Patent Services in Southport, NC
How can a Southport 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 Southport, NC 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.
Southport, 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.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Southport, 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.
Five different types of Utility Patents in Southport, 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.
What type of services does an intellectual property attorney in Southport provide?
An intellectual property (“IP”) attorney isn’t just for filing patent applications. An IP attorney should be well-versed in trade secrets, trademarks, unfair business practices, and copyrights. Some of the key services Axenfeld Law provides include patent prosecution, trademark registration, copyright registration, litigation to enforce your intellectual property rights, and domain name disputes. Axenfeld Law can also work with your business to license or transfer your IP rights, whether as an individual transaction or as part of a larger deal, such as IP due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. This would include assessing your IP portfolio and determining the steps needed to protect your IP while maximizing its value.
Axenfeld Law has experience in representing Southport, NC businesses and individuals before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) involving both trademarks and patent matters. Additionally, Axenfeld Law’s litigation team is well versed in all areas of intellectual property law and can represent you in enforcing your rights against infringers or defend you when accused of infringement. IP law is a complex field with each sub-area of law containing its own nuances, therefore it is imperative to look to a team like Axenfeld Law that is familiar with the practical intricacies in order to maximize the value of your IP while minimizing the costs.