細談商業資訊, 市場推廣, 開拓生意機會

商標專利

Should You Abandon Your Trademark Application?

The short answer: It depends on whether the abandonment will work for you or against you. Since even your decision to abandon your trademark application has its legal and practical implications, you should seriously considering hiring an experienced trademark attorney.

 

With or without an attorney, here are a few things that you must consider when deciding whether to abandon or not your application.

 

Consider the Grounds for Rejection

The action letter, or the rejection letter issued by the USPTO after the examining attorney’s initial examination of you application has been completed, contains the valid grounds for rejection. These grounds can range from technical grounds (e.g., procedural mistake) to substantive grounds (e.g. likelihood of confusion), and each ground should be answered satisfactorily by the patent applicant for the application process to proceed.

 

From the careful consideration of the grounds stated in the action letter, you can make a decision of abandonment or continuance. You may, for example, abandon the application in case of a rejection based on descriptiveness – if your mark is descriptive according to the standards set by the USPTO, then getting it registered doesn’t give you extra protection in case of an infringement. You can’t sue everybody who uses the descriptive words used in your mark since these are generic by nature.

 

If the rejection was based on the likelihood of confusion, you have to consider whether the costs in time, energy and money will be worth the benefits in name recognition and recall. You must consider, too, the possibility of a trademark infringement lawsuit if you continue using the mark.

 

Let’s say that you decide to abandon your application. You should ideally make an express statement of abandonment by filing a Request for Express Abandonment (Withdrawal) of Application through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), an online system at the USPTO official website.

 

Beware the Consequences of Abandonment

Lest you think that abandonment of your trademark application is easy – look, Ma, no consequences – it isn’t. Keep in mind that there are several ways of abandoning your mark and with these ways come consequences that you should be prepared to deal with.

 

Let’s assume that for one reason or another, you stopped using the mark for a prolonged period or you failed to maintain quality control over its use. Under the trademark laws, you are considered as having abandoned the trademark and, thus, you will lose the exclusive right to its use.

 

What can you do if the USPTO sends an action letter expressing final rejection of your mark as non-registrable? You can appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in case the reason for rejection was substantive; file a petition to the director if the reason for rejection was technical or procedural; request the examining attorney to make another examination; or amend the application and seek for registration on the Supplemental Register in case of a descriptive mark-based rejection.

 

And, of course, you can abandon the application and give up the exclusive right to your mark.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Responding To Rejections Of Trademark Applications

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can reject trademark applications on several grounds. The trademark applicant must know the best way to respond to the rejection – and it’s definitely not writing a scathing letter disparaging the USPTO examiner’s qualifications – to get a favorable outcome in the end. Here are things that you need to know about it.

 

Action Letters

The USPTO examiners write three types of action letters, the term used for trademark application rejections.

  • Technical rejections typically involve procedural oversights or minor matters that can easily be resolved by the appropriate amendments.
  • Substantive rejections usually involve more complicated matters, such as the likelihood of confusion, generic claim, and descriptive mark, which are more challenging to resolve. In most cases, the professional assistance of an experienced patent lawyer is recommended, if not a must, to get approval.
  • Final rejections are written and issued only after you have failed to respond to either of the two abovementioned rejections at least once.

 

If you receive either a technical or a substantive rejection in the mail or by telephone, you shouldn’t lose hope as the examining attorney will give you at least one chance to answer. You will find that these action letters are common so you’re not being singled out, discriminated against, or targeted for exclusion by the USPTO.

 

Prescription Period

The action letter always specifies the number of months that you should respond to the issues being raised as the reasons for rejection. In general, the USPTO gives applicants six months to make the appropriate response to an action letter.

 

If you don’t respond within the prescribed period, you run the risk of having your application considered as abandoned by the USPTO. In case of abandonment, you have to return to square one of the application process if you still want the trademark registration.

 

The bottom line: Always send your response to an action letter as soon as possible. But avoid rushing your response since you don’t want to run the risk of yet another rejection call or letter for a minor matter. You have to double check that, indeed, your response corresponds to the grounds for rejection.

