Some of the most famous patent attorneys never get their pictures in he papers or appear on television. They are those who protect the intellectual property of their clients – usually large conglomerates that hire a patent attorney to protect their logos and trademarks.
A trademark is a symbol or image that is associated with your business and is part of your brand. Businesses work hard to create a brand, which is an image that people remember and connect to your product or service. Intellectual property can be a name that is well known to the public – such as McDonald’s or Sears. Someone else can share this name, but would be prohibited from opening up businesses under them as people associate these names with certain products and services. A patent attorney, or in these cases, groups of attorneys, will make sure that the intellectual property remains safe.
Patent inventions, if for the benefit of the public, can only be held for a period of 7 years. After this time, the patent is released to the free market. The length of time for the patent protection may be shorter, especially in the case of drugs. A patent attorney will be able to tell you how long your invention will be protected. If you have a trademark or logo, however, this intellectual property can be protected for as long as someone is around to renew the registration. Your patent attorney not only can advise you on how long you can get patent protection for your product, but can also help you continue to protect intellectual property such as a trademark, by making sure that they are renewed.
It is important to get a patent for anything that you wish to protect before you release it to the public. It can be difficult to prove any type of theft occurred if you did not have patent protection for the intellectual property. The minute that your patent attorney registers your invention or trademark with the patent office, it is protected. Both will take months before they can be fully registered, but you can do business in the meantime with a patent pending or registered trademark symbol. Your patent attorney will be able to tell you which type of symbol you should use to indicate that your intellectual property is protected.
Inventions are something that you have created and want to use that you do not want anyone else to take and market for their own benefit. This has to be a tangible product and not just an idea. Ideas cannot be patented – this is something that is very important for someone to know and something that your patent attorney will reiterate. You have to have your invention created before it can receive a patent. Your invention can be sketched on paper and still get patent protection, as long as it is completed. You can, at the time your patent attorney is registering your patent, also register the name of the product as the trademark. If you have a clever slogan or symbol for your intellectual property, now is the time to apply for protection.
Your patent attorney specializes in the protection of intellectual property. If you have an invention or a trademark that you want to protect, seek out a qualified patent attorney and get the protection you need for your intellectual property.