We practice in the area of “intellectual property” (IP) – the protection of intangible rights that cover inventions (patents), brand phrasing (trademarks), literary and artist works (copyrights), secret technical information of value (trade secrets), and related areas such as unfair competition and the protection of website and domain names.  We practice both IP prosecution and IP litigation, including trials and appeals. Short definitions and a short explanation of various activities in the world of “IP are provided below.

A grant made by the government that confers upon the creator of an invention (the “inventor”) the sole right to make, use, and sell that invention for a set period of time (20 years from filing under the US system).

Patent Prosecution
The back-and-forth correspondence with the U.S. Patent Office that includes the filing of a patent application being filed by the inventor or his/her representative agent, a search by the Patent Office, rejections, responses, and potentially an allowance of the patent application by the Patent Office, resulting in a granted patent.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others.

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

IP Litigation
When a patent is infringed (i.e., one or more claims of a patent cover a product or process that has not been licensed under that patent), the enforcement of the patent in the federal courts constitutes patent litigation. A trademark or copyright may also be infringed, and may be enforced by a state or federal court action.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
The TTAB is an office within the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) responsible for hearing and deciding certain kinds of cases involving trademarks, such as appeals from decisions by USPTO Examiners denying registration of marks, and opposition proceedings filed against trademark applications. Decisions of the TTAB may, in turn, be appealed to a United States district court, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

An appeal is a process for requesting a formal change to an official decision. The decision maker to whom the appeal is made may be a court, a board, a tribunal or even a single official. Generally speaking, in the court system an official decision may be affirmed (the reviewing court agrees with the decision); reversed (the reviewing court disagrees with the decision, and overturns it); or remanded (the reviewing court sends the case back to the lower court)

This is the detailed process of naming a product. Naming a product is very important to branding. The process includes identifying the objectives of branding, developing a product name, evaluating names through market testing and focus groups, choosing a final product name, and identifying it as a trademark.

False Advertising
This is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. In the United States, advertising is regulated by the authority of the Federal Trade Commission, which prohibits unfair and deceptive acts or practices in commerce.

Trade Secrets
Generally, any confidential business information which provides that business a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. Trade secrets encompass manufacturing or industrial secrets and commercial secrets. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret. In the United States there are many ways to protect trade secrets.


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