 

Choices to Make

You can choose from these three choices when responding to the action letter:

  • Make a response on your own
  • Hire a trademark attorney to handle the response
  • Abandon your application

 

If you respond to the action letter yourself, you have to make sure that you can actually handle it well – and it’s usually the case for technical rejections. But if you can’t handle the complexity of the grounds for rejection, you shouldn’t try to do so unless you’re willing to risk final rejection. Your trademark lawyer’s services may seem expensive at first but when you consider the benefits, you will likely be willing to pay for these services in the future.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

為什麼要通過代理申請商標? 知識產權代理公司有何優勢?

很多企業在申請註冊商標的時候都會有這樣的糾結,是自己直接去申請商標呢?還是通過代理公司來進行辦理呢?其實我們要知道的是很多人對專業的事情都不是很瞭解,那麼選擇知識產權代理公司的話就可以省很多事,接下來我們就來看看知識產權代理公司所具有的種種優勢。

優勢一:省錢

北京知識局是國內的唯一一處商標註冊大廳,大家註冊中國商標若是都專程到北京進行註冊的話,那麼差旅費也是一筆不少的開支。

優勢二:省時間

一般人對註冊申請的流程都是不瞭解的,無論是從查詢、填報到公告,還是註冊到領證等,都需要花費不少的時間來瞭解辦理。但是有了知識產權代理公司來協助辦理的話,就可以省下不少的時間。

優點三:省心

商標申請看起來是很簡單的,但是涉及到的專業知識還是很多的,而知識產權代理都具有專業的知識和豐富的經驗,他們在辦理的時候會更加順暢,考慮保障更全面。

優點四:更加規範

正規的代理公司都有一套完善的申報服務流程,無論是申請前的諮詢還是申請後的查詢,又或者是申請成功的售後服務,每個環節都有專業的人員來進行配合,並且分工明確、安排得當,這樣在提高申請效率的同時,也可以為各個申請人帶來優質安心的服務。

優點五:更有保障

知識產權代理機構有著完善的並且是免費的售後諮詢服務,專業的團隊在實際操作的過程中經歷過各種問題,長期積累形成了他們申請辦理的經驗,在申請的過程中可以有效地幫助大家以低價並且穩妥的方式來處理商標使用中可能遇到的各種難題。

選擇知識產權代理公司來進行商標的申請和辦理,申請成功的幾率也會更大。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

如何判斷設計專利是否侵權?

人們常常會搞混外觀設計專利的價值,“外觀設計”是具有使用價值的,就算是不申請專利也是可以使用的,因為“設計”本身就是有使用價值的。但是如果“外觀設計”申請了專利權的話,那麼權利也是有使用價值的,價值的大小就是這項專利被他人使用願望的大小。

 

而隨著中國企業和個人知識產權意識不斷提高,越來越多的企業和個人也對自己的技術和設計進行了專利申請,那麼引發的專利侵權糾紛也是比較多的,下面我們就來看看如何判斷設計專利是否侵權?

 

  • 從一般消費者的角度來觀察

在對產品進行侵權判定的時候,需要從一般消費者的視角進行觀察和判斷,而不是從設計人員的視角來進行判斷。因為設計人員都是掌握了更多的設計特徵,他們更容易注意到很多細微的細節變化,其實這些不容易被察覺的變化在侵權判定中是不會考慮到的。

 

  • 進行間接的對比判斷

也就是讓一般的消費者在不同的時間和場合,對侵權產品的外觀設計以及涉案外觀進行觀察,而不是將二者放在一起進行對比觀察,因為侵權的產品多多少少都會在細節上有一些改動。但是消費者在不同的場合觀察侵權產品外觀和涉案外觀設計時,往往會注意到一些不易觀察的細節變化。

 

  • 從整體綜合的角度進行判斷

侵權判定一定要遵循整體觀察、綜合判斷的原則,因此不必要看重一些細節和局部的差異,也就是不能因為某一處的差異來判斷二者是否相似,而是從一個產品的整體來進行判斷。相同的點越多則越相似,若僅是局部上有差異的話,應該是判定為相似設計。

 

判斷設計專利是否侵權還可以從設計空間的大小、設計的要點以及色彩的角度來判斷,這些原則都不是單獨孤立的使用,而是要整體觀察、綜合判斷。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

PPA Basics: The Concept Of Reduction To Practice

The provisional patent application (PPA) is an interim document designed to preserve the patent owner’s rights to the invention while in the process of determining whether to file a regular patent or not. Many inventors file it since it’s a relatively straightforward, simple and affordable way of protecting their rights over and interests in their inventions.

