Category: Trademarks

The One IP Asset You Must Protect

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets—these are the assets that we call intellectual property (IP). Let’s look at each class of IP assets in turn, and then get started in building your IP portfolio.      I. Patents, trade secrets and copyrights Patents are vital to businesses that create proprietary new technologies to make better products for […]

Marching Orders

Business—at least as waged between competitors—is war. That observation was made in 1832 by Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz in his magnum opus, On War, based on his service in the Napoleonic Wars. We see this in the field of intellectual property (IP) rights. What is a patent, if not a competitive advantage, the legal […]

Real inventions are not on Shark Tank

On Tuesday evening, I went to a “shark tank” event at TechNexus in Chicago. Thanks to my friend and colleague Nancy Fallon-Houle, the startup business lawyer, for inviting me. Here’s what I’ve learned about inventions and Shark Tank. If you’d like to know more about how to profit from your inventions, this article is for you.

How Young Turks Can Help Build Your IP Portfolio

Are you protecting your company’s patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property (IP) internationally? If not, you’re missing out! The Young Turks of IP, literally in Turkey and figuratively elsewhere, can help you to advance your company’s business interests through better, stronger IP protection. Here’s what’s at stake, with 7 tips on how and when to protect your […]

Billion Dollar Lego Patent

Fifty-eight years ago today, Kirk Godtfred of Lego filed his patent application on the basic building block, literally, of Lego’s billion dollar private fortune. Now, here’s the thing: A patent filed 58 years ago is long expired. The then-standard-17-year term ended in 1978. So how is it that Lego is still the only game in town?

Federal Court Upholds Offensive Trademark as Free Speech

What do the Redskins, The Slants, and the ACLU have in common? Citing the First Amendment, they say free speech trumps the Government’s efforts to ban offensive trademarks. They advocate for the rights of intellectual property owners, specifically trademark rights, for everyone who uses a mark in commerce. Even obnoxious marks. On the opposite side, the Government […]