Relitigation of Patent Claims

In a patent case, under collateral estoppel, once a court has ruled upon an issue of fact or law, that ruling may preclude relitigation of the same issue or fact in a different suit involving the same parties. Once a patent has been declared invalid, a collateral estoppel barrier is created against further litigation involving Read more about Relitigation of Patent Claims[…]

Copyrighting Ideas and Facts

Copyright law protects the tangible expression of ideas and facts, not the ideas and facts themselves. Copyright protects only fixed, original and creative expression, not the underlying ideas or facts upon which the expression is based. Works that have not been fixed are just ideas and ideas are fair game for everyone to express in Read more about Copyrighting Ideas and Facts[…]

Trademark Priority

In the United States, subject to one exception, trademark rights arise from use in commerce, regardless of whether or not the mark is registered. The first user of a mark generally takes priority over all subsequent users with respect to use of the mark in that market. The first user of a mark in commerce, Read more about Trademark Priority[…]

Trademark Law

The “(r)” may be used if a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The “TM” symbol may be used for a product that is not yet registered with the USPTO. The “SM” symbol may be used with a service that is not yet registered with the USPTO. Symbols that Read more about Trademark Law[…]

Design Patents

Under United States patent law, there are three different types of patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The first and most commonly known patent is the Utility Patent. Utility Patents apply to functional inventions like machines, apparatuses processes, or compositions of matter, and correspond to the common understanding of patentable Read more about Design Patents[…]

Patent Infringement

In order to encourage the advancement of science and technology, the federal government gives an incentive to inventors to disclose new ideas that have been embodied in inventions by granting a patent, a temporary right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing the patented invention without the inventor’s permission. Activity Read more about Patent Infringement[…]

Joint Ownership under Copyright Law

According to the Copyright Act, the authors of a joint work jointly own the copyright in the work they create. A joint work is defined in the Copyright Act as “a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” Read more about Joint Ownership under Copyright Law[…]

Trade Dress

Trade dress is governed by the same set of laws that protect unregistered trademarks. While traditional trademark law protects words or logos, trade dress law protects the total packaging and design of a product. Because trade dress often serves the same function as a trademark or service mark — the identification of goods and services Read more about Trade Dress[…]

Actual and Intended Use of Trademarks

Trademark rights are gained by actual use of a mark rather than by registration. Generally, the first party who uses a mark in commerce has the right to use the mark in that geographic area as well as in the natural zone of expansion for that geographic area. Any shipment of goods bearing the trademark Read more about Actual and Intended Use of Trademarks[…]

International Patent Rights

One of the trickiest aspects of patent applications, particularly in the international context, is establishing the priority of patent rights. Rules applying to priority differ starkly between the United States and many foreign countries. The United States has a “first-to-invent” rule, which means that an inventor that can establish that he or she was the Read more about International Patent Rights[…]