Intellectual Property Law Services in Illinois
What should you look for when hiring a Illinois trademark attorney?
An experienced Illinois 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.
What is a registered Illinois 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.
The benefits of filing a provisional patent application in Illinois
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 type of services does an intellectual property attorney in Illinois 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 Illinois 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.
Five different types of Utility Patents in Illinois
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.
Illinois 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.