On September 16, 2011 President Obama signed into law the Leahy-Smith Patent Reform Act, thereby ending the most favorable patent system in the world for legitimate small businesses. The law is lengthy (169 pages) and … Read More
Suggestions for Investors
When investing in a small company, part of the critical information that investors need to know are (1) whether the product or products produced by the company infringe or will infringe patents owned by others, … Read More
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
Obviously, a company should give careful consideration to providing proprietary information to anyone outside the company. Such disclosures should only be made on a strict “need to know” basis. Typically, the outside party agrees to … Read More
Transferring Intellectual Property to Others
Generally, there are two ways of transferring intellectual property to others: (1) an assignment, and (2) a license agreement. Assignments: An assignment is a legal document which transfers all the rights in an intellectual property … Read More
Business owners and even non-IP attorneys are often confused by intellectual property rights. Because copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets fall into the rubric of intellectual property, they often believe that each right is treated … Read More
What is a Trade Secret?
In the U.S., the legal definition of a trade secret varies by state law. Generally, there are three components required before most courts would treat a given piece of information as a trade secret: The … Read More
What is a Provisional Patent Application?
Since June 8, 1995, the United States Patent Office has offered inventors the option of filing a provisional application (or a “provisional”). According to the patent office, a provisional patent application was designed to provide … Read More
What is a Patent?
A patent is a government grant or intellectual property right that allows its owner to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the claimed invention. Patents are probably the strongest of all intellectual property … Read More
What is a Copyright?
The term copyright generally refers to the right to make copies. The roots of copyright law can be traced back to the Statute of Anne of 1710 (which was the first English copyright act). This … Read More
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a legal mechanism which gives the owner the right to use a word, name, or symbol to identify and distinguish goods of the owner from goods manufactured or sold by others. Trademarks … Read More
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