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Roseville Intellectual Property Law Blog

Understanding your trademark: Yes, it's important to register

To protect the interests of your business, you need to understand trademarks and how they are protected. You cannot use another person's trademark, and you don't want someone to use yours without your permission.

Your trademark identifies you, so making sure it's one that you feel appropriately represents you is important. Here's a little more to know about trademarks.

Chemical patents protect you for 20 years

If you work in chemistry, there's a chance you may develop a new chemical or mixture that you need to further develop and protect. Even if you don't work with the specifics of medications or chemical mixtures, you know the importance of protecting your new creation. If you don't, others may use the same formula and, essentially, steal your hard work and any profits that could have come from it.

Patents give you a legal right to prevent others from using or selling your chemical formula, in this case. You'll have to show that it's a unique formula and that it can be used by the industry. Once you can do that and obtain the patent, the patent generally shares publicly anything you detailed about your invention.

How can you keep your artwork safe online?

As an artist, you love creating work and sharing it online. The problem is that it's too easy for others to steal your work. Even if you use a watermark on the image, people with programs like Photoshop can remove that watermark and use your imagery as their own.

As a business professional, you need to know how to protect your intellectual property. Intellectual property includes your copyrights, like those for artwork or published books, so you shouldn't have to worry about others taking what you've worked so hard for without paying or asking permission.

J. Craig Venter accused of stealing his own trade secrets

When a person leaves your company, even if that person is you, the founder, there are rules in place that prevent trade secrets from being used to harm the company. Chief executive officers (CEOs) often believe that they're immune from these rules, but there is a possibility that you could be accused of stealing your own trade secrets if you're fired from your company.

This is an interesting situation, and one that businesses have to protect themselves against. According to a July 23 report, a man who claims he retired from the Human Longevity Institute has been accused of stealing trade secrets from the company that he founded. Interestingly, the company is claiming that the man was fired, not that he retired.

What should you know about patenting inventions?

Patents are important for people who create for a living. If you design an invention, it's something you want to protect against others who would copy it and sell it as their own.

Patents can be useful. They protect inventions that are new, useful, not obvious and not a natural process or object. For example, if you design a new kind of water irrigation system, you may be able to receive a patent for your invention.

Understanding your trademark: Registering

When you're ready to get your business up and running, one of the things you'll look into is obtaining a trademark and registering it. You don't need to do everything all at once, but knowing about trademarks is important. For instance, you need to know how long a trademark will last.

The answer to that is simple. Registering a trademark is more or less indefinite, but you need to continue using the trademark for your business, goods and services. Here's a little more that you should know about obtaining and using your trademark in business.

The dilution of trademarks and a right to parody

Trademark dilution is a term you may not have heard before. It refers to using a trademark in a way that "dilutes" the owner's trademark. Dilution doesn't just happen when someone infringes on a trademark directly. Parodies of trademarks could result in dilution as well.

In 1996, the Trademark Anti-Dilution Act began to allow owners of trademarks to seek injunctive relief to prevent their trademarks from being diluted. The act, by law, makes sure famous marks aren't diluted whether there is competition or the likelihood of confusion.

Protecting your trade secret: What to know

You have trade secrets that make your company what it is today. You've hired plenty of employees over the years, but for the most part, they were not privy to the vital workings of your business.

Flash forward to the most recent group of employees, and you see when the troubles all began. You caught one in a part of the building he or she should not have been in. You saw another on a different employee's computer. Perhaps not surprisingly, your trade secret was leaked, leaving you with a mess on your hands.

Protecting your artwork: Copyright laws and your rights

As an artist, you know it's going to be hard to protect your work. It doesn't take more than a few minutes for someone to grab a screenshot of your art, enhance it and sell it on their own T-shirts or products.

As a result, you know that putting your work online puts it at risk, but you need to sell your work. How can you protect your art and prevent others from stealing from you? Is it even possible?

Protecting your patent: Knowing how to fight

You went through the long process of obtaining a patent, and you're glad you did. Not more than a few months later, you found someone trying to use something you made; they reproduced your work to try to obtain a profit. The only problem is that you had no idea about the products. They're not of good quality, and it's beginning to affect your business.

Now that you know about the violation, you can begin to take steps to protect yourself. You have an opportunity to file a claim against the business violating your rights.

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To protect your valuable idea, contact our lawyers at Costello Law Corporation to set up an initial consultation. We are ready to assist you in any intellectual property issue.

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Costello Law Corporation
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Roseville, CA 95661

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