent pending” status.

And, do you need a US Patent Attorney? Yes and No. In theory, a patent application can be filed by the inventor. Due to the great number of legal technicalities and chances of losing rights by use of poor legal language or by failing to add the right legal language, most authorities believe it is by far the best course of action to have a US Patent Attorney prepare the patent application. Some very experienced inventors might prepare their own patent applications, although that is not common.

The longer answer is:

These are the basic steps for how to get a patent. For a Utility Patent, the goal is to get broad claims allowed by the US Patent Office, and which become part of an Issued Patent. The claims define the scope of what is legally protected by the issued patent.

The inventor should write a description of the invention, and make sketches or drawings which can show the invention. The description and drawings do not have to be very detailed, as long as they clearly explain what the inventor believes is new.

If working with a US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer, something which is highly recommended, this information may be enough to start. The US Patent Attorney will then draft a more detailed version of the invention in the format required by the US Patent Office, referred to below as the USPTO (which is short for US Patent and Trademark Office).

What will the US Patent Attorney add to help the invention? Good question! The US Patent Attorney will provide the correct wording for various elements, and will provide a set of claims to set forth the legal rights proposed for the invention. Proper drafting of the specification and claims requires good knowledge of current laws and legal case decisions. It should include proper use of “means for” language which may need to be present in the claims and specification, and must be properly supported by an explanation of equivalent structures or functional elements. The US Patent Attorney can provide additional language to encompass or add features which would be known to anyone having skill in the art, in order to broaden the scope of the resulting claims.

The US Patent Attorney will send the draft application to the inventor for changes and additions. This draft application may go back and forth more than once, until the Inventor is satisfied with the draft application. At that point, the draft application is filed with the USPTO by the US Patent Attorney together with the necessary transmittal forms and legal forms.

The USPTO will send an Official Filing Receipt. After that, the USPTO will conduct a search of the prior art patents and other literature, and send an Official Action reporting the results of that search together with an explanation of any objections or rejections. The objections can be to the form or language used, including any objections to the drawings, specification, or claims. The rejections will be legally based, and can include rejections over prior art, as either “anticipated” or “obvious over” the prior art. Other rejections can include “non-operability” and “non-statutory” rejections. It is possible to respond to these objections and rejections, and in many cases these objections and rejections can be overcome by a proper response.

The US Patent Attorney can respond to any such official action received from the U.S. Patent Office. If the official action is a rejection, then a response will provide arguments in support of patentability and possibly changes to the claims. The response will also respond to any objections.

The rejections over the prior art can be overcome, when possible, by amending the claims to avoid the cited prior art, or by providing arguments in support of patentability. For example, a cited prior art patent might not work in exactly the same way as the invention, or it might not have equivalent structural or functional elements as the invention.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/how-to-get-a-patent.html

How To Decide Where To File Your Patent And Trademark Applications

By: Ryan De Vries

Not sure where or how to file your patent or trademark? Consider these 4 expert tips to make the best decision for your business:

The prospect of owning exclusive rights to an invention or brand is enticing for many businesses, and perhaps more so for their investors. For many businesses, these exclusive rights and the pricing power exclusivity provides are the justification for investing heavily into the development or marketing of products or services.

While there are costs involved in filing and maintaining applications and granted intellectual property rights, intellectual property protection is often a key part of successful businesses. But how do you best determine where to file? You can ask for advice from an experienced patent and trademark agent like Heer Law or you can consider the next steps on your own.

#1 Consider Your Primary Commercial Markets

Since it is much more difficult for a competitor to change the primary commercial markets for an inventive new product than to move the location it is manufactured, many inventors and business pursue patent and trademark rights in the most profitable jurisdictions in which they plan to sell.

For instance, if an inventor wishes to keep a competitor from selling their invention in Europe, they need a patent that has been granted by the European Patent Office. This exclusive right applies regardless of where the competitor’s product is made. Similarly, trademark rights extend to restrain a competitor’s use of a registered mark or confusingly similar marks, and this is most valuable in the commercial markets which are most profitable to you.

#2 Consider Your Future Markets

In an age of eCommerce and increasing ease in shipping and delivery, many businesses which currently focus on a particular jurisdiction are likely to expand their sales into additional markets. Patents generally last from their date of grant to twenty years from filing, and trademark rights can last indefinitely as long as there continues to be a use of the registered mark.

These time periods mean that expansion plans which may seem distant could benefit significantly from choosing to file patent and trademark applications in those jurisdictions now. Moreover, even if a business is not able to bring its product to market in a particular jurisdiction itself, there may be an opportunity to license rights to businesses already operating in that jurisdiction if the exclusive rights would be valuable to them.

#3 Maximize Value In Obtaining Rights

While many government patent and trademark offices offer discounted fees for small or micro entities, in most cases government filing fees cannot be avoided entirely. If desired, other fees can be avoided or reduced through your filing strategy. Examples include translation costs, examination costs, and costs relating to the scope of an application.

Translating documents can be expensive. Particularly for long and detailed patent applications. Preparing your initial application in a common language like English is a good place to start as English is used by multiple patent offices. For example, if an application is drafted in English, it can be filed without a translation in 5 of the 10 most active patent offices: the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office, the Indian Patent Office, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and IP Australia.

Once an application is filed, costs will arise in connection with the examination process. However, a strategic approach to requesting examination can minimize these costs. For example, Canada currently allows an applicant to wait up to five years before requesting examination. Thus, an applicant for a Canadian patent can often wait to request examination in Canada until a set of patent claims has been allowed in a counterpart application in the United States or elsewhere, and then voluntarily amend the Canadian claims to match the allowed claims. While the Canadian patent office would still examine the claims, such a move can avoid duplicating prosecution costs overcoming issues with the application raised by examiners in other jurisdictions.

You can also maximize value in obtaining trademark registrations by tailoring the number of classes of goods and services claimed in that jurisdiction in a manner specific to what you will profitably sell in association with the mark in that jurisdiction.

#4 A Window Of Opportunity

For many businesses, deciding where to file patent and trademark applications is a process which involves projecting the expected commercial success of a product or service in a particular market, developing a plan for expansion of the business, and monitoring the activities of competitors.

These things take time, and yet urgency in filing applications is also needed as intellectual property rights are typically granted on a first-to-file basis.
Fortunately, many jurisdictions allow applicants to make priority claims to their initial application within a 6 or 12-month time period. This allows subsequent applications to be treated as if they were filed on the date the initial application was filed. Typically, priority can be claimed up to one year for a patent application or six months for a trademark application.

