The proposed America Invents Act, if passed as proposed, would change the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. To learn more about this proposed change, see Fastest Filer Wins, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, August 21, 2011.
Obtaining federal trademark protection for your mark is not required, however, a federal trademark registration has substantial benefits, including:
- A legal presumption of validity of the mark, ownership of the mark, and the exclusive right to use the mark;
- Constructive use as of the filing date of the application;
- The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
- The ability to obtain registration in foreign countries based upon the U.S. registration;
- The ability to prevent the importation of infringing goods into the U.S.;
- The right to use the federal registration symbol ®; and
- Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases.
In addition, federal trademark registrations can add significant value to a business and may also provide the basis for a licensing or franchising campaign. For all these reasons, business owners should periodically review their marks and assess whether federal registration is appropriate.
Our trademark brand, IntellectualGems®, embodies what we do for our clients and represents the services provided by our attorneys and staff and reflects the myriad of business and legal strategies developed to help protect our clients’ intellectual property — their IntellectualGems.®
Our IntellectualGems® trademark brand is subject to two federal registrations:
- The word mark: “IntellectualGems” and
- The logo:
Gems are generally assessed based upon three factors: color, cut, and clarity. We apply a similar analysis to our gem.
Color: The center “gold” gem represents your intellectual property. Until now there has never been such a thing as a gold gem. It is a unique creation or innovation – just like your ideas and inventions. The shading of color within the center signals the flavor and variety of your ideas. The internal flair of innovation moves in a streak of confidence and success. A twinkle of white light emerging from the upper left corner demonstrates the ability to shine, sufficient to attract the attention of those not readily appreciating the value.
The color of the perimeter tiles is secondary to the center gold. The perimeter tiles are cool and calm — the white of protectors.
The overall colors of the logo are an expression of your ideas and are a reflection of ours.
Cut: The cut (or positioning and spacing) of the flanking tiles signifies the protectors of your intellectual property. These “protector tiles” have sharp, clean beveled edges, cut with discipline. Surrounding the valuable center tile which represents your innovations, these protector tiles work together as a unit. Each individual protector has a role to play. One tile represents a patent or family of patents to protect the innovations of the center gem. Perhaps your needs are for trademark protection, where the tile of registration is key. Other tiles have names such as trade secret policy, trade dress development, or copyright registration. Some flanking tiles are contracts, license agreements, or structured royalties. Others are non-disclosure agreements, independent contractor agreements, or employment provisions. A flanking tile may also be an engineer called upon for technical support. Another tile represents the analysis and opinion needed for undertaking action or charting a new opportunity. Others represent patent or trademark searches or monitoring. Together, the individually cut protectors secure your intellectual property — your IntellectualGems®.
Clarity: The protecting tiles direct attention to the center, clarifying that the focus is on protecting YOUR intellectual properties. The uniform separation between tiles, with their clipped corners, allow for the center to move, breathe and expand – a clear signal that the protecting tiles do not inhibit growth of your innovations and valuable assets. The protectors are able to adjust to and accommodate change.
Overall, our logo conveys a clear message to our friends and clients of what we do – provide business and legal strategies for patent, trademark & copyright. The logo also manifests our understanding of the power of a distinctive mark and the need to protect valuable intellectual property. We apply this understanding to securing your intellectual property.
The Edison Nation Innovation Fund was created by Louis Foreman, producer of the television show Everyday Edisons and publisher of Inventors Digest, in April 2011 to search for, invest in, and bring to market ideas that break the mold. Phase 2 of Edison Nation’s $25 million Innovation Fund has just begun, and Edison Nation is accepting submissions of new ideas and technologies until September 12, 2011. If your idea is chosen, Edison Nation will invest up to $250,000 development dollars into your innovation and bring it to market.
Two symbols are commonly used to designate trademarks: ® and ™. The ® symbol may be used only after a federal trademark registration has been obtained; it may not be used while a trademark application is pending. In addition, the ® symbol may only be used in connection with the goods/services listed on the registration certificate.
The ™ symbol may be used to designate any mark considered to be a trademark. The owner of the mark does not need to file any paperwork or receive permission to use the ™ symbol.
The appropriate symbol is usually placed to the upper right of the word, logo or other mark. For example, Bourget Law designates its federally registered mark — IntellectualGems — as IntellectualGems®.
Appropriately designating your mark with the ® or ™ symbol provides notice of your trademark and enables your competitors and the general public to respect your intellectual property.