In talking to clients whose patent applications involve software, it simply is not good enough to ask for as much specificity as possible to help remove the invention from the realm of an abstract idea and avoid an unpatentable subject matter rejection. Rather, it now seems that the required specificity must also be grounded in a "technical means" for implementing the software components. Of course, what this "technical means" encompasses is not necessarily easy to define.
In a recent blog post, we discussed recent changes in the EU system. On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The UK-EU divorce-nicknamed "Brexit"- will be negotiated over the next several years. So, what does that mean? Basically, the UK will legally separate itself to be outside the EU, most likely by way of implementing an agreement to redefine its relationship with the EU bloc. As part of the global scenario, that agreement will include addressing and consideration of EU trademark issues.
There are a number and variety of considerations to evaluate when it comes to intellectual property ("IP") protections. On a base level, the core issues are what you want to protect and where you want to protect it. From that point, an attorney will want to consider what types of protections would provide the best and broadest coverage, while also weighing those considerations against costs and related concerns. And during that whole time you need to ensure that you actually own or control the IP.
As of March 23, 2016, the European Parliament brought new changes into effect relating to the Community Trade Mark System, also known as Regulation (EU) 2015/2424. The Community Trade Mark System (CTM), created in 1996, allowed brand owners to obtain registered protection for trademarks using one European Union (EU) filing. Filing one single trademark application carried forward to each of the 28 EU member states. The system has changed names and has some new rules to consider.
If you're doing business in the US and want to acquire a trademark registration, there are two main types of applications that you can file.
- Use-based application: A use-based application is appropriate when you are already using the mark in commerce. The process includes (1) filing an application that states the date that you first used it in commerce and (2) providing an example of that use. This shows the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that you deserve registered trademark protection.
No one would want to complete the process of applying for a patent only to find out that it has already been claimed.
There generally are two types of inventors: the individual inventor/small company and the large, corporate research and development (R&D) groups.
1. R&D groups generally have a significant advantage over smaller entities because they are well-connected in the intellectual property community and they have ample capital.
2. Individual inventors have to function with fewer resources and a smaller network of colleagues.
When people start a business, they tend to focus on their business objectives and goals: the products, services, relationships, as well as administrative and other internal business structures required to make their business efficient. After a while, the business name becomes connected with a certain type of product or service. That connection is trademark identification and the value builds with the goodwill and brand equity that are the embodiment of your hard work, time, and other investment.
The Patent Prosecution Highway is a set of initiatives for providing accelerated patent prosecution among 23 nations, which provides a method for expediting examination of a pending patent application in a foreign country. Once one of the enrolled countries has approved an application for issuance, the application may be eligible for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in other countries signed on to the initiative. The application in the foreign country should be identical to the original application that was ultimately approved in one of the member countries.