Frequently Asked Questions

Our most common questions about intellectual property

  1. THINK BIG! LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE! When one is seeking to protect intellectual property, whether it be a new invention or an established business, one should think ahead and look at the big picture with the future in mind, as one never knows where a new idea may lead. If one does not protect what is created when it is created, it may be lost or may not be available for protection at a later date. For instance, one of our Firm’s clients thought big and protected the name of his business by obtaining a federal trademark registration and also patented the design of his products. As a result, when the business became successful he was able to franchise his business throughout the country.
  2. DON’T BE “PENNY-WISE AND POUND FOOLISH!” This old adage applies to many things and particularly to the protection of intellectual property, as clients are often reluctant to invest the funds necessary to protect their intellectual property. For example, one of our Firm’s clients chose not to spend the necessary money to search and protect the name of his restaurant. The restaurant became highly successful and several years later the owner wanted to franchise. Unfortunately, it was too late because, in the interim, someone else had obtained a servicemark registration on the name.
  3. PROTECT YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER CREATION. It is very important that you use every means available to protect your intellectual property from the time it is created by seeking protection, completing the process of obtaining protection and enforcing your rights after protection is obtained. As an example, one of our clients protected its technology for routing toll-free telephone calls and filed its patent application at an earlier date than a competitor, which enabled it to enforce its patent rights in a lawsuit against a major competitor. Consequently, for that reason, one should apply for protection on intellectual property as soon as possible after it is created.

Furthermore, in the case of an invention, while the patent application is pending, it is important to protect your invention through the use of non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements which will assist you in enforcing your rights under contract and trade secret law if anyone attempts to steal your technology prior to the issuance of a patent.

Only United States Registered Patent Attorneys can transact business as attorneys with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on your behalf, which includes preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications to obtain a patent. Unless they are also Registered patent attorneys, intellectual property law attorneys cannot obtain patent protection for their clients and, therefore, are limited with regard to the services they are allowed to offer. To become a registered patent attorney, one must have a college degree in a technical area, such as engineering, complete law school, pass a state bar examination and also pass the rigorous patent bar examination required by the federal government. Registered Patent Attorneys are the only attorneys legally allowed to procure all forms of intellectual property for their clients.

Therefore, your first step should always be to consult with a Registered Patent Attorney, whether the subject is an invention, a business or product name or a copyright matter, as Registered Patent Attorneys are the only attorneys experienced in all areas of intellectual property.

If you don't protect what you create, you have only created it for someone else!

The intellectual property attorneys at Livingston Law can help you protect, promote and profit from your ideas and inventions through intellectual property law. Call our toll-free number at 1-800-548-4332 or send us an email through our website to discuss your questions with an attorney.

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We represent clients throughout Florida and the U.S. in all areas of intellectual property law from our offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.
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