Patent Services in Cedar Falls, IA
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.
How can a copyright attorney help your company avoid Cedar Falls copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement occurs when a business or person engages in the unauthorized use or reproduction of a copyright protected work. Intellectual property law is continually changing and while the rules and statutes at issue remain the same, the implementation of the law often does not. This is especially true on the internet, where a work’s copyright protection is not always obvious and emerging technology, like generative artificial intelligence, tests the boundaries of existing intellectual property jurisprudence. Copyright attorneys, like those at Axenfeld Law Group, can help keep your company abreast of these changes to avoid potentially infringing conduct. To the extent your company is faced with a lawsuit for copyright infringement, Cedar Falls copyright attorneys can also defend you against these allegations and/or work with the copyright holder to negotiate a mutually beneficial resolution.
How can a Cedar Falls patent attorney protect an idea?
An idea can be protected by a patent if the idea constitutes an invention. An idea may be considered an invention under U.S. patent law if it is a new and useful process or machine, or a new and useful improvement to an existing process or machine. Abstract ideas are not patentable, and your invention cannot be something that would be obvious to an ordinarily skilled person in the field of the invention. Your idea must also be detailed enough that it can be described in such a way that an ordinarily-skilled person could make and use the invention based on that description. A patent attorney can help make sure your idea meets the requirements of a patentable invention, and secure protection for that idea by preparing and filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
How do I protect a name?
You can protect your business or product name from being used or diluted by a competitor with a trademark. A trademark is an intellectual property right that gives you the right to exclude others from using your name in a confusingly similar manner. There are several ways to acquire a trademark, including through state agencies or simply through use in commerce, but the way to obtain the greatest amount of protection is to register your name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A Cedar Falls, IA trademark attorney can help you file a federal trademark application, and if granted, you will have the right to enforce your trademark throughout the entire United States. You will also have a legal presumption that you own the trademark. Anyone who sues to challenge your trademark will bear the burden of proving otherwise.
What does a Cedar Falls 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.
Five different types of Utility Patents in Cedar Falls, IA
A utility patent is a legal protection granted to investors for new, useful, and non-obvious inventions. There are five major types. A “process patent” is a protection granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new and useful process, which can include chemical, industrial, or technological processes. A “machine patent” protects mechanical devices or combinations of mechanical elements that work together to produce a certain effect or result. A “manufacture patent” protects the method with which a new or original product is manufactured. A “composition of matter patent” covers new and useful compositions of matter, whether they be chemical compounds or mechanical mixtures, and include gases, fluids, powders, or solids. Finally, an “improvement patent” protects the distinction between a new product and previously existing products of a similar type.