Learn more about the patent, copyright and trademark process in our Getting Started section. Then check the Frequently Asked Questions for answers for common concerns. You may also find it helpful to look at our online forms to find confidentiality agreements, questionnaires, and more.

When you're ready, contact us to discuss your next steps.

What is an Intellectual Property?

Basically, it is the ownership rights with respect to products created by intellectual efforts. It is commonly referred to as a Patent, Trademark or Copyright. It includes but is not limited to the following:

  • inventions such as machines, processes, manufactured items, or compositions of nature
  • ornamental designs for manufactured articles
  • words, art, sculpture, photos, movies, plays, music, architectural designs, literary works, musicals, choreography, software or sound recordings
  • source identifying properties of goods or services such as words, logos, symbols, sounds, color, and scents
  • trade dress for a product or service, such as a product shape or look

How are these ownership rights established?

Some Intellectual Property rights are established upon creation or the first use. Others require only registration with the appropriate administrative agency. Still other Intellectual Property rights are obtained only after application, approval, publication and registration by a Federal Agency.

What is Intellectual Property Law?

It is the body of law that protects inventors, authors, creators of artistic works, or users of a product or service identifier by allowing them to obtain legal rights in their respective Intellectual Property. Generally, it encompasses Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, Visual Artists Rights, Publicity Rights and Privacy Rights.

Many Attorneys practice various aspects of Intellectual Property law but Attorneys that practice Patent law must have completed a specified number of scientific undergraduate courses and have passed a rigorous Federal Patent Bar examination before being admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Attorneys that have attained this are denoted as “Registered Patent Attorneys” and are assigned a USPTO Registration Number that is required to be on all Patent related correspondence with the USPTO. Unregistered Attorneys cannot practice Patent law.

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What Intellectual Property rights and protections are available for inventors, authors, creators and users of a mark?

Utility and Design Patents allow the inventor to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing any infringing items for up to 20 years without the inventor's permission. These rights prevent others from patenting an obvious variation of the invention. They also allow the Patent holder to sell, assign or license the Patent on their invention. This gives the inventor the opportunity to produce and market the invention himself, or license others to do so, and to make a profit.

Copyrights allow the author, creator or artist to prevent the unauthorized copying, public exhibiting, projection, transmission, reproduction or performance of their work and any derivative thereof. The creator of a visual art also gain the right to paternity (to put their name on it) and the right to integrity (prevent its destruction or modification).

Trademarks and Servicemarks allow the holder of the Mark to prevent others from using the Mark and from obtaining another Mark that is similar enough to the holder’s Mark so as to cause consumer confusion that could result in lost revenues for the holder. Marks generally only offer protection in specific geographic regions and within specific classes of good and services.

Why else might I need Intellectual Property rights?

CREDIBILITY - for securing investors or customers
PROTECTION - prevent others from infringing
DISCLOSURE - to alert competitors with “Patent Pending”, “Patent No.”, ®, ©
PROOF OF OWNERSHIP - to show potential buyers what you own

How do I know what Intellectual Property rights I need?

Read the rest of this website carefully paying attention to the differences or the overlapping properties of the various Intellectual Properties. Our charts on Utility Patents, Design Patents, Trademarks/Servicemarks and Copyrights provide a good comparison. Often there is more than one type of protection available. In those cases it warrants a professional opinion as to which of the Intellectual Property rights will give you the required protection. We can aid in this decision.

What services does your firm provide?

Essentially we do all aspects of Intellectual Property Law. We do searches, applications, licensing agreements, assignments, opinions, and infringement analyses as well as litigation and enforcement of rights.

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Can your firm save me money in securing my Intellectual Property rights?

Generally, yes! We maintain a low overhead and have a very streamlined application and prosecution process, but most importantly we unbundle our services thus allowing you to take an active role in obtaining your Intellectual Property rights.

For example, Patents don’t have to be expensive if you, the inventor, are willing to do part of the work. While patent applications have complex aspects, (like claim drafting and responding to office actions) most inventors are capable of completing some parts of a patent application. After all, the inventor is more knowledgeable about his invention and usually the field of art surrounding that invention than his Patent Attorney will ever be. Thus, drafting parts of the specification and the drawings are well within the inventor’s ability.

Searches are time consuming but relatively easy with direction. We provide reference sources explaining how to do perform the various steps, and you, the inventor review these and decide what you want to attempt. If you are willing to attempt some of these jobs but not fully comfortable, we can review what you have done and clean it up. We strive to reduce the expense and complexity of securing your Intellectual Property rights.

Is it problematic to use a non-local law firm to handle my intellectual property needs?

Not in most situations. We are readily available by phone, email, and fax or in person if you are so inclined. Rest assured that through the use of telephones, FAX machines, email, scanners and digital photography, all the information for the most complex of patents can easily be communicated.

Note that a local attorney is always recommended if the only work sought involves applying to state agencies or using the local state courts to enforce your rights.

How much can I expect to save?

This depends on how much of the work you want to attempt yourself, and on the complexity of your patent or trademark. You can save substantially on the legal costs of obtaining a patent through a patent firm. We will evaluate your needs, rate the complexity of each part and give you a price quote. We can do all or just selected portions of the work required to obtain your Patent, Trademark or Copyright protection. We can also just review and comment on, or revise your application prior to its submission. Especially with Patents, we find that there is a higher level of client satisfaction and a more thorough Patent if the inventor takes an active role in the Patent application process.

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