This window can also be extended for many patent applications by the filing of an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). A PCT patent application allows an applicant to file their application at the international level, and then enter into national or regional patent offices through national or regional phase entry filings. For most countries, the deadline to file national phase applications is 30 months from the earliest priority date. Some countries allow a late entry filing upon the payment of a late fee or meeting some other additional requirement which should be investigated if a 30-month deadline has unintentionally been missed.

Conclusion

A well-thought-out patent and trademark application strategy is essential in maximizing your return on investment in the exclusive rights. Understanding how best to use international and foreign patent and trademark systems will provide advantages to businesses in terms of staging expenses and more efficiently maximizing their intellectual property protection.

Source >> https://magazine.startus.cc/decide-where-file-your-patent-trademark-applications/

How Much Does A Patent Cost?

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

How much does a patent cost?

We try to keep your costs as low as possible, and as affordable as possible. We provide flat fee estimates in advance, at no charge to you.

In the simplest cases, where the invention is easy to describe or show in a few figures of drawing, patent application can be prepared for as little as $1800, with a government filing fee of $540 for a small entity (this cost is slightly less for electronic filing).

The formal drawings, if needed, can usually be obtained for less than $150 per sheet. One sheet might have several figures on it, depending on the complexity of the invention, thus saving money.

If the patent application is granted, the government charges an issue fee of $755 and publication fee of $300. A service charge of $80 is added for attending to preparing and filing the Issue Fee Transmittal.

The U.S. Patent Office examines the patent application and finds any relevant prior art. If the prior art is sufficiently close, they will make a rejection. A response can be filed, usually at a cover of $350 to $450. Every case is different; some are allowed without needing such an amendment or response. In some cases, a further response is necessary or desirable, and the cost is normally somewhat less than $350.

This type of rejection is fairly normal. To attempt to overcome such a rejection, the response can be filed which changes the claims to avoid the prior art, and/or presents arguments to distinguish the invention in the patent application from the prior art.

Sometimes such a rejection can be overcome by a telephone call to the patent examiner; in those cases the cost is at the hourly rate of $100. Such calls are usually short and to the point, especially if the call is to authorize an examiner's amendment which will result in allowance of the application.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/how-much-does-a-patent-cost.html

Getting Smart About Intellectual Property

By: IPI

AsianScientist (Oct. 10, 2018) – When someone trespasses on private property, the owner of the property calls the police, and the trespasser is fined or sent to jail for the crime. Most people are familiar with the concept of protecting real estate and physical objects in their possession against theft. On the other hand, the notion of securing intangible things, such as music and symbols, is more foreign.

Acknowledging that the abstract creations of the human mind have value—and recognising the need to prevent those creations from simply being used without crediting their original sources—intellectual property (IP) laws have been enacted in countries all over the world. By owning IP, individuals and organisations earn the right to legal recourse should infringement occur. At the same time, IP can be out-licensed for a fee, thereby becoming a key source of revenue.

Depending on which industry you are operating in and the type of product or service you are offering, the IP rights you file for will differ. Hence, it pays to know which IP is relevant to your business. Here’s a quick primer on the four major classes of IP.

1. Copyright

If you’ve ever read a book or listened to a piece of music, you’ve probably have come across the term copyright. Originally conceived in the early 17th Century, copyrights originally granted only authors of books the rights to reproduce, distribute and modify their literary works. Copyrights were later expanded to include other creative assets, including artistic and musical pieces, as well as digital creations like software.

To qualify for copyright laws, the work must be embedded in a physical medium of expression, for example, paper (for text and art pieces). It is this expressed form of an idea that receives copyright protection, not the idea itself. The duration of a copyright varies depending on the type of work, ranging from 25 to 70 years. When you own a copyright, you control how it is used and the commercial value that can be derived from it.

2. Trademark

Condensing everything that a brand stands for into a distinctive image or icon can be a very powerful strategy, helping customers recognise at a glance the value that a company provides. The golden arches of the McDonald’s logo, or even the colourful letters spelling out the word ‘Google’, are some of the most valuable trademarks in history.

The trademark symbol (™) indicates that an image or icon is an unregistered trademark representing a product, but it may not be registered or protected under trademark laws. The ® symbol is used if the icons or images have been successfully registered with an issuing authority.

For a trademark to be approved, it should be clearly distinguished from previously registered marks. A trademark should not be purely descriptive of the product or service being offered, nor should it contain offensive content. Trademarks registered in Singapore have a lifespan of ten years and can be renewed upon expiry.

3. Patent

A technological solution to a specific problem can have immense commercial value if properly protected—this is the reason for patenting an invention. To qualify for a patent, three key criteria must be met. Firstly, the product or a process must be novel, which means that it should not have been revealed publicly in any way prior to the patent application. The second requirement is that the product or process must involve an inventive step that makes it superior to existing alternatives. The improvement should also be non-obvious to other individuals with technical experience in the field of the invention. Finally, the invention should have practical utility in industry. Other considerations when filing for a patent include cost and eventual disclosure. Patents have a relatively short economic lifespan of 20 years, after which the specifications of the invention must be made publicly accessible.

Read More >> https://www.asianscientist.com/2018/10/features/ipi-singapore-intellectual-property/

US & USPTO Patent - General Information

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

US & USPTO PATENT GENERAL INFORMATION
Introduction
The US law provides for patent and trademark protection. The administrative agencies responsible for this are the US Patent Office and the US Trademark Office, which are combined and called the US Patent and Trademark Office, abbreviated as USPTO. In the following, the abbreviation USPTO will be used throughout.

Preparing a patent application
A US Patent Lawyer, also called a US Patent Attorney, normally prepares a US Patent Application for filing with the USPTO. The US Patent Lawyer works with the inventor to draft a specification having a description of the invention, including drawings when possible. The draft is then studied by the inventor, and changes are made if necessary. When the draft is accepted by the inventor, the inventor signs a form called a Declaration, claiming inventorship of the application. Once it is filed, it receives a Serial Number and an Official Filing Receipt, and thus becomes an official US Patent Application.

