The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the courts have long struggled with whether or not software should be patentable. While patent laws exist to encourage invention, monopolization of ideas—the building blocks of further invention—would be bad. Continue reading →
According to the Wine Market Council, fifty seven percent of all wine consumed on site is by women. Over half of the wine consumption in the U.S. is by women. According to an article by Marti Barletta posted at http://www.adage.com, “Marketing Wines To Women,” February 7, 2006, women shop for wine with the final experience in mind. Perhaps armed with that knowledge, Lushious LLC of Yorktown Heights, New York applied for a design patent on a wine bottle shaped somewhat like a women’s leg in a high heel shoe. And the U.S. Patent Office issued Patent No. D703,543 on April29, 2014 on the design, shown left: U.S. Patent No. D703,543 issued on April 29, 2014 to Lushious LLC. Continue reading →
Most lawyers know that the value of a business is made up of the value of its assets. Tangible assets like stocks, bonds and real estate have relatively straightforward methods of valuation. By contrast, intangible assets such as patents are much harder to value. Continue reading →
In trademark law, the first user of a trademark is called the “senior user,” and has priority over any later user, called the “junior user.” This rule means that filing a trademark application, if you are the junior user, will not get your mark priority over the senior user. Continue reading →
Many casual wine drinkers do not readily remember the name of a good wine they have tasted. The best way for a vintner to make a memorable impression is by using a unique logo (images used in connection with a good or service). After all, a picture can make a much stronger impression than most words. For example, the names “3 HORSE RANCH” and “GREAT WHITE WINES” may be unique. When coupled with the images of three horses or a great white shark, the names become unforgettable:
Most people hearing the word “trademarks” think of words that indicate a source or company, such as “GALLO,” “KENDALL-JACKSON,” and others. Without trademark protection, no business, be it winery, vineyard or other business, would be identifiable to buyers. Specifically, the mark is what a buyer remembers and looks for the next time the same product is desired. Logos, one type of trademark, can be used alone, or in combination with words.
We often hear that theft of intellectual property is rampant in China. A typical scenario is that an American company which has been selling a product in the U.S. starts to sell in China and finds that an unknown person or company has registered the mark in China already. The Chinese registrant is willing of course, to sell the registration to the American company for the right price. Just ask J. Crew and the Kardashian sisters.
The internet provides fast access to many things, such as books, concert tickets and movie revues. You can now even file trademark applications using the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s (PTO’s) web site www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm. It’s easy and the site takes credit cards. You can also search trademarks for free at the same site. However, think before you click.