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Showing posts from October, 2006
Patent Your Invention -- Resources, Links & Books

To protect an original invention OR a significant improvement to an existing product, a patent would be filed. Here's the USPTO's definition.

NOLO is a great, free informational site. Also, be sure to read what else the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) has to say about patents:

USPTO's FAQ about Patents
USPTO's How to Get a Patent
Search Patents

Associations may be a good avenue to explore. These organizations will address many of the thoughts, questions and concerns you'll inevitably have as well as many you haven't anticipated yet.

International Federation of Inventors' Associations
United Inventors Association
Directory of Local USA & Canada Groups

Research, research, research – this cannot be stressed enough. Read as much as you can. Here are some book titles that are relevant:

Getting a Patent:
* Patent It Yourself (11th Edition) by David Pressman
* Patents and How to Get One …
Lawyers on the Loose!

The USPTO will be experimenting with telecommuting lawyers starting next year. Read more about that here.

A Veritable Voluminous Vat of Varying Varieties of Vagueness
aka The USPTO Glossary

The USPTO offers a great service to the public by having the glossary available for viewing. However, some of the language makes you want to say 'huh? what was that?'

So, let's take a look at some of the important words/terms that every person wanting a trademark should know.

First & foremost -- trademark. What is it? Do I need it? Why do I need it? The word trademark can have entire posts written about it; luckily, I've got several for you to check out:

What is a Trademark?
What is a Trademark Search?
Do You Need a Registered Trademark?

Okay, let's move on to some of the trickier definitions.

When an application is filed with the USPTO, there are four different filing bases: use of the mark in commerce, intent-to-use, pending foreign application & foreign registration. Having a pending foreign application or registration is a whole different ball of wax & probably won't appl…
Dead Apples

There's been a lot of hullabaloo about Apple's filing for iPhone in the trademark world.

That got me thinking about Apple's dead marks -- let's take a look at what could have been...



iSchoolwas filed for on September 21, 2001 for International Classes 9, 38, 41 & 42. This mark became abandoned in August 2002 for failure to respond to the USPTO. The mark, specifically IC 41, sounded particulary interesting to me:

"Educational services; educational services, namely, providing a web-based student information system, featuring student grades, attendance records, and homework assignments, that enables school districts, schools, administrators, teachers and parents to record, access, report, and manage their student information and performance data, and allows students and parents to access such information and data, in real time" sounds like a fantastic feature for all schools.

Offlinert became abandoned on July 30, 2004 for failure to respond to the US…
Trademark Renewal & Maintenance – How Do I Keep My Trademark?


After you’ve applied for your trademark, there will be a waiting period of approximately 18 months before your name is actually registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (herein referred to as the USPTO). Until then, it will be listed as "Pending."

Sometimes there are hold-ups; the USPTO may not allow you to use the name you’ve chosen to apply for because there is a similar name already trademarked. In this case, you will receive an "office action", which is a notification from the USPTO. If you do receive an office action, it might be due to the USPTO simply needing more information in order to complete your trademark application.

However, it also may be because your name is blocked by another name, which is the worst case scenario, and another reason why it is incredibly important to purchase comprehensive research before you file for your name!

After your name is registered with …
Copyright Registration Sound Recordings Works

First, let's pinpoint what falls into the sound recordings category. Here's what the US Copyright Office has to say:

"Sound recordings are 'works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.' Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures."

Here are some books about copyrights:

The Copyright Handbook
How to Register Your Own Copyright

Now to file an application:

The application is fairly simple & the cost is $45 per application.

Despite what others state, a "poor man's" copyright is NOT the same as registering it. Here's what the US Copyright Office has to say:

"The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a 'poor man’s copyright.' There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it …
A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

We'll be moving to a new home soon, which means time for posting has diminished a bit. However, I did want to be sure to share with you some news about trademarks & copyrights that I found interesting.



* Hormel loses bid for spam trademark by OUT-LAW.com

* Coach files trademark suit against Target over handbag by Chad Bray

* Google ducks a legal bullet by Eric J. Sinrod

* Judge tosses copyright suit against Beyonce by The AP

* Copyright owners bust Univ. students by Jessica Levine