The second article in the PCT series focuses on the timing of each major step in the PCT process, from filing the parent patent application to sending the PCT application to each designated country or regional office.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, is a popular path for pursuing patent protection in more than 150 member countries. The first article in this series will provide a brief overview of the PCT and some of the benefits of using the PCT, rather than direct national filings, to pursue foreign patent protection.
Public disclosure of an idea or product without having IP protection in place can cause serious issues for your startup company, including potential theft of your idea or product and losing your opportunity to later apply for a patent. The timing of both your public disclosure and filing a patent application is of the utmost importance and should be discussed with an IP attorney or agent as soon as you plan to publicly disclose your idea or product.
We know that there are many aspects to consider when forming your startup company, and we encourage entrepreneurs to also invest in protecting their intellectual property. Obtaining IP protection may seem like a daunting, and expensive, task to take on in an already busy and cash-strapped time, but there are several ways to make IP protection more affordable than you may expect.
Trademarks, trade dress, and design patents each provide different types of legal protection and for different durations of time. In some cases, having multiple, or even all three, types of protection for a single design can be advantageous for the rights owner.
Trademarks, trade dress, and design patents are each exclusionary intellectual property rights that protect non-functional aspects of an owner's business operations and product lines by giving the owner legal rights to prevent others from using them. While each of these routes to protect an owner's intellectual property is somewhat similar and overlapping, differences exist. Each intellectual property right will be discussed here and then compared and contrasted with one other.
How to Combat Copycat Products on Amazon: Amazon Brand Registry and the Neutral Patent Evaluation Procedure, Part 2
In an effort to address the issue of copycat products, Amazon established two options for IP rights owners to combat infringement of their IP: the Amazon Brand Registry and the Neutral Patent Evaluation Procedure. This article will focus on the Neutral Patent Evaluation Procedure.
In the previous article (“The Patent Process, Part 1: From Invention Conception to Application Filing”), we discussed the patent process from conception of an invention to filing a non-provisional patent application. This article will discuss what happens after filing a non-provisional patent application in the United States.
The light bulb just went off in your head – you’ve thought of an invention! But where do you go from there? This and a second article will set forth the basic steps in the patent process from conception to the issuance of your patent and post-issuance requirements to keep your patent in force.
A design patent is granted to an inventor who creates “any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.” The protection for a design only applies to its ornamentation, regardless of whether that ornamentation has a practical use as well. In any case where an invention has a practical use and an original ornamentation, we encourage the inventor(s) to seek both design and utility patent protection. Unlike plant and utility patents, design patents are only valid for fifteen (15) years from the filing date (increased from fourteen years of protection on May 13, 2015).
At the most basic level, any patent (utility, design, or plant) is an intellectual property right that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing an invention using that patent for a period of time. Utility patents are typically related to inventions or discoveries of a utilitarian nature, and protect the functional aspects of the invention or discovery. In contrast, design patents are granted for the ornamental features of an invention and do not protect any functional aspects of the invention.
It’s a pity, so many developers of great new consumer products never reap the full benefits of their hard work because they delayed applying for a patent until it was too late. Protection begins as soon as a patent application is filed. Accordingly, it is crucial to file an application once an inventor conceives the product idea and definitely by the time the product reaches the final stages of development. Filing a patent application is a must before releasing a unique product on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdfunding platforms. When preparing a budget for launching a product, it’s critical to account for the cost of acquiring a patent, which includes hiring an experienced intellectual property attorney with a track record of success.
Products imported to the United States can infringe on issued U.S. patents. Patent owners have several options for protecting their intellectual property rights, including litigation in either Federal Court or the United States International Trade Commission. We will discuss each type of litigation and its unique advantages in detail below. If a patent owner becomes aware of infringement against their patent, we advise the patent owner to take prompt action to stop the infringement.