title>Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights — Patent, Trademark and Copyright Attorney | Gearhart Law Patent-Trademark-Copyright - DC's number#1 source for Diversity & Government Contracting
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The Patent Process


In patent law, there are three main parts to patenting an invention. First, a global or U.S. patent search is conducted over many proprietary databases to make sure your invention is original. Second, a detailed patent application is drafted and filed with the patent office to establish that your concept is unique. The application must take into account not only the invention, but also the legal landscape, prior patent submissions and the inventor’s commercialization plans. The final step is to prosecute the patent with the USPTO until it’s approved. The entire process takes years to finalize, so it’s important you work with someone experienced in patent services and people you trust who will be committed over the long-term.

Often our clients file a provisional patent application to start.  That holds the filing date for them while they refine their product and test the market. Filing a patent application allows the inventor to move forward with the commercialization of their product.  One year from the date of filing a provisional patent application, the inventor must file a utility patent application based on the provisional if they want to go forward.  The utility patent application includes the disclosure of the provisional patent application and any changes that the inventor has made to the invention since the provisional application filing.  The utility patent application is published and examined by the USPTO patent examiner.

We’ll help you maximize your chances of success with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and minimize prior art issues with competitors by understanding prior patent submissions in your field, the overall review process and how to draft the proper point of view in the application.

The USPTO does not grant a patent just because the paperwork has been filed; we must argue the points of the patent with the patent examiner and convince him or her that the invention meets all of the USPTO’s requirements.

Your chances of success in this step are increased if you use an experienced patent attorney who has dealt with the USPTO on patent inventions and is familiar with their requirements.



Trademarks


Your brand is your product and service name. We will fight to protect your point of difference. A trademark is an affordable way to get federal protection for the name of your product or service, and our trademark services help to make that an easier process. Once you have a registered federal trademark you can use the symbol ® in connection with your mark. Having a trademark helps your customers to recognize your product or service over that of your competitors.

To get started you don’t need to have the name in use yet—according to trademark law, a trademark can be filed as an intent-to-use mark. You merely need to have good faith intent to begin using the mark. Once you are ready to use the name in commerce, we can help you secure the federal registration you need. We can assist you from the first step of choosing your brand, searching the registered trademark database to make sure your desired trademark is available, through the category research and registration procedure. We can continue to provide assistance in maintaining the mark and monitor possible trademark infringements and advise you if any actions are needed.

You can register for a U.S. trademark through the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) and in other countries through their trademark offices.  We help our clients register their trademarks wherever they want to conduct business and protect their brand.  You can protect your brand around the globe.

Whether you’re operating in DC, MD, VA.  New Jersey, New York, or Philadelphia, or anywhere else around the world, a trademark is a great way to add value to your business.



Copyrights


A copyright protects literary works (including software code), musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial or graphic, audiovisual or architectural work, or a sound recording, from being reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner. Thanks to copyright law, this gives the author or current owner sole right to authorize copies or reproductions of the work and to create derivative works. All an author has to do is register the work to obtain their copyright registration certificate. The author(s) may transfer the copyright to any other party if they choose to do so, and this will need to be recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office. The right lasts for the rest of the author’s life, plus 70, 95 or 120 years, depending on the nature of authorship and creation date of the work. Sounds simple, right?

Copyright may appear easy to the layperson but can be challenging in practice. That’s why copyright services are so important. For instance, it is of the utmost importance that a legally enforceable agreement be used to transfer any one of the bundle of rights. Without it, ownership and title to the work may be in dispute and unlike the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which offers an internal administrative process for resolving most disputes, the arena for copyright disputes is the United States courts. At SBGA, we work with you to ensure that your copyrighted works are not only protected but that any use, transfer or commissioning of a work is protected as well. We also guide creators and innovators in understanding the overlap between copyright and patent and trademark law and illuminate concepts such as fair use of copyrights so that you can better appreciate the line of where copyright infringement starts and ends. After all, if you create an original work of art, the least you can do is protect and profit from it over your lifetime.




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