What can I help you with you intellectual properties?

A lot of what I do in this field involves helping people figure out what they need. “Intellectual property” is a fairly broad topic with a lot of different kinds of rights lumped together in a way that can lead to confusion. I have had people tell me they want to file a trademark on the copyright for their patent. If that’s you, call me and make an appointment. The initial consultation is free. I may end up referring you to a patent lawyer to prepare and file a patent application, but we may figure out that you need to register a copyright, or have an investor sign a non-disclosure agreement, or send a cease-and-desist letter to an infringer. We won’t know until we talk.

For instance, suppose you had a great idea for an invention. Your first thought may be to pull out a credit card and send a lot of money to one of the invention commercialization companies that advertise on the radio. They will take your money and file a provisional patent application, or maybe a design patent application. Those may not be what you need,  but these businesses are set up to file applications, not give you trustworthy advice. A provisional patent application merely kicks the can down the road for a year, at the end of which you will need to shell out more money to actually file a full patent application. It may be that you would have been better off keeping your idea secret for a year. A design patent, on the other hand, may be inappropriate for your invention, and may actually cause you to lose your rights in  your invention — the exact opposite of what a patent is supposed to do. Your money may be better spent elsewhere. A consultation with a lawyer may steer you in the right direction.

(Disclaimer: I am not a patent lawyer. I cannot file patents, I will not do a patent search, and I will not advise you whether or not an invention is patentable.)


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