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Aliso Viejo Intellectual Property & Patents Law Blog

What is the difference between a trademark and a service mark?

You have worked hard to create your California business. To protect your business, products, services or more, you may consider what legal protections exist to prevent another business from using your property and confusing consumers.

Federal law protects the creators of products, services, ideas and more through intellectual property protections like trademarks and service marks. However, when you first consider which protection to pursue for your business, you may wonder whether to seek a trademark or service mark.

Why invention promotion companies can be misleading

Many inventors have seen advertisements for a quick-and-easy way to patent and bring their invention to the market.

These invention firms advertise as a cheap way to get your ideas from the drawing board to store shelves in an instant. Unfortunately, their offer is typically too good to be true. Here are a few warning signs to watch for when considering an invention promotion company:

Can you file a patent?

You’ve got a fresh, new idea for an invention. You’re excited. You think you could even make some money off this. You want to protect your invention. Now what?

Filing for a patent may seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is finding out if your invention is, indeed, protectable and patentable. With some work and a little help, you can defend and capitalize on your invention.

Situations where something will not receive a patent

Creating is exhausting, time consuming, resource intensive and massively rewarding. When you put the necessary effort into creating something new, it stands to reason that the first thing you will want to do is patent it. Patenting is one of the most common ways you can claim something as your intellectual property and preclude others from making, selling or otherwise using your creation.

Not everything is automatically patentable, though. There are a variety of criteria that your subject must satisfy in order to be considered for a patent. These are four of the primary considerations a patent application will examine.

Matal v. Tam: The Supreme Court rules that "disparaging" marks can be trademarked

The Supreme Court has ruled that a trademark law that prohibits registration of a trademark that "disparages" others violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC: The Supreme Court Decision Will Essentially Eliminate Patent Forum Shopping, Allowing Patent Holders To Defend At Home

On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court published its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, 581 U.S. __ (2017), concerning venue in a patent infringement suit.  The question before the Court was whether the 2011 amendment to the general venue statute 28 U.S.C. §1391 replaces the definition announced in Fourco, and in so doing would allow a plaintiff to bring a patent infringement lawsuit against a corporation in any district in which the corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction.  Petitioner TC Heartland, is organized under Indiana law and headquartered in Indiana.  Respondent Kraft Foods, organized under Delaware law sued for patent infringement in Delaware, alleging that TC Heartland's product sold in Delaware infringed one of Kraft's patents.

Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals: Complicated Issues Persist in Interpreting the "On-Sale Bar"

On May 1, 2017, the Federal Circuit published its decision in Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, No. 3:11-cv-03962-MLC-DEA, (May. 1, 2017) concerning infringement of four patents:  U.S. Patent Nos. 7,947,724 ("'724 patent"); 7,947,725 ("'725 patent"); 7,960,424 ("'424 patent") and 8,598,219 ("'219 patent").  Teva defended that the patents were invalid under the "on-sale bar" provision of 35 USC §102.  The District Court held that Teva infringed all of the patents and that the patents were not invalid. Teva appealed. The Federal Circuit reversed the District Court's decision, holding that all four patents were invalid and thus not infringed.

Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States: A Mathematical Equation Does Not Necessarily Doom Claims To Abstraction

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the Federal Circuit published its decision in Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States, No. 1:14-cv-00513-TCW, (Mar. 8, 2017) concerning infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,474,159.  Thales Visionix appealed from the US Court of Federal Claims judgment holding that the claims were directed to patent-ineligible subject matter.  The Federal Circuit reversed the Claims Court's decision and remanded for further proceedings.

Life Technologies v. Promega: The Supreme Court Decision and What it Means to You

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court published its decision in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp. 580 U.S. __ (2017), concerning infringement of US Patent RE 37,984.  The question before the Court was whether supplying a single component of a multicomponent invention overseas constitutes an infringing act under 35 U. S. C. §271(f)(1).

IP Law News|Top Orange County Intellectual Property Patent Law Firm

Teenagers and young adults are getting up in the mornings and leaving their houses to walk and ride around their communities with their friends. They are returning home at dinner time, tired and sunburned. It seems like we have been transported back to the 1950's in a "Back to the Future" culture shock that is sweeping the nation. It is all due to the influence of a new mobile app: Pokémon GOTM. Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have teamed up with Niantic, Inc. on an "augmented reality" mobile app, allowing diehard Pokémon fans to finally become Pokémon masters. The result is a nationwide sensation, sending users in search of Pokémon, Pokémon items and Pokémon gyms lurking in their communities. What makes the mobile app special is its use of "augmented reality," where Pokémon will appear as if they've been spotted in the real world. Your mobile device presents a map... 

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