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Roseville Intellectual Property Law Blog

Be prepared when fighting accusations of patent infringement

Another company throws a serious charge your way: an accusation of patent infringement. This is not time to panic, even though you know that litigation involving patent matters are expensive. Your company must prepare for a strong defense in confronting these serious accusations.

However, in some instances, you may take the offensive as well. Maybe this rival company is the one infringing on your patents. Nevertheless, your executive team needs to take precautions, do significant preparation and understand that you may be in for a bumpy ride through the legal system.

Patents protect creative thinking

At the heart of patent law is simply the idea of creativity. That's what invention is, in many cases. Even when it is unintentional, it stems from the process of creatively thinking about a problem and a solution in a new way.

People often assume inventors want to get rich or start international corporations and that inventing things is simply their way of doing it. However, experts argue that this is not the mindset behind most inventions. Instead, it is just unleashed creative thinking that brings us something new.

'Bitcoin' gets trademarked

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency that investors often buy and sell online. It is the original cryptocurrency, though many more coins have been created since, and this digital currency is still generally thought of as the most well-known and the most robust.

The value of cryptocurrency changes very quickly. While there was a surge in popularity a few years ago, things have settled down somewhat since then. Still, many consider digital currencies to be the future of commerce, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves.

When should I think about filing for a patent?

Patenting your intellectual property is a crucial component of your business’s success. The competitive edge provided by a patent can be invaluable. You probably know that the patent application process can be lengthy. So, how do you know when it’s the right time to begin the patent application process?

The patent process can be quite involved

Many people spend their lives trying to come up with an invention that they believe will allow others to do something more efficiently. Inventors often patent their ideas to prevent someone else from capitalizing on their inventions as their own. Not every concept is patentable.

There are many steps that you must take to before you apply for a patent. One of the first things that you must do is verify if someone has already publicly disclosed your invention.

Fending off trade secret theft before it occurs

Your company devoted years to developing this new product requiring a diverse team of employees that relied on formulating a number of innovative processes. With the project completed, the product eventually gets introduced to the market and makes a splash. Next, the race to get several patents really turns into a slow trudge because securing one with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office takes years.

You know the patent will give your company an advantage over competitors. During the wait, one of your key team members defects to a rival firm. A twinge of suspicion surfaces. Your former colleague knows so much about the product along with the trade secrets. Months later, your rival introduces a similar product. Your instincts were correct.

Steps to protecting trade secrets

Do your trade secrets give your company an edge? Is it imperative that you protect those secrets from the competition? Even for some of the most well-known brands in the world, the entire value of the company lies in their trade secrets -- the things that really set them apart. Protecting that is crucial.

So, how do you do it? Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Determine exactly what secrets you need to protect, without overlooking anything important.
  2. Store these secrets, when in digital form, on computers that are completely secure. This may mean installing anti-hacking software or encrypting data so that even stolen files are useless without the key.
  3. When storing the secrets in hard copy, carefully label everything so that you know exactly what is there and what should be there.
  4. In both cases, be sure to monitor the files and locations at all times. Don't just assume no one will try to obtain that information.
  5. When working with outside vendors and suppliers, determine exactly what they do and do not need to know. The more you can limit what you tell them, the better.
  6. Use the same strategy with your own employees. If they don't need to know everything, keep the group of people who does know as small as possible.
  7. Remember that international IP theft also happens. Be extra careful when traveling abroad or communicating with those in other countries.

Did you know that trademarks can't include certain words?

Customers often remember unique trademarks. You may even find that companies will come to you and ask to license your mark if it's well-recognized or admired by others. Shear recognition and licensing deals can make your trademark quite valuable. Knowing what types of words you can use when registering your trademark is the first step in crafting a mark that others will remember.

What you shouldn't do

The three main types of patents

If you are a business owner, researcher, or inventor, you may believe that you have discovered a unique process or substance. In order to protect the findings that you have made and have time to develop them further before someone else takes advantage of it, you may need to apply for a patent.

Patents can be used for a wide variety of inventions and discoveries. You may need to apply for several different patents so that you can fully protect all aspects of the invention or discovery. The following is an overview of the three main types of patents.

4 tips for avoiding intellectual property violations

Intellectual property (IP) issues are a legal minefield for business owners. The use of graphics, taglines, and even product components that are not developed in-house can leave a business owner open to intellectual property violation allegations. There are also risks if a new hire uses intellectual property from a previous employer.

IP violations can have serious consequences. The costs of resolving IP disputes can effectively bury a business. When so much is at stake, it’s important to bear in mind the following tips for helping you avoid IP violations.

Contact Us Today

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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