17 Seconds #40
Intentional IP = Intentional Patents + Intentional Trademarks
Clocktower Law‘s approach to patent law and trademark law is to encourage our (mostly startup) clients to inject IP planning into the product launch process. The best way to prevent problems is to intentionally file patents and trademarks for the right products/services at the right time.
Our disciplined, structured, and semi-automated approach to delivering IP services includes writing and constantly improving several hundred patent and trademark templates. For example, on each spring and fall equinox, we’ll send you the USPTO’s first office action prediction dates for all of your (nonprovisional) pending patent applications. These two paragraphs appear in several of our templates and bear repeating:
PATENT PLANNING – FILE BEFORE LAUNCHING. U.S. patent law changed significantly from 2011 to 2013 due to the America Invents Act (AIA) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leahy-Smith_America_Invents_Act). The AIA was fully implemented on 2013-03-16, which made the U.S. a first-inventor-to-file country (and replaced the former first-to-invent system). The U.S. is also essentially an “absolute novelty” country. As such, you should file your patent application before you launch (where “launch” is defined as sale, offer for sale, publication, or public use) your product/service/improvement. This is the only certain way to protect both U.S. and foreign patent rights.
TRADEMARK PLANNING – FILE BEFORE LAUNCHING. It is much more expensive (by about an order of magnitude) to cure trademark problems than it is to prevent them. As such, you should fully vet any new trademark (for a company name, logo, tagline, product name, service name) by searching the trademark and (if the search is favorable to you) filing a trademark application. We have guided many clients through rebranding, which costs on average $50,000. In an ideal world, you would be the first to use, first to file, and first to register your trademark. Disputes with third parties can occur when one party is first at one thing and the other party is first at another. Registering your trademarks as soon as possible can also help you secure your brand on the Internet (including domain names and social networking usernames).
Intentional Marketing Of Said IP Services
Similarly, we take a disciplined, structured, and semi-automated approach to marketing our IP services. For example, this “17 Seconds” newsletter is sent out on the 17th of each month at 17:17. Also, in connection with an ongoing marketing campaign on Clocktower Law’s Facebook page, I’m going to be sending out friend requests to folks that Facebook suggests I know (fair warning). FWIW, you can “friend” me but not have to see all of my stuff by creating a custom friend list on Facebook and then bookmarking that page. This way, you can be friends with someone without having to see 100% of what they share.
After we deliver good news to you (such as an issued patent, registered trademark, or resolved dispute), you can expect to see some intentional marketing communications from us about our business relationship. Listed in order of perceived importance, here is where we share info about our business relationship:
* Website: Cool Clients
Clocktower Law’s website features selected client bios and logos. Feel free to email us additions/updates.
* Facebook: Reviews
Clocktower Law’s Facebook page includes 5-star testimonials from past/present clients. From the “…” menu, select the “Write A Review” option to write/update.
* LinkedIn: Recommendations
Erik’s LinkedIn account includes recommendations from past/present clients. From the the “…” menu, select the “Recommend” option to write/update.
* Google Maps: Reviews
From the left menu, select the “Write A Review” option to write/update.
Clocktower Law tries to help everyone who contacts us, whether or not they need IP help. We believe we can help you by proactively protecting your ideas (with patents and trade secrets) and brands (with trademarks, domain names, and usernames) from the competition. But we can also help in other ways, and continuous improvement is our goal.
So how else – today – can we help you achieve your business goals?
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