Herbert "Teddy" Patty, the patent attorney of The Law Office of Herbert T. Patty, analyzes the different problems that may arise regarding intellectual property in this age of information and provides advice about the way to deal with intellectual property issues.
Intellectual Property may be defined as a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or design, to which one has the rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, a trademark, etc. Generally speaking, patents protect inventions, copyrights protect original works of authorship, and trademarks protect marks used as source identifiers for goods and services. Intellectual Property can be summed up with one word: priority. The U.S., along with most of the developed nations in the world, is on a first-to-file basis. Therefore, to secure a patent for an invention, the inventor or entity to whom the patent rights are invested, should file for a patent protection as soon as possible. Likewise, trademark rights accrue upon first use according to common law. However, a trademark registration may give the trademark holder more rights. The information age has changed the world as we once knew it. Before, one may have had a few years to properly analyze and perfect their invention. However, because we're all connected and use the same devices and platforms, we all attend to innovate along the same trend line. In other words, because we're all using the same tools, we all experience the same problems and therefore come up with similar solutions to these problems. As information now moves at the speed of light, ideas combined with new ideas and are disseminated globally with the record time. As such, not only should one be diligent in filing for intellectual property protection but should be wary about disclosing their inventions prior to filing for such protection. When protecting your intellectual property rights, one should seek out services from a licensed professional. Many entrepreneurs are mistaken that because of filing process is simple that the underlying ability to carefully draft the filling documents are simple as well. Big mistake! One of the worst mistakes an entrepreneur can make is to lose intellectual property rights by filing applications haphazardly. Although the service fees requested by service professional may be costly, it is well worth it in the end. If you care about protecting your intellectual property, seek out a trusted professional.