Patent Services in Coloma, MI
What does a Coloma 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 Coloma
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."
What are the benefits of hiring a Coloma trademark attorney to protect your brand or name?
Trademark attorneys specialize in all areas of trademark law, including registration at the USPTO, counseling, and enforcement. Because there are many nuances in trademark law, having an experienced attorney guide you will help avoid potential complications, especially during the registration process. For example, a Coloma trademark attorney will know which forms to file with the USPTO, which classes of goods and/or services to apply in, and how to describe these goods and/or services. An attorney will not only be able to help you accurately prepare your application, but will also be able to respond to the USPTO if the examiner finds any issues with the application.
Five different types of Utility Patents in Coloma, MI
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.
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 Coloma, MI 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.