Law: Bill Loginov


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Law: Bill Loginov

  1. 1. Introduction to Intellectual Property Law and Protection Presented by: William A. Loginov Principal Attorney Loginov & Associates, PLLC 10 Water Street Concord, NH 03301 [email_address]
  2. 2. Intellectual property <ul><li>Ideas and their expression can be valuable assets! </li></ul><ul><li>But only if you protect your ownership of them! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Intellectual Property <ul><li>4 kinds of legally protectable assets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trademark </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>copyright </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trade secret </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Patents <ul><li>an “exclusive right” granted by the federal government entitling the owner to prevent another from making, using, selling (or offering to sell) the patented product or process </li></ul><ul><li>issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office </li></ul><ul><li>term of 20 years from “utility” patent application filing (14 years from issuance for design filings) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Patents <ul><li>limited to country issuing the right </li></ul><ul><li>must be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>non-obvious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ enabling” to those of ordinary skill </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember: It’s a “right to exclude ,” not an affirmative right to practice the invention </li></ul><ul><li>No patents on “illegal/immoral” subject matter; and </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>No nukes! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Utility patents can be: <ul><li>a machine or device </li></ul><ul><li>an article of manufacture </li></ul><ul><li>a process or method for producing a useful, concrete and tangible result </li></ul><ul><li>a composition of matter </li></ul>
  8. 8. Utility Patents on Software <ul><li>Software is generally patentable </li></ul><ul><li>examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>application programs – process or machine controls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>microcode in a ROM that embodies the entire innovative notion of a new tachometer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>internal or operations programs that direct the handling of date in the computer’s own operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon’s “One-Click” patent (successfully litigated against Barnes & Noble in 1999)—After BILSKI??? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>what’s needed – a process depiction (e.g. flow chart) and a written description </li></ul>
  9. 9. Not Patentable: <ul><li>“ raw” software code (but it’s copyrightable) </li></ul><ul><li>natural phenomena (e.g. photosynthesis); However gene sequences are usually patentable (require “human ingenuity” to isolate) </li></ul><ul><li>abstract ideas (e.g. mathematical algorithms) not applied to any useful purpose (a 2 + b 2 = c 2 ) </li></ul><ul><li>laws of nature (e.g. E=mc 2 ) </li></ul><ul><li>“ raw” business methods and processes not “tied to a device” BILSKI!!!! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Other Types of Patents <ul><li>design patents – cover the industrial design of an object: its ornamental appearance-not its function-invention is claimed by its drawings (less detail the better) </li></ul><ul><li>plant patents – inventions or discoveries involving asexual reproduction of distinct and new varieties of plants </li></ul>
  11. 11. A Design Patent
  12. 12. Prior Art Limits Patents <ul><li>absence of novelty or non-obviousness in light of “prior art” is grounds for denial of an application </li></ul><ul><li>prior art = any disclosure of information regarding – or use of the contents of a claim – prior to the filing of patent application (and date of invention) </li></ul><ul><li>any information in the entire body of human knowledge can be prior art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>publications by others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a prior, issued patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prior public use of the invention by others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prior public disclosure or use by the inventor(s) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Statutory Bars to Patenting <ul><li>Cannot file more than one year after “public disclosure” or other barring events, including : </li></ul><ul><li>publication anywhere or public presentation in the US– written or oral </li></ul><ul><li>sale, or “offer for sale” (“containing the invention”), including products of the invention in the US </li></ul><ul><li>exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>use by the owner, in some cases (example, a product sold using a secret machine prevents patenting machine later) </li></ul><ul><li>limited exception for public use for experimental purposes </li></ul><ul><li>beta testing by a potential customer–circumstances determine. Must have no payments/profit! </li></ul><ul><li>no grace period in most other countries with significant markets ―must file somewhere before a public “divulgation” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Parts of a Patent <ul><li>Three basic parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>drawings showing an embodiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>written description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>claims </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross Reference to Related Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field of the Invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of the Invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief Description of the Drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed Description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At least one named inventor needed </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. A Typical Issued Utility Patent
  16. 16. Deferral Strategy - Provisional Patents <ul><ul><li>A US application for a patent without formal claims, oaths/declarations, or information disclosure (prior art) statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows use of the term “patent pending” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is not examined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must file a non-provisional (“full”) application referencing the provisional within 12 months – no extensions ! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No amendments allowed, but further provisionals can be filed within initial 12-month period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to claim priority of the filing date in the utility patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be “enabling” of the inventive concept </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Deferral Strategy - Provisional Patents <ul><ul><li>Must contain: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complying (enabling) written description </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>complying drawings, if necessary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing fee - $110 for small entities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover sheet identifying: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>application is a provisional application </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>names of all inventors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inventors’ residences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>title of invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>name and registration of attorney or agent and docket number </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>correspondence addresses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>any US