At some point in this process, it is advisable but not necessary to perform a US patent search. The US patent search can find prior art patents that show the extent of the closest prior art, and whether the invention has been patented at an earlier time. If an expired patent is discovered which is very close to the invention, then that expired patent can confer a “right to use” that invention. If a pending US Patent covers the invention, and has claims which are sufficiently broad to cover the invention, then it is possible that infringement would occur. It is important to know if a new product might infringe an existing unexpired US Patent. If no patent exists which covers the invention, then it is possible that the invention can be patented. As noted above, it is not necessary to conduct a patent search prior to filing a new patent application.

The Role of the USPTO in Examining the Patent Application
The US Patent Application is examined in due course by a patent examiner. The US patent examiner will be an expert in the particular art in which the invention resides. The US patent examiner will search the prior art patent literature, and will make a search report and send it to the inventor along with a first Office Action on the merits.

If an invention is finally rejected, that rejection can be appealed. In that case, it is taken up for review by a board of appellate examiners. Each appellate examiner is likely to be a USPTO Patent Attorney or USPTO Patent Lawyer. If the appeal is refused, it can be taken further to a US District Court, in which case the USPTO is represented by the Solicitor’s Office. In that case, the Solicitor in Court will be a USPTO Patent Lawyer or USPTO Patent Attorney. Such higher appeals are not frequent, but are more likely to occur when the invention is particularly valuable.

The Role of the US Patent Attorney in the Examination Process
The US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer considers the Office Actions received from the USPTO, and transmit’s the Office Action to the inventor along with any advice or comments on how to respond. The US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer then responds to the Office Action, usually by providing legal arguments in support of patentability.

If the Office Action is a Notice of Allowance, then the response by the US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer simply transmits the Issue Fee Due along with a transmittal form required by the USPTO.

During this time, the inventor may be commercializing the invention. In this case, a successful invention might be licensed or assigned, or distribution agreements may be made. In all these cases, the US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer performs an important role in making sure these agreements serve the interests of the inventor.

The Role of the US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer after the Patent is Issued
Once the patent issues, it can be enforced against competitors. In that case, the US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer normally first sends a warning letter to the infringing competitor. If the infringement continues and no licensing agreement or assignment agreement is reached, then a lawsuit can be filed by the US Patent Attorney or US Patent Lawyer in a US District Court or in a state court.

The filing of a lawsuit, and the defense of such a lawsuit, are usually referred to as US Patent Litigation, or simply Patent Litigation. Such lawsuits can be short or long, and many businesses with successful products consider it commercially economical to conduct Patent Litigation to protect their rights.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/US-USPTO-Patent.html

Why Intellectual Property is critical for startups

By: Vikram Upadhyaya

When entrepreneurs embark on that unique business idea that they have no doubt would be a commercial success in the market, their prime focus initially is how to actually start giving shape to the venture.

In the midst of numerous things that go into building a startup from scratch, the word ‘Intellectual Property’ (IP) is often not their priority. And even if they consider IP protection, it seems too expensive a proposition for a startup to act on.

But what entrepreneurs should remember is that assessing IP implications is not just about protecting the work you are doing. It is also to check if someone else has an IP for similar work. Often, there could be others in different parts of the globe working on a similar idea, which you may not be even aware of.

What will happen if you find out one day that someone else has already patented that idea or product or solution that you have painstakingly developed?

Importance of IP protection

In today’s competitive and dynamic environment, IP can be a unique selling proposition (USP) of the product or service, and it helps create a sustainable and defensible differentiator for the company.

By owning IP, a high entry barrier is created, thereby helping you to grow your venture faster with respect to your competitors’ offerings. Note - IP is always given high weightage by the investors and creates good value for your venture.

IP has, in fact, been identified as the key ingredient for startups across the world to get a competitive advantage in the market, according to the Startup Genome Project that aims to map, model and analyse what it takes to make startups tick.

IP assumes even greater significance for technology startups, where new innovations are being made every day. There is a huge brand value attached to IP, in both the manufacturing and technology sector. It gives investors, clients, and other stakeholders a tremendous sense of confidence in your commitment and passion to not just succeed, but also become a market leader in your area of operation.

There are essentially three ways in which a startup (or any other organisation) can protect its intellectual property (i.e., the idea or concept/ product/ process/ associated symbols, logos etc. that define the brand), namely, through:

1) Patents
2) Trademarks
3) Copyrights

Intellectual property is, in fact, an asset for its owner and has a commercial value attached to it.

Payal Chawla, Founder, Juscontractus says, “Protecting IP requires thought and strategy. A novel technological innovation, like Tetrapak, would be worth protecting through a patent, which can be very expensive. In certain situations, it may be possible to seek a trademark protection or simply protect through a trade secret. This can be done through investing in marketing, and creating a recall between the owner and the product. The point is - there are different strategies available for different goals. Intellectual property can be very valuable. It is not unknown for a brand to be three times the turnover of a company. IP, if correctly and strategically protected, can take the valuation of a company to a completely different level.”

Also remember, if someone else happens to do so before you, then you are likely to be pushed out of the game (even if you had started working on the idea first), lest you are found guilty of patent infringement or copyright violation.


Companies can even leverage these patents as a means to further boost their revenues through licensing. For instance, Ford and Toyota have both bought licenses from Paice LLC to use its patent covering hybrid cars.

In summary

While startups are constrained by a paucity of funds when it comes to protecting intellectual property, what is important is that they should still continuously work on identifying IP and at the same time consciously work on setting aside funds to protect IP.

Since international patents may prove to be expensive at this stage, a good start would be to apply for a domestic patent/trademark/copyright. As the company scales up, it can set aside a budget for patent/trademark/copyright in the international market. Failure to do so can affect the company’s prospects to scale up.

It’s not just at the startup stage that IP is important. Businesses are constantly reinventing and redefining themselves in today’s day and age, where change is the only constant. This means greater focus on innovations, which in turn, means a greater need to protect IP.

The importance of IP cannot, (and should not) be undermined by startups, and established companies alike, because of the long-term sustainable advantages it offers.

Source >> https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254442

How to Patent a Business Method

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

A business method
Each “how to patent” subject is discussed in detail below. Here are ways to get a patent.

A business method cannot be copyrighted, but it can sometimes be patented. Specifically, the inventive steps of certain business methods can be patented, and because of this the patent can provide protection far beyond just the specific business method language used.

First, a drawing is made showing the most important steps of the business method as a flowchart diagram. It is usually not necessary to give every detail of the operation of the business method; instead, the main features should be illustrated. The business method should be protected by a utility patent application, since that will cover any type of business method language. This is also sometimes called a “regular” patent application. The business method steps can be explained in words and by the flowchart drawings.