 

Reduction to Practice Defined

It’s the equivalent of the concept of “reduction to practice” typically manifested in two ways:

 

  • By the production of a physical embodiment of the invention, also known as actual reduction to practice. Examples include a prototype of a device, a composition of the matter, and the performance of a method to confirm its results.

 

  • By filing a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), known as constructive reduction to practice.

 

The actual physical construction for a product or the performance of the steps for a process is meant to show others that, indeed, the subject matter being patented can do what it’s supposed to do. The concept of reduction to practice then encompasses actual demonstration, operation and testing for the invention’s actual use.

 

Importance of Reduction to Practice

Every savvy inventor knows that reduction to practice is a crucial element in establishing novelty and non-obviousness in a patent application. You, the inventor, has to provide proof that indeed you are the original inventor of the subject matter and the PPA is a strong proof.

 

The PPA is also important in establishing patent priority and, thus, rightful and legal ownership over the invention. Under U.S. patent laws, the inventor owns the patent registration rights at the time he/she reduced the invention to practice, thus, it’s important for inventors to be the first to apply the reduction to practice doctrine.

 

In contrast, most countries grant patent registration rights to the first person who files for the applicable patent.

 

The reduction to practice concept prevents other persons from stealing, borrowing, and selling prior inventions created by the original inventor even if the latter haven’t filed for a regular patent. The PPA can establish both actual and constructive reduction to practice since it must contain a description and drawings of the invention. The inventor can also include other documents to establish ownership over the invention, such as formal drawings and methods of operation.

 

If the invention’s practical utility isn’t evident, the USPTO examiner may request for a testing and demonstration. You should take it into account when filing for a PPA to establish reduction to practice on your part.

 

A good rule of thumb to remember: The less theoretical, the less abstract and the simpler the invention, the less need for showing practical utility. Brand-new technologies, for example, usually require more proof of utility while there’s little to no demonstration of utility required for improvements on existing technology.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

申請中國商標註冊要知道這些

現今隨著經濟的飛速發展,越來越多的企業和個人都熱衷於申請註冊中國商標,但是很多人對此並不是很瞭解,那麼在申請的時候就走了不少的彎路,下面就帶大家一起來瞭解一些申請中國商標註冊要知道的事情,希望大家可以順利拿到商標。

  • 在哪裡註冊?

一是直接前往國家商標局辦事大廳提交註冊申請,二是委託經國家商標局備案的商標代理商來辦理。

  • 商標註冊需要什麼條件?

提出商標註冊申請的主體有兩種,一種是企業、事業單位或者是社會組織團體等,那麼註冊商標的時候是需要提供主體資格證明檔,並且也是需要加蓋公章的;另一種則是自然人,那麼在註冊商標的時候需要提供本人的身份證以及個體工商營業執照。

  • 申請註冊要多久?

一般來說中國商標註冊自申請提交當天起,9個月的時間為商標局審查的時間,初審通過之後會給出公告,而公告的時間是3個月,在這期間內若是沒有人提出異議的話,則代表通過並且發放商標註冊證。整個流程下來最少需要12個月的時間,若是公告期間有人提出異議的話,國家商標局則會在9個月內審查異議,最長的審核週期通常為21個月。

  • 註冊時如何選擇註冊類別和商品項目?

不同的商品歸屬的類別是不同的,一共有45個類別:其中1~34類為五金工具類、水果類的產品,而34~45類為餐飲、住宿類的服務,那麼申請人提供什麼樣的產品和服務,就註冊對應的類別即可。

  • 申請註冊後還需要繳費嗎?

