June 13, 2024
Patent Inventorship

Who qualifies as an inventor under US patent law? When seeking a utility patent for an invention, it is critical to properly identify the inventors in the patent application.  In general, an inventor is a person who conceives and reduces to practice an invention that falls into one of the statutory categories of patentable subject […]

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June 12, 2024
What can be Trademarked?

What can be registered as a trademark? Entrepreneurs are generally aware of trademarks and the purpose for which they are used: serving as a unique identifier of a business's goods and services. However, the rules that govern what can be "trademarked", or more accurately, what can function and be registered as a trademark are not […]

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June 3, 2024
Design Patent Claim Construction

Design patent claims protect the ornamental design of an article of manufacture. Unlike a utility patent, which covers functional aspects, a design patent focuses on the visual appearance, including the shape, configuration, or surface ornamentation of the claimed design. A design patent has a single claim that refers to the design patent drawings that illustrate […]

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May 17, 2024
Trademark Specimens of Use

What are Acceptable Trademark Specimens of Use? Prior to applying for a trademark or service mark registration, it is crucial to understand the specimen requirements set forth by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A specimen is evidence demonstrating the actual use of a trademark or service mark in commerce concerning the goods […]

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May 13, 2024
Non-Analogous Prior Art

What Constitutes Non-Analogous Art? Obviousness under US Patent Law An invention must be non-obvious when compared to related prior art. Specifically, under 35 U.S.C. § 103, an invention cannot be patented if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the invention as a whole would have been obvious at […]

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May 6, 2024
Investigating Third Party Patent Rights

Care should be taken in the New Product and Concept Development Introducing new product ideas and services is the life blood of many businesses. There are numerous steps along the path to a developing a new product vision. For instance, a product idea must be evaluated for its technical feasibility, manufacturing costs, and potential profit […]

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May 5, 2024
Design Patent Restriction Requirements and Prosecution History Estoppel

The Effects of Restriction Requirements in Design Patents: Prosecution History Estoppel and Design Patent Infringement US patent law provides for exclusive rights in an original ornamental design through issuance of a design patent. The primary focus of a design patent is not the functional features of a product but rather its ornamental features. The "claimed […]

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March 11, 2024
Use in Commerce - Basic Requirement for Trademark Rights and Registration

There must be Use in Commerce A trademark (word, name, symbol, sound, or design) is a source identifier for goods and/or services that are provided in connection with the mark. The trademark serves to indicate to the consumer the likely quality and character of the goods or services based on the reputation the trademark owner […]

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April 22, 2021
“Made in the USA”: A Guide to Origin Claims

At a time when the health of the U.S. economy and creating and maintaining U.S. manufacturing jobs are top of mind, the “Made in the USA” claim on products resonates among consumers. The claim communicates the entrepreneur’s efforts to create or preserve American jobs. While the value of an origin claim from the U.S. is […]

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January 15, 2021
New Copyright Protections and Enforcement Procedures

CASE Act As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021 signed into law on December 27, 2020, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act was passed.  The CASE Act establishes a tribunal called the “Copyright Claims Board” (CCB) within the U.S. Copyright Office to handle small-scale claims of copyright infringement. Copyright registrants can […]

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