Intellectual Property (IP) Rights
It is necessary to protect your ideas, products, and product names in today's knowledge economy. Following sections cover the most common IP rights that are of interest to inventors and small businesses.
IP rights that that are most important to inventors and small businesses are: Patents, Trademark and Copyrights.
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Eureka! you have an invention and you are thinking of protecting intellectual property associated with that invention. Following links walk you through different aspects associated with the process of applying for and securing patent protection for your invention.
Following is a description provided by Gene Quinn about the above link: "This page and website contain detailed information to help inventors on the road from invention to patent... Below are a sampling of inventor help links to specific patent and invention related information throughout our website. As you read these articles you will invariably come across links to other articles of interest, which you can and really should read. While I believe inventors should take the time to read all of the pages throughout IPWatchdog.com, I have gone through the IPWatchdog.com archives and created several "reading assignments," which will hopefully make the task of figuring out where to start more manageable, and which will help get you started. I recommend you do them in this order (i.e., starting with Reading Assignment 1), but if you find something that you just need to know then by all means jump ahead. You can also visit our Inventor Education Archive as well".
Below is a link for IP related content addressing needs of new innovators.
What constitutes public disclosure?
Provisional Patent Applications: Advantages and Limitations
SBIR and STTR Stakeholders
Patent Application Examination at the USPTO
A series of six presentations were created by Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC) to explain the Process of Patent Application Examination at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
International Patent Applications
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications are used as starting point if inventor is interested in pursuing patent protection in multiple countries which are members of PCT. The PCT simplifies and reduces the cost of obtaining international patent protection and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information.
Differences between the US and European patent laws that dictate the strategies used for filing PCT applications.
Decision to file PCT has been made, some strategies for delaying costs and maximizing the value of your Intellectual Property Worldwide are provided that are useful for small business.
Searching for Prior Art
Ability to search for and identify relevant prior art is crucial for determining the scope of the claims that should be presented in a patent application. Following series of presentations provides suggestions to inventors how to search for prior art using Google search engine from public databases.
A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Trademarks are protected by intellectual property rights.
Trademarks in the US
At the national/regional level, trademark protection can be obtained through registration, by filing an application for registration with the national/regional trademark office and paying the required fees.
The International Trademark Portfolio
At the international level, you have two options: either you can file a trademark application with the trademark office of each country in which you are seeking protection, or you can use WIPO's Madrid System.
Copyright (or author's right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. Exhaustive lists of works covered by copyright are usually not to be found in legislation.
Transforming Patent Quality into Patent Value : An Ex Ante Theory of Patent Valuation: Maayan Perel*
Licensing involves a legal written contract where you the owner of the patent are the licensor, who grants rights to your patent to a licensee, the person that wants to license your patent. Those rights can include: the right to use your invention, or copy and sell your invention.
Assignment is the irrevocable and permanent sale and transfer of ownership of a patent by the assignor (that's you) to the assignee. Assignment means that you will no longer ever have any rights to your patent. Typically, it's a one-time lump sum total sale of your patent.
Deciding between Assignment or Licensing
Factors Influencing the Choice to License a Patent or to Assign it: Royalties should be the main consideration when deciding between licensing or assignment. If you choose to receive royalties, choose licensing. If you want the capital that the best lump sum payment will bring you choose assignment. Are you in debt from your invention project? Would the money advance other projects and erase your debts?
Or is your invention ready for commercialization, ready to make and sell, and you have determined that sales would be good and that you want royalties, then licensing is probably the better choice for you.
Freedom to Operate
is the unauthorized use of your property!
Following webinars provide an overview of the patent litigation process both from a patent owner perspective and an accused infringer perspective. What constitutes patent infringement? What to do when confronted with a demand letter that threatens a patent lawsuit? What options are available to challenge and validate U.S. patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in the U.S. federal court system. What roles do subject matter experts play in patent lawsuits.
Last Updated October 2017