Intellectual Property Law Services in Appomattox, VA
What type of services does an intellectual property attorney in Appomattox provide?
An intellectual property (“IP”) attorney isn’t just for filing patent applications. An IP attorney should be well-versed in trade secrets, trademarks, unfair business practices, and copyrights. Some of the key services Axenfeld Law provides include patent prosecution, trademark registration, copyright registration, litigation to enforce your intellectual property rights, and domain name disputes. Axenfeld Law can also work with your business to license or transfer your IP rights, whether as an individual transaction or as part of a larger deal, such as IP due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. This would include assessing your IP portfolio and determining the steps needed to protect your IP while maximizing its value.
Axenfeld Law has experience in representing Appomattox, VA businesses and individuals before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) involving both trademarks and patent matters. Additionally, Axenfeld Law’s litigation team is well versed in all areas of intellectual property law and can represent you in enforcing your rights against infringers or defend you when accused of infringement. IP law is a complex field with each sub-area of law containing its own nuances, therefore it is imperative to look to a team like Axenfeld Law that is familiar with the practical intricacies in order to maximize the value of your IP while minimizing the costs.
What does a Appomattox design patent protect?
Whereas a utility patent covers an invention itself including the way it functions or its mechanical structure, a design patent protects only the appearance and design of the object. Put differently, a utility patent protects the way an invention is used and how it works while a design patent protects how it looks. Design patents may be obtained only where the ornamental features of the invention predominate over its functional features. An invention that is primarily utilitarian in nature is generally not protectable by a design patent. A design patent affords the patent holder the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling a product that resembles the patented product closely enough that an “ordinary observer” might confuse the infringing product for the patented one.
The benefits of filing a provisional patent application in Appomattox
A provisional patent application is a document issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") that protects an invention for a year before a formal patent application is filed. Filing a provisional patent application has several important benefits to inventors and entrepreneurs. Firstly, provisional patent applications have less formal requirements and are more cost effective than nonprovisional applications. Secondly, they allow inventors to begin commercially promoting their invention immediately without fear of having it stolen. Thirdly, a provisional patent application serves as the effective date of filing for the invention, allowing inventors twelve additional months on the term of their patent grant and the right to use the term "patent pending."
Does copyright law protect my photos posted on social media?
U.S. copyright law protects creative works, and photos posted on social media are no exception. The Copyright Act protects photos posted to websites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but only if the images meet the minimum creativity requirements, are original, and are fixed in a tangible means of expression. When a photographer captures a photograph, they make creative decisions as to the subject matter, lighting, exposure, focus, etc., which typically satisfies both the creativity and originality requirements. Photographs taken with a phone or digital camera meet the fixation requirement when it is recorded or stored in a format that can be preserved and retrieved for future use, display, reproduction, or other commercial exploitation.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Appomattox, VA trademark rights once you determine that a third party is using your mark without authorization. The purpose of a cease-and-desist letter is to alert an unauthorized user to your trademark rights and ask the unauthorized user to cease their infringement. It also typically puts the alleged infringer on notice that if they do not stop their unauthorized use, they may face further legal action, such as a lawsuit.
While this letter does not need to be prepared by an attorney, a trademark attorney can help you craft a compelling letter, detailing all of the legal and factual bases for your demand. Furthermore, an unauthorized user is more likely to respond favorably to a letter from an experienced attorney. When successful in getting the alleged infringer to cease their unauthorized use of a mark, demand letters are the most cost effective and efficient way to resolve a trademark dispute.
How do I protect my Appomattox, VA brand?
Brands can be protected by trademarks and trade dress. “Word marks” are a form of trademark that can protect the actual wording of a brand name, while “design marks” are trademarks that protect the stylization or graphical elements of your brand name. Additionally, trade dress can protect the design, shape, or appearance of you protect, such as a distinctive bottle or textile pattern. You can obtain a federal trademark or trade dress by registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A trademark attorney can help you search existing trademarks and trade dresses to ensure your brand is unique, and then file a trademark application on your behalf. If approved, you will have the legal right to exclude anyone else from trying to mimic your brand, whether by appropriating the words or design elements of your brand.