Intellectual Property Law Services in Eau Claire, MI
How do I protect an invention in Eau Claire, MI?
Inventions can be protected by patents. Patents are a form of intellectual property right that give a patent owner the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention for a specific period of time. A patent owner has the right to sue someone for patent infringement who is making, using, or selling their invention without their. In order to obtain a patent in the United States, you must file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO), disclosing enough information about your invention to satisfy the USPTO that your invention has some useful purpose, is novel, and is not obvious to ordinarily-skilled people in your field. U.S. patents can last for up to 20 years, after which your intellectual property rights expire, but unlike with trade secrets, Eau Claire, MI patent owners do not have to maintain the confidentiality of their invention.
How do I protect my Eau Claire, MI 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.
Types of Trademarks
An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group can assess your potential Eau Claire MI intellectual property and recommend seeking protection over one or more types of trademarks. This includes trademarks for words, designs, sounds, as well as the unique packaging (known as trade dress) for your product. A word mark is a trademark consisting of a word or phrase that identifies a product or service. This type of trademark can be either a standard character mark, which covers any use of the word in any font, or a stylized mark, which has a specific design element. A design mark is a trademark that consists of a unique graphic design, logo, or symbol that represents a product or service. A sound mark is a trademark that consists of a unique audio element, such as a jingle, tune, or sound effect, used to identify a product or service. Sound marks must be original and capable of being represented graphically. Trade dress is the overall look and feel of a product or packaging, and it can be protected as a trademark if it's distinctive and non-functional. An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group will guide the client in choosing the best type for their business.
Can you protect your username / handle on social media?
You’ve spent hours building your brand on social media. Protect your Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter handles by registering the username with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). If you are successful in registering your social media username, you will be establishing its role alongside your brand. This can help prevent others from exploiting your reputation and the goodwill you have built up through commercial use of your username.
Social media handles are eligible for Eau Claire trademark protection if they are used in connection with the goods or services you offer. This means that the handle must be distinctive and not merely descriptive of the goods or services you offer.
Treat your username or handle as a brand name and ensure that you are able to use it in commerce. This process begins with a trademark search, and if successful, a trademark registration application. This will ensure that no one else is using your name in an area of commerce that is similar to yours and prevent consumer confusion and diversion of sales. Axenfeld Law offers a full suite of services to help build, protect, and enforce your brand. This includes thorough assessment of your brand and the development of a strategy to protect your social media business.
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 registered Eau Claire, MI patent attorney?
A registered patent attorney is an attorney who is, in addition to their state law license, also licensed to represent clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Generally, only practitioners who are specifically qualified by the USPTO may file and prosecute patent applications. In order to be registered by the USPTO, a patent attorney must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a technical field (e.g. engineering, physics, chemistry, biology) and must pass a special USPTO exam, often called the “Patent Bar,” separate from the bar exam that all lawyers must take. Not all patent practitioners are lawyers; patent agents are practitioners who are qualified to file patent applications but are not licensed to practice law. Unlike patent agents or unregistered attorneys, a registered patent attorney can both render legal advice and also file and prosecute patent applications.