Intro to Intellectual Property
Lloyd & Mousilli always endeavors to educate our clients on their intellectual property strategies. With this objective in mind, we have prepared this brief Intellectual Property Introduction. Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the different types of protections available for your creative assets and business methods.
Lloyd & Mousilli lawyers specialize in helping secure your patents, trademarks, and copyrights to ensure your assets are protected. Whether you’ve come up with an original design, invented a new product, or created a new process, we can advise you on the best way to keep your work secure and maximize its commercial value.
Registering a trademark protects your company’s name, logo or slogan from use by competitors. A registered trademark will give your company the exclusive right to the use of your “mark” in the marketplace. It’s critical to seek trademark protection as early as possible to confirm your desired mark for your company is available to avoid the unnecessary pain and cost of rebranding.
Copyright provides protection for an author’s unique expression. While copyrights are typically only thought of for books, plays, music, or other types of art, it extends to computer software and other unique designs as well. Registering a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office provides the author with exclusive rights to the work and provides an important defense against infringement.
Provisional patents are speedy and cost-effective options to safeguard your invention. They provide a year for you to decide whether to invest in a full (“non-provisional”) patent application while establishing a priority date for an invention. Working with our patent attorneys provides an expedient way to get your invention “Patent Pending.”
Design patents will help you protect the unique shape, look, and form of your products that are independent of the function or usefulness of your invention covered by utility patents. Furniture, packaging, fashion articles are typical subjects for design patents. Think of the classic Coca-cola glass bottle, Crocs shoes, or the multi-color triangular shaped Mac computers as examples of products that have design patents. Filing a patent application for your product design is smart way to enhance the value of your offering.
A utility, or “non-provisional”, patent protects the invention or creation of a new or improved product, process or machine. To obtain a utility patent, the invention must be useful and serve some practical or functional purpose, and be non-obvious. Filing a utility patent application requires a tremendous amount of legal and technical expertise to define and layout the parameters of the invention and negotiate with the patent office examiner. Our experience in preparing applications is why so many of our clients turn to us to draft and file their patents.
Often overlooked, “trade secrets” are mission-critical for many businesses. Unlike patents, trademarks, or copyrights, trade secrets are never registered with any government agency. Instead, trade secrets derive their protection through systems and processes that help maintain their confidentiality to secure competitive advantages for a business. Our lawyers are skilled in advising your business on the use of confidentiality clauses and non-compete provisions to help protect your trade secrets.
Intellectual property, or “IP,” is any original work or invention that is the product of someone’s own mind. This definition includes not only the final product, but also the research and thought processes that went into the development of the IP. Intellectual property can be quite valuable, which makes it important for startups and inventors to register and protect their IP with the help of an intellectual property lawyer.
Any new and non-obvious process, machine, product, or composition can be patented if the inventor so chooses. A design patent protects the original design of a new product, service, or process, while a utility patent applies to a new or improved product, process, or machine you’ve made. Online intellectual property lawyers can go over how to secure your work as quickly and easily as possible.
Usually, the first step in securing a patent on your new invention is to file for a provisional patent. This patent essentially gives you one year to develop your invention and decide if you want to move forward with a non-provisional patent. When a provisional patent is in place, a product can be labeled “patent pending.”