商標註冊申請之後,商標局是會進入正常的審查流程,若是出現通過那麼你會接到各種電話、郵件等,但是讓你繳費的肯定是騙子。

商標註冊申請的問題先介紹到這,大家一定要弄清楚才能辦理的更加順暢。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

The Tug-of-war Over Patent Rights Ownership Between Inventor And Employer

Who is the rightful and legal owner of an invention: The employee who invented it or his employer? The answer depends on the agreement between these parties although other factors are also considered.

 

For the inventors, the answer can mean the difference between being recognized – and possibly getting rich – for their inventions and being consigned as a mere cog in the machine. For the employers, it can also mean being recognized as a pioneer and leader in the field on one hand and being left behind by the competition on the other hand.

 

With such high stakes, which side does the law favor? Take note that patents are articulated under the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) and governed by the Patent Act.

 

Inventors Typically Have Patent Ownership

The general rule in the tug-of-war between inventors and employers: You, if you’re the inventor, own the patent rights to your invention created during the course of your employment. You can apply for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); only a natural person, by the way, can apply for it and, thus, organizations cannot.

 

But there are exceptions to the general rule. You don’t own the patent rights under either of the following circumstances:

 

  • You signed an employment agreement with your employment wherein you assigned invention rights (the doctrine of pre-invention assignment); or
  • You were specifically hired either to create the specific invention or for your invention skills (the work-for-hire doctrine); said employment may or may not come with a written agreement.

 

In practice, either of these two exceptions to the rule nearly always applies. This means that the employers hold patent ownership to their employees’ inventions, a fact reinforced by the signed and notarized pre-invention assignment agreements at the time of the hiring. The assignment agreement typically comes as a bundle, so to speak, with other employment documents like confidentiality agreements.

 

Employers Can Have Shop Rights

Let’s assume that you retained patent ownership over your invention. Keep in mind that it isn’t an ironclad ownership either because your employer can still have shop rights. The term refers to the limited right of the employer to use your patent without paying you, either in cash or in kind.

 

Shop rights occur when you, the employee and inventor, uses your employer’s resources including the machinery, facility and network in creating your invention. The doctrine itself is flexible in its application in the real world but it typically allows your employee the use of your invention internally. Your employer can neither assign nor sell your invention to third parties; otherwise, it can be considered as infringement of patent.

 

If you’re an inventor seeking employment or already in employment, you are well-advised to consult with a patent lawyer about your employment contracts including the assignment agreement. You have to protect your inventions from infringement, even by your employers, if that’s what you want.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

申請外觀專利保護需注意什麼事項

外觀專利指的就是對產品的形狀、圖案或者是圖形的結合,以及色彩與形狀、圖案的結合所做出來的富有美感並且適用於工業應用的新設計。大多數情況下,外觀設計的技術含量比較低,但是在進行申請保護的時候也要注意以下這些事項:

外觀相似的就可以合案申請

相似的外觀設計最好是合案申請,因為若是將相似的外觀設計進行分案申請的話,這些外觀很有可能被誤認為是雷同設計,那麼就只能提交其中的一件進行外觀專利申請了。

升級換代的話可以先不申請

產品的升級換代並不一定是要再次申請外觀設計專利的,一般來說在新產品外觀與原專利外觀差距小的情況下,它仍然在原專利的保護範圍內。若是提交新申請的話可能會由於缺少創新點而無法獲得授權,就算是獲得了授權也可能由於與原專利區別小而被他人提出無效。

打造多重的專利佈局

申請人提交的產品外觀一般都是包含多個創新帶的,那麼為了節約成本申請人可能將產品整體作為一個專利來申請。其實大家也可以將產品外觀的眾多創新點提出來分別申請,這樣就可以打造多重專利佈局,那麼就可以更好地保護產品的外觀設計了。

無必須的話不需要申請色彩保護

在可以獲得授權的情況下,外觀設計說明書中就可以避免請求色彩保護了。可能有的申請人認為請求保護色彩能夠起到更好的保護作用,其實一旦你申請了色彩保護,那麼他人可能僅僅改變產品的顏色就可以冒仿你的產品了。

專業的事情要找專業的人

雖然外觀設計專業獲得授權是比較容易的,但是確權並不是我們的最終目的,關鍵的是後續的用權和維權才是將專利轉化為價值的關鍵,而這也是專業代理機構的本職工作,那麼將專業的事交給專業的人能申請的更加順暢,保護更全面。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Are You The Rightful Owner Of Your Invention For Patent Application?

