Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks - An Entrepreneur's Perspective


Published on

Introductory presentation on intellectual property protections.

Not every successful business is built around an original idea, and not every good idea ends up with a business built around it. But when you do have an innovative idea - patents, trademarks, servicemarks and copyrights can help protect your idea and give you time to develop it into a business. But it is worth the time and cost in today's fast-paced startup scene?

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks - An Entrepreneur's Perspective

  1. 1. PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS & TRADEMARKS An Entrepreneur's Perspective +Chris Mohritz |
  2. 2. OUR JOURNEY ● Patent ● Copyright ● Trademark / Service Mark Interupt me anytime for questions & comments
  3. 3. GOAL ● Differences between each ● Scenarios where each is applicable ● Application highlights & costs ● Present different viewpoints on value ● Real-life entrepreneur concerns ● Focus on strategy, not process details Anyone currently considering a registration?
  4. 4. THE RABBIT HOLE ● Patents, copyrights and marks are simple in concept but complex in practice ● Today is not intended to change anybody's mind or convince you of any particular mindset ● Will offer a series of perspectives and reference materials ● Can form your own conclusions based on your unique situation ● And as with anything entrepreneurship, the decision rests with you ● Can pursue state, federal, international - today’s examples focus on federal-level (most popular)
  6. 6. PATENT Protecting ideas that have been reduced to practice
  7. 7. WHAT IS IT? ● “A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.”
  8. 8. PATENT TYPES ● Utility: any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof ● Design: new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture ● Plant: any distinct and new variety of plant
  9. 9. EXAMPLES ● Method for producing a tangible result ○ genetic engineering procedure ○ investment strategy ● A machine ○ cigarette lighter ○ photocopier ● Article of manufacture ○ tire ○ transistor ● Composition of matter ○ A drug ○ A genetically altered lifeform ● Improvement of an invention in above
  10. 10. FILING PROCESS ● $1500+ (DIY) ● 24+ months ● 1yr provisional option ● Lasts 20 or 14 years
  11. 11. VIEWPOINT #1: RISK VS. REWARD ● Elon Musk (SpaceX, PayPal, Tesla) ecorner.stanford. edu/authorMaterialInfo.html? mid=393 benzinga. com/news/13/03/3451756/is-elon- musks-spacex-protected-without- patents
  12. 12. VIEWPOINT #2: PATENT IT ALL ● Amazon huffingtonpost. com/2014/05/15/colbert- amazon-patent_n_5331743. html patft.uspto. gov/netacgi/nph-Parser? Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF &p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml% 2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv. htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PAL L&S1=08676045&OS=PN/08 676045&RS=PN/08676045
  13. 13. PATENT AS MARKETING TACTIC ● “Our patent pending formula...”
  14. 14. PATENT TROLLS ● Rockstar ( ● tech/google-files-lawsuit-against-rockstar- in-move-against-microsoft-apple-1211227
  15. 15. PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION ● Public company and/or 3rd-party investors? ● Legal requirement to “maximize shareholder value” ● lawsuit-unwired-planet
  16. 16. TIME FOR A CHANGE ● Can the current patent system adapt to our global economies & accelerating tech? ● forbes. com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/23/the- tabarrok-curve-why-the-patent-system-is- not-fit-for-purpose
  17. 17. BE AWARE ● If sourcing offshore products and selling in US, watch for US patents ● If manufacturing your patented product overseas, watch for your manufacturer reselling it ● Iterate: Filing a US patent makes the idea public knowledge (globally)
  18. 18. WHERE TO START ●
  19. 19. COPYRIGHT Protectings expressions (not ideas)
  20. 20. WHAT IS IT? ● “A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.”
  21. 21. COMMON LAW ● “In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.”
  22. 22. EXAMPLES ● Software ● Books ● Blog posts ● Songs ● Architecture plans ● Paintings ● etc.
  23. 23. FILING PROCESS ● $35 (DIY) ● 3+ months ● Lasts author lifetime + 70 years
  24. 24. BE AWARE ● Watch copyright when hiring consultants ● If they create a design or article for you, they own the copyright (common law) ● They can sign over rights
  25. 25. WHERE TO START ●
  26. 26. TRADEMARK & SERVICEMARK Protecting goodwill associated with mark
  27. 27. WHAT IS IT? ● “A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term ‘trademark’ is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.”
  28. 28. COMMON LAW ● “Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark and may allow the common law user to successfully challenge a registration or application.”
  29. 29. FILING PROCESS ● $275+ (DIY) ● 10+ months ● 6 month intent-to-use option(s) ● Lasts 10 years
  30. 30. EXAMPLE: “ELIXIR” ● Desired use: Water Bottle Brand Name ● Current use: Camelbak Product (camelbak. com/elixir) ● Current registration: none (tmsearch.uspto. gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4801:71qe2l.1.1) ● Trademark status: actively used, common law trademark implied for Camelbak (uspto. gov/faq/trademarks.jsp#_Toc275426712) ● Decision: not used, would cause consumer confusion in hydration industry
  31. 31. WHERE TO START ●
  32. 32. SUMMARY ● Patents focus on inventions ● Copyrights focus on design works ● Marks focus on identifications ● Usefulness of filing is completely dependant on your goals & requirements
  33. 33. GOAL CHECK ● Understand differences? ● See where each is applicable? ● Know costs & starting point to apply? ● Have a view into strengths & weaknesses? Anyone decide for or against registration?
  34. 34. MY THOUGHT PROCESS ● I start with "benefits are not worth hassle" ○ Difficult & expensive offensively (locally & globally) ○ Common Law provides protection defensively ○ I don't plan to sue anyone (ie. patent troll) ○ I believe in the golden rule (don’t invite legal issues) ○ I don’t assume problems (fear-based thinking) ○ Why block competition if I welcome the challenge? (it better serves the customer) ● Then decide based on exceptions ○ Am I planning to sell company? (barrier to sale) ○ Need to expose inner workings to untrusted parties? ○ Shady competitors? (ounce of prevention) ● Attorney opinions are inherently biased ● “Friend” (inexperienced) opinions are hot air
  35. 35. Feedback? Questions?