What is trademark fair use?

When is it OK to refer to someone else’s trademark? Trademark law allows for third parties to refer to the trademarks of others in certain situations. Known as fair use, the overall guiding principle is that unauthorized usage of a trademark owned by someone else may be permissible if done in a way that would […]

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Can I add new content after filing my patent application (CIP)?

Is it possible to add new content to a utility patent application? It’s not an uncommon desire to add new matter to an already-filed patent application. Sometimes inventors think of new features after a utility patent application has already been filed. It’s also possible that broad concepts generally described in the original patent application need to […]

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How to describe goods and services in a trademark application

A Trademark Must Be Tied to a Product or Service Trademarks do not exist in a vacuum. A trademark must always be tied to particular goods or services offered or sold under the mark. You can’t trademark words in the abstract. So when you hear about a celebrity trademarking a phrase, the phrase or slogan must be […]

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What Happens If an Applicant Loses a TTAB Trademark Opposition?

Say you’ve applied for a trademark and everything goes smoothly as your examining attorney approves the mark. So you wait through 30-day period when your trademark is published for opposition and hope no one challenges your mark. Unfortunately, a third party believes your trademark will cause a likelihood of confusion with its registered mark and, therefore, files a Notice of Opposition […]

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Should I have a patent infringement search conducted for a simple product?

What is an FTO search? Also known as a Freedom-To-Operate (FTO) or right-to-use search, a patent infringement search looks for patents that may cover a product or service. An infringement search involves a careful comparison of the patent claims to the product to be sold, as opposed to a novelty search which focuses on the patent drawings […]

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Can I share my patent pending idea?

Should I share my idea before applying for a patent? It’s almost never to your benefit to disclose your concept before filing a patent application. By doing so, you lose foreign patent rights and risk someone filing first with the Patent Office. What can be shared after filing a patent app? The question arises as to what […]

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How to Avoid Patent Infringement

Will changing the product 10% to 30% avoid patent infringement? I think part of the reason why patents are undervalued these days is the growing myth that you can avoid infringing a patent by changing your product by, say, 10% to 30% (what does a 10-30% product modification even mean?). Let’s the set the record […]

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What Is a Trademark Notice of Publication?

Before a trademark application matures into a registration, the public has an opportunity to challenge a pending trademark application. After a preliminary approval of the trademark application by the USPTO trademark examining attorney, the USPTO will publish the mark for opposition in the Official Gazette, a weekly USPTO publication. When a mark is published for opposition, any […]

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