Intellectual Property Law Services in Northwest, NC
The benefits of filing a provisional patent application in Northwest
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."
Northwest, NC Trademark Trends
Recent trademark registration trends have seen an increase in the number of trademark applications filed, especially in the areas of technology (Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and NFTs), entertainment, and fashion. Additionally, there has been a rise in the use of trademark protection for colors, sounds and scent marks, as well as in the registration of trademarks for cannabis-related goods and services. Furthermore, with the growth of e-commerce and the increasing use of social media for business purposes, there has been a rise in the number of trademarks being filed for logos, taglines, and hashtags. However, there has also been an increase in the number of rejections and objections being raised during the trademark examination process, particularly for marks that are deemed descriptive or generic.
Five different types of Utility Patents in Northwest, NC
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.
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 Northwest 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.
How can a copyright attorney help your company avoid Northwest 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, Northwest copyright attorneys can also defend you against these allegations and/or work with the copyright holder to negotiate a mutually beneficial resolution.
How do I protect my Northwest, NC 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.