The most common type of patent is a utility patent, which covers functional aspects of products and processes. Other types of patents include design patents, which protect ornamental design (e.g., the visual design of objects that are not necessarily utilitarian), and plant patents, which cover new varieties of living plants. Some foreign countries may have petty patents (e.g., utility models).
A patent application includes one or more claims, which describe, define, and set forth the scope and limitations of the invention. The patent application also includes a specification. The specification must be in sufficient detail such that one skilled in the art or technology could make and/or use the invention. For a patent to be granted, the invention must be novel (e.g., the invention is not identical to technology previously disclosed), inventive (e.g., non-obvious), and useful or industrially applicable. Our firm can help our clients develop and protect intellectual property assets by preparing and prosecuting patent applications. In addition to procuring U.S. patents, our firm also works seamlessly in conjunction with foreign agents to secure patent protections in foreign jurisdictions.
A trademark is a distinctive feature such as a word, a name, a logo, a phrase, a symbol, a sound, a shape, an image, a device, a color, a smell, or a brand that is used to distinguish one product from another. Trademarks are often used by individuals or businesses to uniquely identify themselves and to create brand recognition and subsequent customer loyalty.
Copyright is a set of rights that gives an author of original work the exclusive rights to that work, excluding others from copying, reproducing, adapting, distributing, transmitting, performing, or displaying that work. Examples of original work may include prose, poetry, plays, theses, text books, research articles, music compositions, movies and film, paintings and other artwork, photographs, software, and radio and television programs. Our firm can help clients develop and protect intellectual property assets by prosecuting trademarks and registering copyrights.
Many companies will face patent licensing issues at some point in the lifetime of the company. For example, a new biotech company may require the licensing of intellectual property from an inventor or assignee in order to establish the business. Conversely, for example, if a company does not plan to pursue a patented technology in its intellectual property portfolio, the company may choose to license the technology to another company that is particularly interested in manufacturing, marketing, and selling that technology.
Licensing intellectual property can be a major source of revenue for a company, and there are many legal and business issues involved in licensing transactions. Our firm can advise and assist clients in the acquisition or transfer transactions of intellectual property.Intellectual properties such as patents, trademarks, and copyright are key assets to most business endeavors. Therefore, it is increasingly important for businesses to have a strong intellectual property portfolio. Nguyen & Tarbet can help clients develop and maintain a solid and effective intellectual property portfolio. Further, our firm can help clients leverage their intellectual properties by implementing strategic plans to maximize profitability.