Posts by: otmseo

Understanding the Different Types of Mark

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Like many areas of the law, trademark has a deceptively simple surface that masks a complex and often counterintuitive system. Everyone has a passing familiarity with what a trademark is—we see them every day. But in practice there are several different types of mark, each with their own rules. Understanding the types of mark is…

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Intellectual Property Management Steps for New Startups

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When a new business is started it often has two primary assets. The first is the talent of the founders themselves and the initial group of employees they have attracted to their work. The second is the business’s initial portfolio of intellectual property—chiefly its trade secrets, patents, and patentable inventions. In the rush to find…

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Key Considerations When Negotiating a Patent License

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Licensing a patented technology is one of several ways an innovative business can monetize its intellectual property. Licenses may be relatively narrow, small deals, or they maybe among the most important transactions in a business’s history. Given the potential complexity of patent licenses, there are few one-size-fits-all parameters that will be useful to every business…

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The Legalities of Reverse Engineering

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Technological innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Innovators routinely draw upon the insights of others as they develop new ideas. Studying an existing technology to figure out how it works is an obvious approach to developing new and better solutions to particular problems. Whether the technology is software, electronic, chemical, or mechanical, intellectual property…

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Establishing Commercial Use of a New Trademark

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By definition, trademarks are creatures of commerce. State and federal laws protect trademarks because theyserve an important purpose in the marketplace, helping consumers know the source of the goods or services they purchase. This is true whether the product in question circulates among the general public or is only of interest to a narrow group…

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Strategies for Disputing a Competitor’s Patent Application

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In the highlycompetitive world of product innovation, monitoring new patent applications is keyto protecting investments and preserving the value of inventions. Doing so allows a business to quickly discover if a competitor’s patent application describes a product that could potentiallyinfringe upon the business’s patents, or that can potentially be opposed as unpatentable for other reasons.…

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Internal Strategies Businesses Can Take to Protect Trade Secrets

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A constant challenge for businesses with important trade secrets is how to simultaneously make commercial use of them while also preserving their legal status. To be protected as a trade secret, a piece of commerciallyvaluable information must be “the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.” Cal. Civ. Code…

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Defending Patents from Overseas Infringers

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In the global economy, innovators must stayvigilant against copycats not onlyin the countries where they work, but also in far-away places. Over the years policymakers and diplomats have crafted a variety of international rules to address this problem. Inventors in America are often faced with questions about how much to invest in overseas patent applications…

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Strategies for Defending Corporate Trade Secrets

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A trade secret can be a business’s most valuable intellectual property. It might be a secret recipe for a company’s signature product. Or it might be a key piece of code that helps a business differentiate itself from its competitors. Unlike a patent, which exchanges secrecyfor a period of market exclusivity, a trade secret needs…

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Handling Semi-Public Prior Art in Patent Applications

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Prior art can pose significant challenges for innovators trying to patent their inventions. One of the central questions a reviewer at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) asks about an application is whether the invention it describes is new and non-obvious. If the reviewer finds prior art that shows that the invention is in…

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