Marshalltown Intellectual Property Lawyers
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Marshalltown Intellectual Property Attorneys
Our Marshalltown intellectual property attorneys & lawyers can help you secure and protect your company’s intellectual property. Whether you are an entrepreneur, artist, author, engineer, manager, or individual – the IP attorneys on UpCounsel have you covered.
There are four common areas of intellectual property, which all protect different things such as: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Additionally, licensing is a popular enough specialization of IP that warrants mentioning.
Our Marshalltown IP attorneys that specialize in licensing can help you draft contracts that grant permission to another party to do something with an otherwise protected work or product. A license can grant the right to reproduce the work by: distributed copy of the work to others by rental, sale, or lease, or preparing derivative works using protected expression from the original work, and/or displaying the work.
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- 8 min read
What Is Patent Expiration?
As part of the how to patent an idea process, in the United States, patents expire within 14-20 years from the filing date, depending on what you've patented and when. Once this happens, your idea passes into the public domain.
Once a patent expires, an average of 17.2 competing companies hit the market with similar products. While the public may view this as good because it means the invention is available to everyone, it often results in a loss of income for the company that originally held the patent.
To see if a patent is still in force, use the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and look up the patent. You'll see its image in a PDF format. The USPTO does have a Patent Term Estimator spreadsheet, which helps you estimate a patent's term and expiration date with Microsoft Excel. You can also see patent informat
- 5 min read
What Is an Arbitrary Trademark?
An arbitrary trademark is a word or image that already exists, but it has nothing to do with the business that uses it. Apple Computers is one of the classic examples, since iPhones and laptops have nothing to do with fruit or cider. Shell gas stations and Camel cigarettes are other good examples. The arbitrary trademark is one of five trademark categories recognized by the USPTO.
What Isn't an Arbitrary Trademark?
To really know what an arbitrary trademark is, it helps to understand the other four categories.
- Fanciful Trademarks (sometimes called coined trademarks) use words or images that don't mean anything. This lets companies have the full protection of U.S. trade
- 7 min read
What Does Trademarking a Name Cost?
Filing a trademark for your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will cost between $225 and $600, plus legal fees. You can register with most states for $50-$150 if you don't want protection outside your state.
Trademark protection covers the designs, symbols, words or phrases that identify your business as a source of products or services and sets them apart from competitors' offerings. Business names, logos, and product labels can all be trademarked. If your company sells services instead of goods you would technically use the term "service mark" instead of trademark, but most people use the word "trademark" when talking about services as well as goods.
Federal Trademark Information
- 10 min read
What Is Trade Dress Infringement?
Trade dress infringement occurs when one company uses trade dress similar enough to another's to cause a "likelihood of confusion" in an ordinary buyer's mind. The legal term "trade dress" refers to the general appearance of a product or its packaging that reveals its source to customers. Think of McDonald's Happy Meal boxes, for example. Companies who provide services can also have trade dress in the atmosphere or decor in which those services are provided. Picture the high ceilings and Grecian columns of The Cheesecake Factory restaurants, for instance.
While a trademark is a word, trade dress is a visual impression. Just like trademarks and patents, companies ca
- 8 min read
How Do I Get a Patent?
To get a patent, you need to make sure your idea is patentable, which requires that your invention is fully developed and that no one else has already patented it, and then file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which can be a complex process depending on patent type (utility, design, plant, or software patent).
What Is a Patent?
A patent is a property right that the government grants to inventors to forbid others from making or using an invention for a limited period of time (usually 20 years). If someone does steal your invention, the patent grants you the right to sue the guilty party.
Sometimes, someone who did not invent an item can hold the patent right when a patent owner chooses to sell the patent for profit. However, only the person who origi