This is a good point to mention that there is also something called a “provisional patent application” that gives patent pending status for one year, permitting a utility patent application to be filed at any time during that year. This is much less expensive, and is recommended when there is an urgent need to get something one file, for example just prior to a trade show or publication. Further below, there is a section called “How to patent using a provisional patent application.”

Here's a simple example showing how to patent an idea for a simple and amusing invention, where a business method is used. The simplest business method already in the public domain would be a lottery. Here, tickets are sold, and based on predetermined or later-determined criteria such as the drawing of numbers, determines winning tickets. For the moment, we aren't concerned with whether it has been done before, it is just an example. For now, the idea would be expressed in words, written just as above. These steps would be shown in a simple flowchart.

Next, a claim is added to describe the invention broadly, such as the following: Claim 1: A method for selling tickets and awarding prizes, comprising the steps of: selling tickets with indicia thereon; matching the indicia with predetermined or later-determined criteria such as the drawing of numbers to determine winning tickets; and awarding prizes to winning tickets.

Standard text is then added including sections titled: background of the invention; summary of the invention; brief description of the drawings; and an abstract of the disclosure. This part is not usually hard to do, but can be time consuming.

Then, a Declaration is prepared showing the name of the inventor and title of the invention. This is from a standard form provided by the US Patent Office.

Last, a cover page including a Transmittal sheet is prepared, listing what is being filed with the US Patent Office. The Transmittal page normally will include a check for the amount of the US government filing fee, and a postcard filing receipt. The check can be omitted, as can the signed Declaration, but in that case the US Patent Office will send a notice asking for those items along with a relatively small late fee.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/How-to-Patent-a-Business-Method.html

5 Major Mistakes That Could Derail Your Startup

By: ADMIN

Startup Mistakes
Hindsight may be 20/20 but who doesn’t want to avoid making startup mistakes when possible? In business, mistakes can cost you money, customers, and even your hard-earned brand. However, there are missteps that can easily be avoided with the right preparation and awareness.

Waiting too long to delegate

As a leader, your role is to inspire your team with your long-term vision, innovation, and planning. In the nascent stages of your company, you wear many functional hats and perform many roles. As the business grows, you need people to manage different areas and specialists who’ll add their expertise to your management team. Bring on team members with skills that are different than yours and give them the tools they require to execute. The ability to successfully manage is different than the ability to lead. Relinquish the management role to someone who has proven experience so you can focus on exploring new opportunities.

Not learning from failures

Failures in a growing startup are par for the course, no matter the business. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, and when things veer off-track, be nimble and open to pivoting if necessary. When you remove the fear of failure, teams are free to move forward, innovate, experiment, and flex their creative muscle. Minimize people’s natural aversion to risk and instill a culture of continuous learning in which the lessons learned are used to improve the business.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ranking Factors in 2019

Not protecting your intellectual property

You’ve worked hard to build out your business so it’s crucial you protect intangible assets like your name, logo and if you’re a designer or inventor, your creation. Everyone starts small, but protecting your intellectual property is important when planning long-term. The theft of intellectual property is a rampant problem, and patent, trademark, and copyright protection are your best bet against what could amount to a significant financial loss.

Read More >> http://www.sbentrepreneur.org/5-startup-mistakes-you-can-avoid/

How to Patent a Plant Species

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

A plant species 
Each “how to patent” subject is discussed in detail below. Here are ways to get a patent.

This is very rare, but can be done! The inventive species is identified.

First, a drawing is made showing the inventive species. This is best done by a color photograph.

A claim or claims and an abstract would be added. And, standard text is added including sections titled: background of the invention; summary of the invention; brief description of the drawings; and an abstract of the disclosure. This part is not usually hard to do, but can be time consuming.

Then, a Declaration is prepared showing the name of the inventor and title of the invention. This is from a standard form provided by the US Patent Office.

Last, a cover page including a Transmittal sheet is prepared, listing what is being filed with the US Patent Office. The Transmittal page normally will include a check for the amount of the US government filing fee, and a postcard filing receipt. The check can be omitted, as can the signed Declaration, but in that case the US Patent Office will send a notice asking for those items along with a relatively small late fee.

The drawings may or may not be accepted as filed. If not accepted, the US Patent Office sends a notice, and sets a time period for submitting the formal drawings. A specially skilled draftsman normally prepares the formal drawings, since the US Patent Office has very specific and detailed requirements for the drawings. We work with a skilled patent draftsman, to provide the formal drawings.

The application is examined by the US Patent Office. If granted, the application matures into a plant patent. A granted plant patent can be enforced in court, and it can be assigned and licensed too.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/How-to-Patent-a-Plant-Species.html

Why Exclusive Patent Licenses Can Be More Valuable Than Owning Patents Outright

By: Russ Krajec

Patents encapsulate the hopes and dreams of a company and many investors, CEOs, and inventors have a negative gut reaction about not “owning” their patents. For some reason, “owning” their patents is a deeply emotional issue, but it should not be.

Sophisticated investors recognize the benefits of exclusive licenses and many prefer exclusive licenses over the cost, hassle, and uncertainty of having a startup manage its own patent portfolio.

Exclusive licenses are regularly done by universities and other technology transfer offices, as well as by patent holders and patent finance companies. These agreements are the way technologies can be moved into the marketplace without burdening a startup company and while giving the patent owner participation in the success.[1]

A licensor will grant an exclusive license when it wants another company to bring a technology to market. The exclusivity gives the licensee the incentive to invest in developing the market potential of the technology.

In contrast, a non-exclusive license dis-incentivizes the licensee from investing in developing a market. This is because the licensor could sell licenses to all of the company’s competitors after the first licensee educates and cultivates the market for the product.

For a startup, having an exclusive license to a patent is actually more valuable than “owning” a patent.

Patents are a big capital investment for a startup company, but so is an office building. However, no startup company owns their office building outright. Even if they did own the building, they would take a mortgage on the building to free up capital. Exclusive licenses are the same thing as a lease agreement: the startup has full control of the assets, but does not have to spend capital to build or maintain the asset.

An Exclusive License Aligns Incentives

In a licensing agreement, the licensee and licensor have aligned incentives. Both parties want the licensee to be successful.

The patent holder has every incentive to have a good patent.

