Welcome to the intellectual property blog for West & Associates. As experts working on the cutting edge of legal matters we will work diligently to provide the most current information available about Patent, Trademark and Copyright Licensing, Procurment (Prosecution) and Litigation. Additional information can always be accessed directly on the United States Patent & Trademark Office website (www.uspto.gov), the U.S. Copyright Office website (www.copyright.gov) or the website for West & Associates (www.westpatentlaw.com).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yet another Trademark scam

If you have a registered trademark or pending trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you might be the target of several scam companies. Since the basic information of your trademark is public knowledge, scammers might try to confuse you and request money in order to avoid what they allege in this notification "cancellation of your mark".  The picture below is an example of this problem. 

1.     If you received a notification that requires you to make a payment for your trademark, always contact your attorney before you send payment. All your correspondence regarding  your trademark will be sent to you by your attorney. 

2.     Most of these scam notifications will state on the bottom "This is not an invoice" or "This is not a bill", therefore is does NOT require you to make a payment.

3.     Most of these scam notifications will  state that they are in fact a "private corporation" and "This service has not been endorsed or approved by the Federal Government and this offer is not being made by an agency of the Federal Government". 

There are several scams, please be very careful! As a firm we are receive scams all the time. Our clients call us questioning these "invoices". If you do not have an attorney, your correspondence regarding your Trademark will be from the USPTO only. Any other agency will be a scam.You can also contact us at info@westpatentlaw.com for a consultation. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Changes In Patent Laws

Click Here to RSVP and Register for our FREE seminar on Patent Law Changes in Walnut Creek on October 11, 2011

As of September 16, 2011, the U.S. Patent Laws will shortly be changed forever from a first-to-invent system, to a first-to-file under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.  There are numerous changes within the timeline of this law from the date of enactment to 18 months out that will completely change the way in which a patent is completed.  You must act now to preserve your rights before the new laws become effective.

Below are some useful government links to the newest Patent information available.

The USPTO is continually updating the laws and what they mean.  You can find more information on their website at: http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/index.jsp

As you can see from looking at some of the information provided on the links, the new Patent Laws can be extremely confusing to understand.  Trying to comprehend how the laws will or do affect your patent(s) / business in the coming months may be disconcerting or frustrating.  Therefore, making sure you plan accordingly is extremely important.  Some of the changes include filings for both small businesses and micro entities; as well as, the way the submission of prior art is used and a new fee schedule that applies to all the changes.

Should you need more assistance in understanding the new law, or to find out how the changes may affect your patent(s) / business, we are offering a seminar coming up in the next week.  Come to our seminar on October 11, 2011 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Heather Farm Community Center – Club Room, 301, North San Carlos Drive at Ygnacio Valley Road. 

Click Here to RSVP and Register for our FREE seminar on Patent Law Changes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patent "Reform" is Almost Law

In an 89 to 9 vote earlier today, Senate passed the America Invents Act which drastically changes the US patent system.  The only remaining hurdle to enactment of the law is the signature of President Obama, who has indicated that he favors signing the bill into law.

The most significant impact of this bill will be the modification of our current first-to-invent system to a new first-to-file system.  Under the new law, it may be a race to the patent office as the first inventor to file the patent application will be entitled to receive the patent for an invention.  While this may seem harsh, it is very much in-line with the laws of almost all other countries in the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trademark SCAM! Have you received a letter like this for your overseas trademark application?

Pay close attention, this document is a scam to get thousands from you with no reasonable purpose.
To start, do not pay any company that claims to “Register” your mark “internationally.” Any document in relationship to your trademark application and/or registered mark, should be strictly from the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” “The World Intellectual Property Office” or your attorney.
Second, read the fine print “By transferring the amount indicated, you approve this offer for listing in the TM-Collection- Edition 2011.” We visited their website: www.tm-collection.com and found that it is an “unofficial” trademark catalog and it is in fact a graphic design company.

If you decide to pay $1650.00 for this scam for your mark to appear in a catalog of trademarks, please keep in mind that this will not affect the Registration of your Trademark .
If you have any further questions, you should contact your attor

Monday, March 21, 2011

Excellent Presention of Trends in Intellectual Property

A BrightTALK Channel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

International Patents: Do they exist?

Do international patents exist?  The short answer is NO!  However, international Patent Applications do exist.  So, if you can file and international patent application, why can't you get an international patent?

The confusion stems from a vocabulary problem.  A patent application filed under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is officially called an international patent application.  Practitioners generally don't use the term international patent application--we generally call these applications PCT applications to avoid any confusion.

A PCT application is similar, in some ways, to an international provisional patent application.  Without further action, in the countries in which you want patent protection, it will become abandoned and you will never receive a patent in another country.  If you want patent protection in a foreign country then, during the pendency of the PCT application, a National Stage Application must be filed--this is an application that references (claims priority to) the underlying PCT application.

That national stage application will have an effective filing date based on the PCT application and ONLY the national stage application will become a patent.

So, the general flow for international protection is:

US application ===> PCT Application ===> National Stage Application(s) in foreign country(ies).

There are other paths, but this is one of the most common paths to seek protection overseas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LEGO® Loses Trademark Battle in Europe

Lego has lost its trademark in the European Union--Well, sort of.

Today, the Independent, an British newspaper reported as a headline in its business section that Lego lost its trademark in Europe.  While this is accurate, it doesn't really tell the whole story.  The trademark that was recently cancelled by the tribunal was actually related to the shape of the block, not the term LEGO.

What this all means is that competitors to LEGO are now free to make LEGO-type blocks that have the same shape.  However, they can't use the name LEGO.

For the full article online see: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/lego-loses-trademark-battle-2079389.html

Monday, September 13, 2010

In High-Class News: Jersey Shore's "The Situation" has a Trademark Situation

As reported by the Los Angeles Examiner, "the Situation" "star" of the MTV show Jersey Shore has been denied trademark registration for his name based on a clothing retailer who applied for and started selling clothes before he became "the situation."  An interesting lesson about "product" marketing and being first to file.

Read more:  http://www.examiner.com/jersey-shore-in-national/jersey-shore-like-snooki-the-situation-has-a-trademark-situation

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Have you received a document similar to this?

This document is a scam! This type of document has two functions, to:
  1. Get your money; as it is requesting a payment of $2,717.00 USD
  2. Transfer the ownership of your Patent to someone else, in this case the " UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG [ZA/ZA]
Be aware that any document that is relating to your patent application, issued patent, and/or PCT, should be strictly from the "United States Patent and Trademark Office," "The World Intellectual Property Office,"  or your attorney. In addition, if you still have questions about a document like this, read the fine print. For example, in this document it says "by paying the amount stated below you will benefit from our cd rom publication and you confirm having read our General Terms and Conditions. THIS IS NOT A BILL, IT IS A SOLICITATION FOR SERVICES OFFERED, YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED BELOW UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER."
Be very careful...