Posts in Business

Obama to Fund Entrepreneurs in Latin America

Sometimes I wonder if I am dreaming.  Virtually all of us have been affected by the economic crisis that has gripped the world, so no one can really claim to be uniquely impacted above and beyond others, although to each their own circumstance no doubt feels unique.  There are tried and true solutions that historically have lead to economic growth…

Octomom Nadya Suleman Files Trademark Applications

I can honestly say that I never thought I would have any reason to write about Nadya Suleman, the so-called Octomom, but it appears as this omnipresent, attention-seeking mother of 14 children is aggressively seeking to cash in on giving birth to 8 children just a few months ago.  In order to take full advantage of this situation Suleman has…

Revise Patent Examination to Stimulate US Economy

For some time now I have been writing about how a patent stimulus plan would revitalize the economy, but I am all fired up today after a flurry of comments and e-mail exchanges regarding some of my recent blog articles. It is way past time to rethink the patent application process and how patent prosecution is carried out by patent examiners. …

The Perils of Being Your Own Trademark Attorney

Trademark owners who attempt to file and prosecute their own trademark applications are really being pennywise and pound foolish. I appreciate the reasons for filing your own trademark applications, particularly in this economy. Many times, trademark owners are small companies in their infancy, or individuals that are trying to minimize legal fees while attempting to obtain valuable trademark protection. Nevertheless,…

Innovation Will Lead Recovery if Patent System Allows

I was reading the March 30, 2009, edition of Fortune magazine today and there is an article titled After the Panic, Innovation, written by Glenn Hutchins, a co-chief executive of the technology investment firm Silver Lake.  His brief article chronicles how we managed to get into this economic crisis and concludes that, as always, scientific advances and entrepreneurship will lead…

Patent Stimulus to Solve Great Depression II

As scary as it is, it is becoming harder and harder to believe anything other than that we are in another period of depression, call it the Great Depression II.  The Dow Jones industrial average closed today at 6,763.29, which marks the lowest close of the Dow since April 25, 1997.  It also means that we are now 52.4% off…

Selecting the Right Trademark for Your Business

A “trademark” (which relates to goods) and a “service mark” (which relates to services) can be any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce. Trademarks, which is usually the term used to collectively refer to what are technically trademarks and service marks, serve two primary purposes. First, trademarks identify and distinguish…

Limits on Patent Damages Would Harm US Economy

Those familiar with the trials and tribulations surrounding recent attempts to get Congress to enact patent reform know that there were a number of controversial proposals that caused the demise of patent reform efforts in 2008.  One of the more controversial proposals was the proposal that would have significantly limited the amount of patent infringement damages awarded to successful patent…

Starting the Patent Process on a Limited Budget

QUESTION: I have a few ideas that I think could really be a success. I started researching “how to patent an idea” but have been bombarded with information.  I have no clue where to start, and I have only a limited budget. What should be my first step? ANSWER: Your question is one I get a lot.  The patent process can be complex…

Comparative Advertising: Mac vs. PC

Personally, I think the PC VS Mac commercials are right on. The thought that Microsoft would put out a product that requires their users to potentially need to purchase all new software and hardware components for their PCs is rather baffling. The fact that they are willing to budget hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise a product that does not work nearly as well as it should and is not compatible with most software and hardware currently on the market, is almost surreal.

Branding With Dale Jr. Sells Amp

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Seriescomes to a close Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds himself in 10th place and has no chance to win the Cup.  While he has had another solid year this year, finishing in the top 5 in 10 races and in the top 10 in 16 races, his fans are likely a bit disappointed and already rooting…

Trademarks Create Valuable Assets

Earlier this month Activision filed a trademark registration for “Guitar Hero Modern Hits.”  Guitar Hero is the massively popular video game that allows you to try and keep up with the music and play like a legend.  According to Wired, 90% of children surveyed want Guitar Hero for Christmas.  So obviously it makes sense for Activision to file trademak applications…

Confidentiality After Filing a Patent

I am frequently asked whether it is necessary to get a confidentiality agreement signed after a patent application has been filed.  As with many legal matters, the answer really cannot be summed up into either a YES or a NO, but rather is somewhat complicated.  The short answer, however, is that you are always better off getting a confidentiality agreement…

Trade Secrets & Patents Perfect Together

A trade secret is any valuable business information that is not generally known and is subject to reasonable efforts to preserve confidentiality. One of the world’s most famous trade secrets is the formula for Coca-Cola.  A trade secret will be protected from misappropriation from exploitation (through state law) by those who either obtain access through improper means or who breach…

Don’t Send the Wrong Message

Many times inventors and entrepreneurs will unwittingly price products at a point where they are sending the wrong message.  Virtually everyone who has their own business, whether they are selling a product or offering a service, has fallen victim to the same problem at one point in time or another.  When you are starting out it is tempting to offer…