Congratulations on having a business! Did you form the correct type of corporation? Are you using a business coach to guide you in the right direction? Are you using the best tools to keep your financials in order? Is your intellectual property protected? WHEW!
Enjoy this Blab with four professionals who offer four perspectives about what to do when you start a business! I offer valuable information about intellectual property.
Did this interview help you?
In between using my “super powers” to protect and enforce my client’s intellectual property, I use social media as a tool to connect with others who share my same interest. I am really proud to say that I gained international exposure on Twitter and I was able to be interviewed and quoted in national publications! WOW!!
Now, I’m taking advantage of video. Using video allows me to actively engage with viewers. I’ve made so many amazing connections and I’m learning a lot from others. I’m using Periscope and Blab. I’ve scoped, I’ve blabbed, I’ve commented…Well, you get the picture! I’m social!
Will you join me? What’s your favorite social media tool and why?
There are several reasons inventors file provisional patent applications. Most inventors are anxious to obtain a filing date at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). After all, we are now on the “first to file” patent system.
Some inventors are not certain about all of the features of their invention or they are not quite sure about how a feature of their invention will function. Filing a provisional patent application affords inventors the ability to obtain patent pending status and then seek the help of manufactures, engineers or prototype developers to help design or test the invention. Inventors can also test the market and seek investors to finance their invention. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Well, time also flies after filing a provisional patent application!
Save the date! Your provisional patent application expires one year after the filing date. This means you have one year to file any US or foreign patent applications prior to the expiration of your provisional patent application to claim the benefit of the provisional patent application filing date. This is critical because after the provisional patent application expires, you may be barred from ever filing a patent application to protect your invention.
What are you doing to ensure your provisional patent applications don’t expire?
What I love most about my intellectual property law practice is that it is a federal practice. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Library of Congress (LOC) are federal agencies. I’m a member of the State bar of Texas and a member of the Patent Bar. Because my practice includes primarily prosecution before the USPTO and LOC, I’m able to engage clients all over the world with US patent, trademark or copyright issues.
That’s right! Even if you are not physically located in my area, you can still retain my Firm. This is great news for clients that may live in a state whose attorneys may not be as experienced or whose attorneys may not be willing to work with a smaller client.
It’s truly amazing to work with clients all over the world, including India, France and and Canada, to name a few.
What do you like about working with attorneys in different states?
Congratulations! You provide a service or have a product and now you’re ready to protect your brand. You’ve heard people mention to you that you should trademark your brand but you’re not exactly sure what protection the trademark will give you and what even qualifies as a trademark. That uncertainty is a critical reason why you should hire a trademark attorney.
Although a trademark attorney is not required, the USPTO recommends you hire a trademark attorney. The USPTO Trademark Examining Attorneys are helpful. I should know because I worked at the USPTO as a Trademark Examining Attorney. However, the Trademark Examining Attorneys work for the USPTO and not you!
A trademark attorney provides legal advice regarding use of the trademark, filing an application, and the likelihood of success in the registration process. A trademark attorney can help you to fully understand your options. All applications don’t proceed to registration! This means there is a chance that you could file an application and run into problems that could have been avoided had a qualified attorney worked with you. Some issues require you re-file your entire application.
I often speak to entrepreneurs who proudly profess that they have registered their trademark on their own. That’s great! Many people sell their own homes, bandage their own wounds and file their own divorces. Working pro se (without an attorney) can save you money but mistakes you make may cost your more money than you would have paid had you hired a qualified trademark attorney in the first place. Keep in mind that your registration although registered, may not necessarily be valid.
What’s your hesitation in hiring a trademark attorney?
Owning a domain name does not necessarily mean that you own the trademark and vice versa.
A domain name is your web address e.g. www.evansiplaw.com. Owning a domain name does not necessarily give you trademark rights and vice versa. If the domain name is only used as an Internet address, it will not be qualify as a trademark. For example, if the domain name is only used in the address bar or if it’s used as part of the contact information for the domain owner, this use does not qualify as trademark use. However, if the domain name is used as a source identifier for goods and services, it may be eligible for trademark protection. It’s critical that the domain name be viewed by consumers as a symbol of origin of products or services.
Does your .com qualify for trademark protection?
TODAY IS A BIG DAY! I’m so excited to have participated in the #smallbizchat on Twitter. Click HERE to read my interview.
I love that the chat focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses. You see, I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a small business. My clients are entrepreneurs and small businesses. I love entrepreneurs and small businesses! It’s my passion to educate others about the importance of intellectual property. If given a platform to educate others about IP, I take it!
While working at the USPTO as a Trademark Examining Attorney and a Patent Examiner, I heard heart wrenching stories of entrepreneurs being taken advantage of. These entrepreneurs could not find a reputable Firm to help them. They had invested their life savings in brands owned by others. They had invested thousands of dollars on inventions that were not patentable. I launched the Firm eight years ago to fill this void. Thank you all for your continued support. For your reference, I’d like to give you a FREE copy of my Ebook, TRADEMARK TRUTHS: FIVE MYTHS REVEALED. Subscribe to my newsletter and we will send you a link!
What are you passionate about?
How exciting? You’re minding your own business and then, it hits you! Your “aha” moment. I’m referring to that moment when you realize that you’ve come up with a better way to do something. You have figured out a way to make it easier! Great!
Then, you call your favorite patent attorney to tell me the news :-). You ask, “Andrea, I’ve improved something, now what?” First, we need to determine if your invention is patentable. Is your improvement useful? Is it novel? Is it non-obvious? Conduct a patent search using the USPTO database or free tools like Google Patents. If you find an exact version of your invention, you know it’s not patentable. However, seek the help of a professional to help you to interpret if your invention is non-obvious. Your consultation will be more effective if you bring references of interest to discuss.
Your improvement may be patentable. Maybe your improvement is the next big thing!
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to visit All About Inventing – MY NEW BLOG! Many of you follow me on twitter. Thank you! If not, visit www.twitter.com/evansiplaw and tweet with me. I need more than 140 characters to express myself. Twitter keeps me brief…and I like that. However, as an intellectual property attorney, I am frequently asked questions that I feel can easily be answered here. I will be blogging about patents, trademarks and copyrights….and more! We will explore non-traditional intellectual property topics too. This blog is going to help you! My target readers are inventors, entrepreneurs, patent owners, patent infringers, artists, and authors, to name a few. This blog is for anyone interested in learning more about patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Remember, the information on this site is not meant to be used as legal advice. Seek the help of a qualified intellectual property lawyer who can help you to resolve your specific intellectual property issue!
Also, be sure to visit my Firm’s website (www.EvansIPLaw.com) and subscribe to our newsletter on the PUBLICATIONS page. This is a great way to stay informed about Firm events and intellectual propery news you can use!