Categories for Intellectual Property

Trademark Renewal

May 1, 2016

Unlike copyrights, where most registrations last for life of owner plus seventy years, trademarks must actively be renewed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Once you receive your registration certificate, you can rest easy for some time – five years to be exact. After five years, you will be required to file a Section 8 Declaration of Continued Use. You may receive...

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According to Trademark law, marks that are not eligible for registration on the Principle Trademark Register, but are capable of distinguishing an applicant’s goods or services, may be registered on the Supplemental Register (TMEP §§815).  Most small business owners and others filing for Trademark protection have never heard of the Supplemental Register, but it can often be helpful to Trademark applicants.  The Supplemental Register can...

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Under the United States Trademark laws, there are two different types of trademark applications available for trademark registration. The first is referred to as a 1(a) or currently in use in commerce application. The other is a 1(b) or intent to use application. There are advantages and disadvantages to each application, which all small business owners should know before they decide to file for trademark...

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The Trademark Totem Pole

April 1, 2016

According to Trademark law in the United States, there is a continuum, or Trademark Totem Pole, as I refer to it, by which trademarks are classified. The upmost protection is afforded to the marks at the top of the pole, while those marks at the bottom of the totem pole are afforded little or no protection. Fanciful marks are marks that have no meaning or...

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Most companies that start a website do not think about the potential liability issues that come with starting a website. There is lots of potential for both trademark and copyright infringement on websites, especially when there will be user posted content on the website. In order to avoid these issues or at least limit liability, a company launching a website should designate an agent for...

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If you are a small business owner that intends to and has maintained a business in one state, you can likely qualify for a state trademark registration.  Most states allow for registration of a product or business name as a state trademark; which is typically much less than a federal trademark registration.  If your business never plans on leaving the state you are currently located...

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