The patent holder’s only stock in trade is a quality patent. If the licensee cannot find any commercial value in the patent, the deal never gets done. It is incumbent on the patent holder to provide and maintain the highest quality patent possible.

Many licensing organizations, such as a select few of the major universities, have professional patent management systems in place. They professionally curate inventions and manage their portfolio to maximize the value to their licensees.[2]

When this is done well, the licensee startup company can benefit from professional patent management systems that they otherwise could not afford. Further, the licensor is incentivized to invest in the patents by paying for expedited costs, the additional costs for going up on appeal with the Patent Office, assistance in defending the patent from reexamination, or other costs that the startup can avoid.

An Exclusive License Eliminates Unpredictable Patent Costs

From a purely financial standpoint, an exclusive license reduces immediate patent costs and makes the costs predictable and manageable.

For a startup, unpredictable costs make for very difficult decisions. Should the CEO spend $4,000 on an office action response for the patent, or have a booth at a startup conference to attract investors? Which of these expenses will have the best return on investment for the company in the short term? Which expenses would be best in the long term?

In the analogy of owning the office building, a startup might be faced with an emergency roof repair, a plugged drain the bathroom, or repaving the parking lot. The unpredictable nature means that capital needs to be set aside to deal with the variability.

Unpredictable costs, such as patent costs, are managed by keeping a prudent reserve. The reserve can be managed explicitly, such as setting aside so many dollars for patent costs, or may be reactionary, where there is a churn of unpredictable expenses.

The prudent reserve – no matter how prudent – is still capital that cannot be deployed to grow the business. The more costs that can be predicted, the fewer reserves need to be set aside for the unpredictable costs, and the more capital can be fully deployed to advance the business.

Read More >> https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/06/25/exclusive-patent-licenses-valuable-owning-patents/id=70367/

How to Patent a Provisional Patent Application

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

A provisional patent application 
Each “how to patent” subject is discussed in detail below. Here are ways to get a patent.

A slightly better title would be “How to Get a Provisional Patent Application.“ That would be more correct, as explained below. It is easy to get a provisional patent application, which gives “patent pending” status but cannot in itself be “patented.” Instead, a provisional patent application holds the date (as the date of filing), protects the owner against later copiers, and permits later filing of a utility (“regular”) patent application.

Why get a Provisional Patent Application? It is less costly, and has a lower government filing fee, as compared with a utility patent application. It takes less effort to prepare, and needs no formal drawings and no signed Declaration.

Anything can be the subject of a provisional patent application. It provides defensive protection against later imitators. And, it can be the basis of a later utility patent application. It’s very useful to get a provisional patent application!

So what's the catch? The catch is, the provisional patent application lasts for only one year, after which the idea belongs to the public unless a utility patent application has been filed during that year.

So why file a Provisional Patent Application? If you are publishing the invention or showing it to potential investors or distributors or at a trade show, then a Provisional Patent Application will secure the date of filing, and can protect you against later imitators. How can it protect? It would prevent a competitor from copying your idea and patenting it themselves, then using the patent against you. Yes, that really happens sometimes! And, if the provisional application is followed up within one year by a utility patent application that issues as a patent, then it would allow you to seek damages in court.

Do you need to wait for a patent to issue before commercializing your invention? No, not at all! In fact, a pending patent application can be even more valuable than an issued patent in some cases, and a pending provisional patent application can be sold, assigned, or licensed.

What do you need to get a provisional patent application? You need a written description of the idea. And, it is helpful to provide drawings or sketches of the idea or invention, preferably with numbers that can be referred to in the body of the written description. The drawings do not need to be like blueprints; they can be simple or very rough, as long as they can be understood in connection with the text in the provisional patent application. And, it is not necessary to have a working model.

Here's a simple example showing how to get a provisional patent application for an idea for a very simple and amusing invention. The simple idea: add a blinking light to a pencil eraser. For the moment, we aren't concerned with whether it has been done before. For now, the idea would be expressed in words, written just as above, as the text or body of the application. And, since it is possible to illustrate the idea in a drawing, we would also add a sketch showing where the light should be placed on the eraser. The parts shown in the drawings should be numbered, for easy reference. The text would refer to the features of the drawings, and name the parts indicated by numbers, and also explain the function or purpose of the parts. What else should be shown in the drawings? The light should have a power source, for example a small solar panel or a small battery, and connecting wires should be shown connecting the power source to the light.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/How-to-Patent-a-Provisional-Patent-Application.html

Protecting your business’ intellectual property

By: BusinessNC

Jeff Wilson & Scott Moore
Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor and Hunt, P.A.

What are patents, trademarks, and copyrights? How does obtaining these intellectual property rights, or “IP” rights, help create value for your business? Unfortunately, there are no short answers to these questions. With that being said, in this article we attempt to make the subject of IP more accessible and provide a pathway to understanding how IP can be used to protect the products that your business has spent blood, sweat, and capital on, and also how it can create growth and value for your business.

A patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office is an IP right that grants the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling, or importing the invention covered in the patent. In order to obtain a patent, the invention must be a machine, apparatus, process, plant, or composition of matter. Although abstract ideas or mathematical formulas are not patentable, in some instances software is patentable.

There are several different types of patents, including utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Utility patents, which include provisional patent applications and non-provisional patents, are by far the most common, followed by design patents. Utility patents protect the functionality of an invention. While a provisional patent application cannot itself become a granted patent, it can be used to establish a filing date and later be used as a basis for a non-provisional patent application claiming priority to the provisional patent application. A non-provisional patent typically has a term of 20 years from the earliest effective filing date, with some adjustment possible for time delays. Periodic maintenance fees are required to keep a non-provisional patent in force. Design patents protect the ornamental design of an invention and have a term of 15 years from the date the patent is issued. No maintenance fees are required to keep a design patent in force.

The most obvious reason for filing a patent application is to protect the years of work and capital invested in your product. Since you or your business invested the time and money in the product, providing an ability to stop others from copying your product is one of the main reasons why patents exist. Obtaining a patent on your product, however, can also help your business in other ways. Patent licensing allows you to give certain rights to others to your invention, for a fee, and can result in extra income without having to invest any additional capital into your own business. Moreover, if your business plan is to be acquired by a larger company or a merger is in your future, having valuable patents in your list of assets can result in a competitive advantage at the negotiating table. Patents can also be used as collateral to obtain new rounds of funding if your business is looking to expand. These are just some examples of how patents can create value for your business beyond the legal monopoly granted by the Patent Office.

