Guest Blogger: Ann McCamey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a patent?
A patent is a legal document issued by the U.S. government, namely the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office or USPTO, that gives the owner of the patent (“patentee”) the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the patentee’s invention. There are three basic types of patents – utility, design and plant. Utility patents are discussed here and design patents will be discussed in a separate post.
Trade Dress is defined as: the characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers.
Products have a personality, and having a winning personality is very valuable. The elements of a product’s personality or brand image is its packaging or the total commercial image of a product can be protected under Trademark law. Like a traditional Trademark, Trade Dress must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to receive the maximum amount of protection from infringement.
For Trade Dress to receive protection or to be registered it must be:
A Trade Secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, commercial method, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable by others, and by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. Unlike all others areas of Intellectual Property Law, Trade Secrets are not filed at either the state or federal level. Trade Secrets, whether a simple customer list or a complex block of computer code, are among the most valuable competitive advantage that companies have.
To break it down, information becomes a Trade Secret when:
Author: Aimee Haynes
I motivate, I blog, I listen, I give advice, I help, I create, I work with others, I stand my ground when needed, and I am always open to new ideas. In addition to the qualities that define me most, I'm also a Corporate Law attorney working with entrepreneurs, creatives, and small businesses to help them achieve success..