Passing Off under Trademark Law

In “passing off,” a seller associates another party’s mark with a good or service. The law of passing off concerns unfair competition more generally in situations where there does not need to be a registered trademark or any other intellectual property right. Where a second business does something so that the public is misled into Read more about Passing Off under Trademark Law[…]

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[…]

Patent Applications: Written Description

One of the most important aspects of the patent application is the written description requirement. Under the written description requirement, the applicant must provide a clear description of what is being claimed for patent protection. It is what the inventor hopes to receive in exchange for what the disclosure. The written description requirement may be Read more about Patent Applications: Written Description[…]

Patenting Useful Inventions

Under the Patent Act, a patent may be obtained for “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” The requirement that the subject of a patent be new is referred to as the novelty requirement; the requirement that the subject of a patent be useful Read more about Patenting Useful Inventions[…]

Copyright Joint Authorship and Ownership

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 Copyright Joint Authorship and Ownership[…]

Trade Dress Protections

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 Protections[…]

Trademark Rights of 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 Rights of Priority[…]

Foreign Patent Offices

The issuance of a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office provides patent protection to an inventor only within the United States. Because each country has its own patent laws, neither other countries do not provide patent protection to a U.S. patentee, nor does the United States provide patent protection to a foreign Read more about Foreign Patent Offices[…]

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[…]