Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007: Happy New Year ! The Seven Secrets To "Protecting What's Yours !"

1. Identify your proprietary rights, e.g., trademarks, logos, artwork, copyrights, etc.

2. Prioritizing proprietary rights registration.

a. your business model and budget must be analyzed to help you determine what rights will be prioritized. What is most important to your business success in terms of your product and/or services ? For example, if you have a logo or artwork that is very important to your business, then you need to address both trademark and copyright issues.

3. Finding and Selecting a Lawyer to assist you in protecting your proprietary rights.

a. obtain referrals from colleagues, friends, bar associations.
b. web searching and analysis of lawyer websites. Use keywords such as 'trademarks' and geographic regions if location is important.
c. is the attorney qualified or credible, e.g., has the attorney written and published articles of relevance.
d. contact and conduct interviews in person, on the phone or via email.

4. Search and clearance.

a. adopting and using a trademark, for example, without conducting a search to see if the same or similar mark is already being used for the same or similar goods or services is a risk that can be minimized by conducting trademark and web searches.

5. Registration.

a. Analysis and identification of your proprietary rights will clarify what should be registered and with what government entities and where. There are substantial benefits to obtaining registrations of both trademarks and copyrights in the U.S.

6. Defense.

a. You cannot bury your head in the sand as the good ostrich can. The proprietary rights owner has an obligation to defend its proprietary rights. For example, if you find out that a third party has reproduced your artwork or logo, then you need to put them on notice of your rights.

7. Renewal.

a. Trademarks can exist in perpetuity as long as they are in use in the U.S.
If you obtain a registration in the U.S. as well as elsewhere you will be subject to renewal and/or continued use filing obligations in order to maintain your registrations. These registration terms must be calendared.

Best wishes for your every success in this new year of opportunity.
In this year of 2007 you, indeed, have the opportunity and license to succeed.

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