Trademarks are IP rights that protect signs, symbols, names, and colors that are source identifiers for products and services. Product configuration trademarks also can be pursued to protect product designs via trademark rights. Although some trademark rights exist without registration, obtaining a federal trademark or service mark registration not only provides a tool that can be used to prevent others from using an identical mark as yours for the same goods, but a federal registration also can be used to prevent others from using a mark that would create a likelihood of confusion. This type of protection is, therefore, quite broad. As long as they are continuously used and have not become generic or cancelled, federal trademark registrations have a term of 10 years and can be renewed in perpetuity. Federal trademark registrations have been granted for particular color combinations, jingles or short musical pieces associated with a business, and even particular scents. The key is that the trademark is used to identify the source of the product or service as that of the entity that owns the trademark.

Trademarks create value for your business because they can be used to prevent others from passing off their product or service as that of the business that owns the trademark. Furthermore, trademarks help associate products and services to your business in the minds of consumers and contribute to the goodwill of your company. When consumers see a product or service with your company’s trademark on it, they associate it with your company and know the quality they will receive based on past experience with your company and/or your reputation. Many consumers are also loyal to brands they have previously had good experiences with, so they are likely to purchase similar products with your trademark on them because they associate it with the goodwill of your business.

Copyrights are IP rights that protect expressions of ideas by protecting original works of authorship in tangible mediums. Books, instruction manuals, pamphlets, software, videos, and pictures are some of the more common mediums authors choose to protect by obtaining a copyright. Although a copyright attaches to a work as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible form, more powerful rights associated with the copyright result from actual registration of a federal copyright with the United States Copyright Office. Copyright registrations generally have a term of the life of the author plus 70 years after death, or the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation for works made for hire. Copyrights create value for your business in ways similar to a patent and can be licensed to others for a fee and the rights sold or used for collateral as well.

Read More >> http://businessnc.com/protecting-your-business-intellectual-property/

A New Startup Business: What Is Needed For Success

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
June 22, 2016
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

So you're starting a new business, congratulations! The sky's the limit. If your new startup business is based on a new idea, a new concept, or a new invention, then you'll need something first.

What will you need for success? At least one thing: something unique that you own. The key word here is “own” and that includes intellectual property: patent rights, trademark rights, copyright rights, and trade secret rights. Otherwise, your initial success can be copied or taken by anyone.

You should have a pending application of some type. That is, unless you already have an issued patent or a registered trademark, though a startup is unlikely to have either one. What you can have is a pending application: a pending patent application, a pending trademark application, or both. For some businesses, a copyright application is needed instead of, or in addition to, a patent application.

A pending application documents ownership, as of the filing date. For patent applications, the law now is first-to-file. If you wait to file a patent application, anyone can take your idea and file on it. So be the first! If you are first, then your rights are documented by the filing of the application.

Costs can be kept fairly low on the patent side by filing a provisional patent application (PPA), which gives true patent pending rights for one year, which can give priority rights for any later filed utility patent application. The PPA also documents trade secret rights when the subject matter is kept confidential, and such rights can be valuable.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/A-New-Startup-Business.html

5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Consider Before Filing a Patent

By: Amit Aggarwal

The number of patents being filed in India is rising nearly every year. Indian entrepreneurs realize that securing patents present an opportunity to be rewarded for the effort and research done by them. A patent that is successfully applied to a useful innovation also presents the opportunity to outsmart the competition. Additionally, a useful patent is also more likely to attract investors, funding, and partners who are eager to join an entity that has successfully filed the patent.

Filing a patent is an important decision that demands certain key factors be considered beforehand. A few critical issues to consider before filing a patent are discussed below.

Research Your Patent

There is a need to understand what makes a patent unique and how it will be advantageous for your startup. It is also important to learn whether the idea or product has already been patented by another entity. For this, a startup will need to study the market and learn whether it is worthwhile to invest in a patent. If no similar patent exists in the market then taking the time, effort and expense to apply for a patent are most likely worthwhile. It may also be worthwhile to apply for a patent if it will create barriers for competitors. This means that if a patent is able to limit research a competitor can perform in a certain domain then the patent can be advantageous to a start-up.

When a Startup Applies for a Patent

A startup may have different considerations than an established company when it decides to apply for a patent. It’s likely that a successful startup has created a technology to help it excel in its business domain. Subsequent to the development of the new technology it may need to decide whether it should apply for a patent at all. For instance, a startup may wish to keep the technology it has developed completely secret to gain an edge over its competition. Because on the other hand, if the startup applies for a new patent for the technology it has created, it makes knowledge of the technology public leaving open the door to competitors to perhaps patent a somewhat similar technology. A competitor may use a patented technology that was developed by a startup to its advantage by developing its own technology using the start-up’s patent. Additionally, competitors may also block further development of a technology developed by a start-up by patenting their own technology.

These are a few reasons that a startup that has created a new technology may not wish to seek a patent at all but rather keep the technology it has developed a secret.

Learn About the Patent Laws in Different Countries

Many of the largest companies and entrepreneurs have struggled with respect to protecting their patents from infringement in certain countries across the globe. This is particularly true when it comes to protecting a patent in China where the price of entry often means sharing technology which is then copied and exploited by local Chinese manufacturers to the disadvantage of the company or startup that originally patented the technology. Every entrepreneur must understand the nuances of patent laws as they apply to different countries and markets across the globe. A startup that is proud of a technology and wishes to exhibit it or to publicly disclose information about the technology must also be considerate of the country or region where it seeks a file for a patent. For instance, leaving aside the Wild West that is China where patents are frequently disregarded, if a startup publicly discloses technology it may also be disqualified from owning a patent in a large and well-developed market like the European Union.

Read More >> https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318774

Now is the Time to Consider an EPO Patent Application for Coverage in European Union Countries

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
August 6, 2014 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

Thinking of foreign patents? Then its time to consider an EU (European) patent application!

Why now? Because the EU law is transitioning toward a single filing to cover all of the subscribing EU member countries.

Applications filed now are said to be covered by the new law when it changes, likely in 2015 or 2016. Such an application is examined, and if granted provides patent protection in all subscribing EU countries. The filing can be in any EU language, which includes English, removing the need for expensive translations.

