Intent to Use—Reserving Your Trademark Rights

I am frequently asked by clients who are thinking about starting their own companies and businesses: When can I apply for my trademark? In the U.S. Federal trademark system, you can file two different types of applications. One is the Actual Use Application, also known as the 1(a) application, which is where you have already been […]

Small Business 101: Deciding Your Trademark

One of the most critical decisions you must make in the early stages of your business is picking a trademark that will be effective and work well to promote your brand.   How do you decide what your trademark is going to be? The first step is to pick your brand name. You may have […]

How Can I Protect My Trademark?

People always ask me how they can protect their trademark. You protect your trademark by using your trademark. Now, assuming you’re entitled to use your trademark or brand name, because nobody else is using it for your type of goods or services, the way you develop rights and ownership is by using your trademark by […]

Want a Trademark? Make Sure It Doesn’t Already Exist

{Read in 4:40 minutes} So often I am asked, “How do I get a trademark?” There’s a very simple answer. First, you pick what you want as your trademark, and second, use it. Wait a minute. That sounds way too simple. Well, getting rights in a trademark is actually pretty simple. The tough part is […]

Trademarks 101: It’s All About the Brand

Trademarks are so much a part of our culture that we really don’t think about them too much. They’re ubiquitous. If I say a trademark is a brand, everybody knows immediately what I’m talking about, because it’s all about the brand, what the brand stands for, and the message that each brand is trying to […]

Need Help with a Trademark? Consult a Law Student!

In the past, we’ve talked about the patent pro Bono program. This program offers assistance to individuals who have inventions that may be patentable, but can’t afford an attorney. It’s sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and administered locally. Generally, you must have a low income.  You can learn more about […]

Pass Go & Collect: How to Patent Board Games

The Story of Monopoly… A patent is a limited monopoly that the government grants for an invention. The government granted inventor Charles Darrow a patent US2026082A on the board game Monopoly in 1935. There’s some controversy about the 1935 patent: Darrow learned about another game called “The Landlords’ Game” that was patented in 1904 by a […]

Foreign Filing License & Your Filing Receipt

Most people who are filing for a patent in the United States don’t even realize that, at the same time, they’re applying for a foreign filing license. What’s that? Well, it turns out that if some or all of the inventive process takes place in the United States, before you can apply for a patent […]

What’s So Special About Tyler, Texas, Anyway?

Most people don’t even know where Tyler, Texas, is, but for patent litigators—that is, attorneys that try patent cases—it has become their home away from home. First, I need to give a little bit of background about the federal court system that a lot of people aren’t aware of. The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction […]

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2)

Last time, I explained the circumstances that led me to start law school after I “retired” from chemistry. Now the rest of the story. It’s very different to start law school when you’re…I’ll be kind to myself and use the word…”mature.” I was the second oldest student in my class, and I was the oldest […]