John DeBoer

Trade Show Pitfalls

Introduction

In many industries, trade shows are a way of life, largely because of the value and benefits that come along with attending.  Among other things, a trade show is a great way for a company to raise awareness of itself, its products, and brand.  Trade shows also allow for face-to-face interaction with respective and prospective clients, partners, and customers.  But attending a trade show can also be a trouble spot.  Careful reflection should be directed to anything that might result in a disclosure of anything proprietary.

Trademarks: Should I get a Registration?

Introduction

In a previous post I discussed the ‘in use’ aspect related to a federal trademark registration, and how this ‘use’ has a relationship to actual ‘use in commerce’.  But what if you don’t have (or don’t want to get) a federal registration - can a you still obtain rights?

Luckily the answer is ‘yes’!  The acquisition of federal trademark rights under the Lanham Act (at least here in Texas, and more aptly the 5th Circuit) is established by use, not by registration.[1]  The State of Texas has a similar provision (“Trademark" means a word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination of those terms, used by a person to…”).

So just what are the benefits of going through the rigor of obtaining a Registration?

Inventor Series: What are patent claims?

In my previous ‘inventor series’ post here, I discussed some of the factors and considerations that go into an answer for the question “Should I get a patent?”  In order to receive a patent, an inventor must first start with a patent application.  The most important part about the patent application - that which defines the legal boundaries - is the claims.  Why? Because patent infringement (or non-infringement) is based on an assessment of the claims of an issued patent.  Whether it is drafting claims for a new application or amending claims after examination, how the claims are treated during the patent application process is of criticality.