Most companies need protection in the US, but dread the costs of filing in multiple European countries. Sure, you've heard of companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, consider that an EU application can be filed for less than USD 7500 in many cases, including attorneys fees and government filing fees. Design patent applications are even less.

What about EU trademark applications? Those are affordable too! Filing can be at a total cost of less than USD 6500, including legal fees and government fees. No actual use is needed for filing. Ideally, your company name should be protected as soon as possible, before competitors can try to get rights in the EU on your trademark.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/Now-is-the-Time-to-Consider-an-EPO-Patent-Application-for-Coverage-in-European-Union-Countries.html

Make Money On Your Intellectual Property

By: heebeha

Have you ever wondered why store-brand cola doesn’t taste the same as Coca-Cola (CCE)? Why competitors’ laptops often don’t look as sleek as Apple’s (AAPL)? Why the prescription drug you have to take every day costs so much?

It’s because of intellectual property (IP) and the laws that protect intellectual property rights. In this article, you’ll  learn about the four different categories of intellectual property, and how they protect inventors and creators. We’ll also touch on some controversies surrounding IP.

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property, broadly speaking, is not just an idea, but an idea that has been turned into something tangible like a book, a product design, a company logo or a prescription drug. It takes someone a lot of effort and experience to come up with a novel, valuable idea, and intellectual property laws protect those ideas. These protections prevent people other than the creator from taking credit for – or profiting from – an invention without the creator’s permission.

Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights are the ways an inventor can legally protect his or her intellectual property rights. The owner of intellectual property rights can sue anyone who violates those rights. Not all inventions can be protected under intellectual property laws, however, and intellectual property rights expire after a certain period of time.

Types of Intellectual Property

There are four main categories of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights.

Patents are government licenses that give the holder exclusive rights to a process, design or new invention. Those exclusive rights last 14 to 20 years in the United States, depending on the type of patent. The United States Patent and Trademark Office handles patent applications and documentation in the United States. The designs for Apple’s various iPods are patented, for example. (For more information, see Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them.)

Trademarks are symbols, words, phrases, logos or combinations thereof that legally distinguish one company’s product from any others. Examples of popular trademarks include the names Google (GOOG), Walmart (WMT) and Microsoft (MSFT), and images such as the Nike (NKE) swoosh. Trademarks can be protected as long as they are in use.

Trade secrets are a company’s internal processes or practices that give it a competitive advantage and aren’t publicly known. To secure legal protection for their trade secrets, companies must make reasonable efforts to protect them, and the information must have economic value. The recipe for Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies is an example of a trade secret. With trade secrets, protection lasts for as long as the company manages to keep the information under wraps.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship such as literature, films, music, drawings, software and more for 50 to 100 years after the creator’s death for individual creators, or a shorter period for corporate creators. Copyrights are generated automatically when someone creates something, but the creator can register a work with the copyright office for increased protection. For example, your dad owns the copyright to the home video he recorded of you opening Christmas presents in 1988 simply because he made the video. If he were concerned about your aunt trying to take credit for it, and make big bucks from selling it, he could register the video’s copyright. (See Things You Didn’t Know You Could Copyright.)

More than one type of intellectual property right may apply to the same product. A cookie recipe may be protected by a trade secret, while the cookie company’s logo may be protected by trademark and its resealable packaging may be protected by patent.

Read More >> https://sharpcredit.com/2018/10/05/make-money-on-your-intellectual-property/

Some Kickstarter Success Tips

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
August 6, 2014 
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

If you're planning a Kickstarter campaign or other enterprise funding site, then these tips may help.

Have IP protection. What's that? It is intellectual property. It is not necessary to have an issued patent, but for success raising capital it is important to have at least patent pending protection. Trademark protection can help too. Don't neglect copyright protection and trade secret protection, if those are appropriate for your enterprise.

Get publicity. Use an inexpensive service that does e-press releases. Such a service can even help you write the press releases, for a small additional fee. And, try giving interviews to journals and magazines that might review your product or service.

Line up your tech resources ahead of time, to list on the site. These services would include affordable software technical services. Your product will need technical support services, so it may be a good idea to list such a company on your site. Other software services are important, as you're well aware already: sales support software, inventory management software, and employee management software, among others.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/Some-Kickstarter-Success-Tips.html

Make Money On Your Intellectual Property

By: Amy Fontinelle

Have you ever wondered why store-brand cola doesn’t taste the same as Coca-Cola (CCE)? Why competitors’ laptops often don’t look as sleek as Apple’s (AAPL)? Why the prescription drug you have to take every day costs so much?

It’s because of intellectual property (IP) and the laws that protect intellectual property rights. In this article, you’ll  learn about the four different categories of intellectual property, and how they protect inventors and creators. We’ll also touch on some controversies surrounding IP.

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property, broadly speaking, is not just an idea, but an idea that has been turned into something tangible like a book, a product design, a company logo or a prescription drug. It takes someone a lot of effort and experience to come up with a novel, valuable idea, and intellectual property laws protect those ideas. These protections prevent people other than the creator from taking credit for – or profiting from – an invention without the creator’s permission.

Patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights are the ways an inventor can legally protect his or her intellectual property rights. The owner of intellectual property rights can sue anyone who violates those rights. Not all inventions can be protected under intellectual property laws, however, and intellectual property rights expire after a certain period of time.

Types of Intellectual Property

There are four main categories of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights.

Patents are government licenses that give the holder exclusive rights to a process, design or new invention. Those exclusive rights last 14 to 20 years in the United States, depending on the type of patent. The United States Patent and Trademark Office handles patent applications and documentation in the United States. The designs for Apple’s various iPods are patented, for example. (For more information, see Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them.)

Trademarks are symbols, words, phrases, logos or combinations thereof that legally distinguish one company's product from any others. Examples of popular trademarks include the names Google (GOOG), Walmart (WMT) and Microsoft (MSFT), and images such as the Nike (NKE) swoosh. Trademarks can be protected as long as they are in use.

Trade secrets are a company’s internal processes or practices that give it a competitive advantage and aren’t publicly known. To secure legal protection for their trade secrets, companies must make reasonable efforts to protect them, and the information must have economic value. The recipe for Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies is an example of a trade secret. With trade secrets, protection lasts for as long as the company manages to keep the information under wraps.

