Patent Services in Powellsville, NC
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 Powellsville 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).
What does a Powellsville 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.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Powellsville, NC 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.
Powellsville NC Trademark Protection for a Service
A trademark can protect a service, just like a product. A service trademark is used to identify and distinguish the services of one company from those of others in the same industry. Service trademarks play an important role in protecting a company's brand identity and reputation, and help customers differentiate the company's services from those of its competitors. Service trademarks are registered with the same process as trademarks for goods, while receiving the same legal protection. Registering a service trademark provides the owner with exclusive rights to use the trademark to promote and sell their services, as well as the ability to take legal action against anyone who infringes on their trademark rights.
What should you look for when hiring a Powellsville, NC trademark attorney?
An experienced Powellsville, NC trademark attorney can help you navigate the best way to register, maintain, and protect your trademark. Whether you are considering trademark registration, defending against accusations of trademark infringement, or enforcing your rights against trademark infringers, choose a trademark attorney who is familiar with all areas of intellectual property law. An attorney who can advise you not only on trademark matters but also trade secret law, patent law, unfair business practices, and copyright law will help ensure you are protected on all sides.
Finally, ask if the attorney has experience handling cases for the types of goods and/or services covered by your trademark. You will feel at ease knowing your attorney is familiar with the nuances of your industry.