Showing 16 posts by Zachary W. Behler.
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What is eligible for patent protection?
In the U.S., what is known as a "general utility patent" or what most people typically imagine a patent to be, protects the use and function of an invention. Processes, machines, articles of manufacture and compositions of matter are all patent eligible. You cannot get a patent for an abstract idea or something that you discover in nature; you have to have a true physical invention or a process that creates a transformation of some kind in order to be eligible. Read More ›
You have an idea, a million dollar invention! You have applied for and received a patent to protect that invention, but now what? One way to make money with your invention is to license your intellectual property rights to a third-party for production or use. Read More ›
The Supreme Court recently decided a case involving the patent venue statute 28 U. S. C. §1400(b). The case, TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, No. 16-341, concerned flavored drink mixes made by TC Heartland, which is based in Indiana. Kraft sued it claiming patent infringement in Delaware, which has a high concentration of patent suits. Read More ›
There are four basic kinds of intellectual property that you can protect: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. At the very early stages of starting a business you will want to protect your business name or brand through a trademark. Learn more about intellectual property basics and what you need to protect, in the Youtube video below.
So you just had a Eureka moment and your epiphany is going to make you millions as soon as it hits shelves. Learn more about patent basics in this short video including:
On June 18, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademark in its team name, concluding that the term "Redskin" was racially offensive and derogatory towards Native Americans.
Under the Lanham Act, Federal Trademark Law prohibits the registration of trademarks that "may disparage" individuals or groups or "bring them into contempt or disrepute." In a controversial 2-1 decision, the USPTO agreed with a group of petitioners who claimed the team name was disparaging to Native Americans, and thus was not permitted to receive the protections afforded by trademark law. The Washington Redskins plan to appeal the decision and have responded by saying that the term is meant to honor Native Americans and is not considered offensive by many. Read More ›
It is time that we talk about design patents. Generally, when I mention design patents to potential clients, they invariably protest that they have an “invention” and not a “design.” However, most “inventions” at least contain ornamental elements that have the potential for design infringement in the marketplace. In those cases, pursuing a design patent, by itself or in combination with a utility application, can be an effective and affordable way to secure valuable intellectual property protection.
To help you decide if a design patent might be right for you, I have devoted this post to answering the most common questions I get regarding design patents. Read More ›
So you had one of those “Eureka!” moments a while ago and your epiphany is going to make millions as soon as it hits the shelves. This blog is about making sure you don’t lose your right to patent that million dollar idea by waiting too long to file a patent application.
Generally, an invention can only be patented if a patent application is filed within one year of the invention's first disclosure. A public disclosure can take the form of: 1) a publication, 2) a public use, or 3) an offer for sale. In the patent world, these events are called the statutory bars because they bar you from filing a patent on the idea if one year has elapsed since the event. Read More ›
I get a lot of questions from clients about “provisional patents." Let me just start this blog by clarifying once and for all that there is no such thing as a “provisional patent” anywhere in the Patent Act. However, since 1995 the USPTO has offered inventors the option of filing a provisional patent application under §11(b) of the Patent Act. Provisional applications have some interesting advantages of which you should be aware. Read More ›
We have all seen patent numbers marked on all kinds of products. In fact as I sit and write this article I can report that there are several items in my office with patent markings including my hole punch, stapler, Dictaphone and the insoles in my shoes.
So why is that? There has got to be a reason, right?
The reason is that if products are not appropriately marked before they enter the stream of commerce, the damages that the manufacturer can receive in a patent infringement action against someone that has copied that product are reduced. 35 USC §287(a) provides: Read More ›
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