Copyrights protect original works of authorship such as literature, films, music, drawings, software and more for 50 to 100 years after the creator’s death for individual creators, or a shorter period for corporate creators. Copyrights are generated automatically when someone creates something, but the creator can register a work with the copyright office for increased protection. For example, your dad owns the copyright to the home video he recorded of you opening Christmas presents in 1988 simply because he made the video. If he were concerned about your aunt trying to take credit for it, and make big bucks from selling it, he could register the video’s copyright. (See Things You Didn't Know You Could Copyright.)

More than one type of intellectual property right may apply to the same product. A cookie recipe may be protected by a trade secret, while the cookie company’s logo may be protected by trademark and its resealable packaging may be protected by patent.

How to Protect Intellectual Property

If you want to protect your intellectual property, here’s how to do it. To secure a patent or register a trademark in the United States, the inventor should file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The basic conditions for patentability are that the invention must be novel and nonobvious. To register a copyright, the owner should go through the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. It’s up to you to protect any trade secrets.

Certain types of inventions can never be patented, including mathematical formulas, scientific principles and natural substances.  You can’t copyright a work that hasn’t been written or recorded or that is commonly known information with no known original authorship (such as a standard calendar or tape measure). And you can’t trademark a generic term, as Google learned when it tried to trademark the word “glass” to protect its high-tech glasses. Google can, however, trademark the term “Google Glass” and the product’s unique logo.

Why Intellectual Property Is Important to Companies

Intellectual property protects the market value of data that can give a business a competitive advantage. “Today’s economy is driven by innovation and information,” says intellectual property lawyer Joey Morris, a partner with the Smith Anderson law firm in North Carolina. “Intellectual property protects and encourages innovation by ensuring that a business has the opportunity to enjoy the competitive edge resulting from its investment in research and development.”

"A key initial step for a business in protecting its intellectual property rights is to make sure that it owns its employees’ inventions and other valuable intellectual property," Morris says. “One way to do that is to make sure that all employees who may develop intellectual property of any kind enter into a written agreement assigning to the business all intellectual property that they create that relates to their employment.”

In addition, companies that hire independent contractors need to make sure the independent contractor performs the work under a work-for-hire agreement if the company wants to own the copyright to the independent contractor’s creations. For example, a website that hires freelance writers would need to own the intellectual property rights to the articles it purchased if it wanted to prevent its freelancers from reselling the articles it had paid them for to competing websites.

“The last thing a business should have to face is competing against the unauthorized use of its own valuable intellectual property by others,” Morris says. “Deploying the full array of legal protections available can help a business capture the full economic benefits of its intellectual property assets by preventing others from using them unfairly and without permission.”

Read More >> https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/102714/understanding-intellectual-property.asp

Quit Worrying About Competitors, And Start Making Money

By: Michael J Foycik Jr. 
February 20, 2014
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

Stop worrying! Many inventors and businesses become paralyzed by worry when trying to advance a new idea.

What if competitors import cheap knock-offs? What if they steal your idea? What if it isn't protectable as a patent?

Here are some factors to put your mind at ease.

First, competitors won't spend money to copy a product unless they are sure it will make money. For anything that is new, how can they know? Probably only by seeing if you make money. That gives you a big head start. If your product is good, you can saturate the market before the first knock-off arrives. Also, this gives you time to establish your trademark or trade name, so that people asking for it by name will always get your product.

Second, until your idea is made public, it can be protected as a trade secret, assuming you have marked everything confidential and avoided any non-confidential disclosures. Again, this provides a real head start, with the benefits noted above.

Third, suppose your idea is so good that competitors want to immediately steal/misappropriate your idea. That can be a very good problem to have! Why? Because it means that your rights could have great value to a legitimate company, one that has power to enforce those rights for you against infringers. You see it in the news all the time: big companies investing in small companies, buying a percentage of the ownership. Big companies know how to protect their investments, and their rights.

Read More >> http://internationalpatentservice.com/Quit-Worrying-About-Competitors-And-Start-Making-Money.html

Patent: NOTAP, stakeholders agree to increase awareness in Nigeria

By: BluePrint Newspapers

In order to put the country’s name amongst the comity of technologically developed nations, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the Patents, Trademarks and Designs Registry, are strengthening their relationships to ensure more patents are generated in Nigeria, BINTA SHAMA reports.

Importance of intellectual property Technology and knowledge have played important roles in the economic growth of major world economies, for instance, the UK, USA and emerging economies like the BRIC countries i.e.

Brazil, Russia, India and China, have a lot of evidential research report in this sector.

Intellectual property through globalization and technological innovation has come to reveal an enticing charm in corporate strategy affecting company ratings.

Therefore, it is safe to say a country with higher rate of technological growth would experience a higher standard of living than those of countries without much growth. There has been a tremendous growth in company investment in intangible assets.

According to the company asset valuation recorded by Fortune 500, Intellectual Property Assets (intangible assets) was translated to make up approximately 80 per cent of companies value.

One of the consequences of global trade that started at the beginning of the 1990s in the developed countries was the creation of a deliberate connection between trade law and IP policies to use trade measures to curb piracy of intellectual property rights which led to the TRIPS Agreement.

This agreement establishes global standards for IP protection that would be binding on both developed and developing countries which includes enforcement and border measures.

It has been stipulated that Intellectual property significantly influences the appreciation in value and the accumulation in quantity of human capital and technological change.

For example the growth in patent filing is associated with the growth of knowledge and patent-related statistics can act as an indicator of the strength or weakness of a country’s economy.

The influence of IP has also reflected in the increasing contribution of high technology and knowledge-intensive industries.

For instance more firms are inclined to patent their inventions and this has increased worldwide which includes some developing countries.

PCT in developing countries have started to accumulate knowledge and increase in economic power.

Economic benefits Trademarks are important component of the IP system which has strong influence on private investment and marketing decisions as they are intangible capital.

Protecting In order to put the country’s name amongst the comity of technologically developed nations, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the Patents, Trademarks and Designs Registry, are strengthening their relationships to ensure more patents are generated in Nigeria, BINTA SHAMA reports.

NOTAP Director General, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim (middle), in a handshake with the Registrar, Patents, Trademarks and Designs Registry, Barrister Stella Ezenduka (2nd right), during a visit to NOTAP DG, in Abuja recently, while management the team watch Photo: Binta Shama the intellectual property plays a catalytic role in inspiring research and development in a country.

Read More >> https://www.blueprint.ng/patent-notap-stakeholders-agree-to-increase-awareness-in-nigeria/