Whether you are an established business or a novice independent
inventor, you should take the necessary steps to protect your intellectual
property before a competitor misappropriates it. Generally speaking, patents,
trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets allow you to protect your intellectual
property and maintain a competitive commercial advantage over competitors. The
USPTO and USCO grant federal rights for intellectual property, which can be
enforced to seek declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief via the U.S. court
system. Intellectual property rights granted via a U.S. federal agency are
restricted to U.S. territories and cannot be enforced in foreign territories.
Each foreign territory has separate intellectual property laws that govern how
intellectual property rights can be obtained and enforced. Therefore, if you
believe you will have a business presence in a foreign territory, you should
discuss your business goals with an intellectual property attorney. After
discussing your specific facts and business goals, the attorney can help you determine whether foreign intellectual property
protection is proper for your situation. Time is of the essence when applying
for intellectual property protection. Procrastination may negatively affect
your ability to properly protect your intellectual property.
Patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets
are four areas of intellectual property law protecting proprietary subject
matter. Patenting an invention at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
gives the patent owner the exclusive right to exclude others from making, using
and selling the patented invention over a specified period of time. Registering
a word, logo, color or sound on the federal register at the USPTO grants a
trademark owner the right to exclude others from using a similar mark that is
likely to cause confusion. Copyright protection is administered by the U.S.
Copyright Office (USCO) and exists in original works of authorship fixed in a
tangible medium of expression.
Copyrights give the holder some exclusive rights to
control some reproduction of works of authorship such as music, literary works,
paintings, movies and sculptures for a certain period of time.
Patents give the holder an exclusive right to
prevent third parties from commercially exploiting an invention for a certain
Trademarks are distinctive names, phrases, brand
names, logos, sounds or colors used to identify products to consumers.
Trade secrets may be secret proprietary information
which gives a company a commercial advantage over others.
The Law Office of Ashkan Najafi, P.A. helps its clients understand
and streamline the process of preparing and filing a patent application with
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In order to secure a patent, the
USPTO requires an applicant to satisfy the new, useful and non-obvious
requirements of 35 U.S.C. §112, et al. As a registered patent attorney, Mr.
Najafi can help you satisfy such requirements by clearly distinguishing the
advantages and benefits of your claimed subject matter compared to prior art
references. Mr. Najafi has about a decade of experience drafting patent
applications in various technology fields. During your free initial
consultation, Mr. Najafi can explain whether patent protection is an appropriate
option for protecting your intellectual property rights. Some examples of
patentable subject matter include:
International patent protection is also available for inventors
who wish to protect their inventions outside of the United States. For example,
you may wish to protect your invention in Canada, South America, Europe and/or
the Far East. Such protection may be achieved by filing a patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).