Government agency that has a property interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover sheet available online at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fees – see </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. What about foreign patents? <ul><li>Under treaties, you have a one year grace period to file foreign patents based on your U.S. patent </li></ul><ul><li>PCT application is good option to keep cost reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>Eventual Cost: </li></ul><ul><li>HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Importance of Patents <ul><li>Offensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deter Competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marking/marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threat of Litigation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Defensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Own different technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Capital Asset </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing/Cross-licensing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A bargaining chip </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Trademarks & Servicemarks <ul><li>trademark - used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others </li></ul><ul><li>servicemark - identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. </li></ul><ul><li>used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark </li></ul><ul><li>may be registered with the USPTO but also exist under “common law” based upon use and distinctiveness </li></ul>
  21. 21. Any identification used to distinguish goods or services <ul><li>Word, phrase or name </li></ul><ul><li>Slogan </li></ul><ul><li>Design or symbol </li></ul><ul><li>Picture </li></ul><ul><li>Device (Pep Boys Heads, Bob’s Big Boy) </li></ul><ul><li>Product/Packaging Shape (aka “trade dress”) </li></ul><ul><li>Sound, musical phrase </li></ul><ul><li>Color (if highly distinctive: “pink” for insulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Smell (very rare) </li></ul>
  22. 22. A Federally Registered “Word” Trademark
  23. 23. ™ vs. ® <ul><li>Common law : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>™ is used in the US to give notice of alleged common law rights (Lanham Act Section 43(a) protects common law marks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First to adopt gets right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited to the geographical location of the use in commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Federal Protection : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>® is used in the US once a trademark has been federally registered (USPTO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First to file – actual use, or intent to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can stop anyone in the US from future use of the mark for the goods and services in the manner protected by the Federal Registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For use prior to filing the federal application, can limit future use to the places that someone used the mark in commerce prior to the filing date </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Copyrights <ul><li>federal statutory protection </li></ul><ul><li>provided to authors of “original works of authorship” including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>literary and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dramatic and musical works, including pantomimes and choreographic works musical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>artistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>software code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motion pictures and other audiovisual works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sound recordings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>architectural works </li></ul></ul><ul><li>an exclusive right to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reproduce the work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prepare derivative works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perform or display the copyrighted work publicly </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Copyrights <ul><li>as to the work or derivative works, can be used to prevent others from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using (don’t play it!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copying (don’t duplicate or download it!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distributing (don’t give it to your friends!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performing (don’t play it at parties!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Displaying (don’t put it on a site or poster!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>protects form of expression rather than subject matter of the writing (software code not the idea of the program) </li></ul><ul><li>registered with Library of Congress’ Copyright Office but exists w/o registering </li></ul>
  26. 26. Requirements <ul><li>Originality Requirement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not just copied </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must contain a minimal amount of creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excluded: words, short phrases, slogans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fixation Requirement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be fixed in tangible form prior to qualifying for copyright protection (fixed embodiment) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not granted to ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, or discoveries </li></ul><ul><li>Term-Life of the Author + 70 years or at least 95 years for corporate works (Mickey Mouse!) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Trade Secrets <ul><li>confidential information – knowledge, inventions, strategies and processes – held secret and protected </li></ul><ul><li>if improperly disclosed or illegally acquired by a competitor, the owner has resort to trade secret law </li></ul><ul><li>eternal – may have no limit on term unless otherwise stated </li></ul><ul><li>certain protection procedures are required – no protection against discovery by fair means (including independent invention and reverse engineering) </li></ul><ul><li>use non-disclosure and non-compete agreements to perfect any trade secret rights </li></ul>
  28. 28. Confidentiality Agreements <ul><li>binding legal agreement – must have statutory elements </li></ul><ul><li>contains a promise by the receiver of information to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>prevent unauthorized use or disclosure – use only as intended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limit use and disclosure to parties identified in the agreement, or obtain written permission to disclose (need-to-know basis) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Describe/list the information being protected. </li></ul><ul><li>mark all items disclosed as “confidential.” Number them. </li></ul><ul><li>should include preservation of intellectual property rights, current and future </li></ul><ul><li>include a reasonable term and expiration. Avoid ambiguity (e.g. verbal representations). </li></ul>
  29. 29. Tips for smooth dealings with your patent attorney and a “clean” patent filing
  30. 30. <ul><li>Maintain inventor’s notebook with dates and witness signatures </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the attorney with a standard invention disclosure form with all important data </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Ask for quotes before authorizing work </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain Communications </li></ul>
  33. 33. Contact Information William A. Loginov Principal Attorney Loginov & Associates, PLLC 10 Water Street Concord, NH 03301 (603) 369-4146 (direct) (603) 591-6325 (mobile) [email_address]