What would you do if your original idea was stolen by another person or group? But before you answer the question, you have to answer another question, “Do you legally own the patent rights over the product, device or item?”

 

Granted by the USPTO

Everybody has the right to create things. But keep in mind that merely creating a thing doesn’t confer legal rights including ownership over it, even when others have profited from it. You must actually have a valid patent over the subject matter, whether it’s a process or a product.

 

Patents are rights of ownership granted by the United States government, specifically the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to inventors. The patents are intended to exclude others from making, using, and selling, even importing, the particular inventions without the inventors’ express permission. In case of infringement, the aggrieved inventor can file an infringement lawsuit.

 

If you haven’t submitted your patent application or you haven’t been granted a full patent for the subject matter, then you will likely not be considered as its legal and rightful owner. You can, however, apply for a provisional patent but even it has its limitations so we suggest getting a full patent over your invention.

 

Inventorship and Ownership Are Different

There are also instances that the inventor and original holder of the patent isn’t considered as the owner of the patent. This is because the concepts of inventorship and ownership are different under patent law.

 

You, the inventor, may be listed on the patent application filed with the USPTO but you may not be considered as its current valid owner. You may have relinquished your rights over it, a case that can happen when you work for a company and you created the invention while you were its employee at the time. In this case, you cannot sue for patent infringement since the patent is usually owned by the company.

 

If you were directly paid by another person or group to create an original invention, you may or may not own the resulting patent. You have to double check the agreement before signing it, especially if you want to own the patent while the other party has certain legal rights over the resulting product.

 

And then there’s the matter of being a solo inventor or a joint inventor of a patented idea or thing. If you came up with the idea or created the product completely on your own, then you are considered as a solo inventor. You shouldn’t be anybody’s employee, too.

 

If the idea or thing was created by two or more people, then they are joint owners of the patent. The names of all the inventors can be listed on the patent application and, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, every inventor own a pro-rated and undivided interest in the invention.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

怎麼申請中國發明專利

發明專利是專利的一種重要類型,它是技術含量、科技含量最高的專利類型。很多沒有接觸過專利的人對申請專利都是很陌生的,而中國專利局就是申請專利的專業機構。那麼接下來我們詳細說明一下怎麼申請中國發明專利。

 

申請發明專利的流程應該是這樣的:

首先需要申請人提供原始的技術資料和個人或者單位的資訊,然後委託專利代理機構來簽訂委託代理協定,也就是撰寫一份符合專利法要求的專利申請檔。

之後向國家專利局提交該專利申請檔,取得專利申請號碼之後按照規定繳納專利申請費即可。

然後就進入初步審查了,審查合格之後在申請日後的18個月,將會在專利公報或者是網站上公開其申請。當然也可以根據申請人的要求,在申請日起的15個月內隨時要求提前公開。

再接著就是進入實質審查的階段,申請人在申請日起的3年內可以隨時向專利局提起實審,當然也可以在該專利申請公開之後提起實審,提起實審之後就要按規定來繳納專利實審費用了。

最後就是經過實審審查之後,若是該專利符合發明的實用性、創造性以及新穎性,國家都會給予授權的。那麼申請人再按照規定來繳納專利申請維持費、印刷費、當年年費以及證書工本費等,就可以取得專利申請證書了。

申請發明專利的流程就是這樣的,為了可以順利地通過那麼在申請的時候也要準備好技術材料,比如權利要求書、說明書摘要,如果有需要的話還要附圖說明。

申請中國發明專利的時間大約在兩年半以上,取得專利之後每年也要按規定繳納年費。此外發明專利的保護期限是20年,到期之後是不能續展的。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

文章分類
bizformation chinese web solution website redesign hkwebdesign