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Intellectual Property Articles

"Should I Consider Trade Secrets?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

From the recipe for Greek Fire used by navies of old, to computer-encrypted messages of today, secrets that are well-kept can impart their owners power, influence and even great wealth. So how good are we at keeping secrets? Governments and ma...

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"Is My Trademark Being Infringed?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Designed to protect ownership of words, names, logos, shapes, sounds and even odors, trademarks are a truly great legal invention. Once registered with the federal government, trademarks under U.S. law can theoretically provide protection forever - as lon...

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"Should I Consider Licensing?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

In the wonderful world of inventing, one of our prime motivators is the knowledge we're doing what we love. In addition, we hope our ideas will change the world, help mankind, and make us rich. In truth, most of us would settle for just the ...

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"Do I Need A Trademark?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Does your company, invention or products have any names, words, symbols, numbers, slogans, or designs that make them different from everyone else's? How about special sounds, animations, packaging, colors, odors or shapes? If you answered yes ...

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"Do I Need A Copyright?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

In terms of protection power, a registered copyright is about the best legal bargain around. For a lowly $35 fee (on line) or $65 fee (paper filing) as of this writing, the U.S. Copyright Office will register your copyright and send you back a certifi...

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"I Have An Idea, Where Do I Start?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Which famous person said the following? "Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent." P.T Barnum? The As-Seen-On-TV people? An Enron executive? The phrase was by none other than the enigmatic Thomas Edison, who obtained 1,093 Patents inc...

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"Am I An Inventor?" -- Steve Quanrud, Public Relations

When I think about inventing something, I usually envision solving what's annoyed me recently. Bathing the dog comes to mind -- the bared teeth, the near-drowning in soap. But enough about me. Without realizing it, just thinking about a proble...

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"Provisional Vs. Full Utility Patent Application" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Contrary to common wisdom, timing isn't everything. For inventors intent on seeking a patent, knowing about patent law is everything. Or should be. Case in point is the sometimes misunderstood legal mechanism known as the provisional patent ap...

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"Do I Need A Patent?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

The fact you're reading this means you probably have an idea for an invention that you envision being made - by yourself or someone else - and marketed for a tidy profit. For people at this fork in the invention road I'm often asked, 'Do I rea...

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"Should I Do A Prior Art Search?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

If you're a serious inventor, one of the many legal terms you'll soon come across is 'prior art.' For inventors, prior art means any recorded knowledge about your idea that may have existed - before you thought it up. Since our whole patent sy...

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"What Kind Of Patent Should I Pursue?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Since 1790, the U.S. government has granted over 8 million patents. Some, like the telephone, incandescent light bulb, copier and laser not only enriched their inventors but changed the way we work and live. While many inventions reflect humbler id...

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"What Happens After I Submit My Patent Application?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

As many thousands of inventors have discovered, getting a patent application prepared and off to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) marks just the opening act of the great patent dance. Of all patent applications received by the USPTO...

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"Should I Consider International Patent Protection?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Way back in the early manufacturing days, like the 1980s, the issue of international patent protection was pretty cut and dried for most inventors: Why bother? For sales, unless you were an international corporation you probably would focus on the U...

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"Is My Idea Patentable?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Before you can file a patent application, you should determine whether your idea is patentable in the first place. For the experienced inventor, that observation is almost too obvious to bring up. Yet it's alarming when we hear of well-meanin...

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"Can I Patent A Food Recipe?" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Since just about everyone has a favorite food dish, people often ask me if their secret recipes can be patented. The answer is yes, they can. But like anything else that comes out of our heads, it also depends. Preparing patent applications o...

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"Need Inspiration? Consider These Patent Categories" -- Mark Levy, Patent Attorney

Just when you think you can’t digest any more information about patent law, or patentability, or classifications of patents, or licensing, or claim interpretation - along comes another issue from the peculiar patent world. Such is the cas...

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