Trade secrets

As is clear from the name, a Patent & Trademark Resource Center offers help with patents and trademarks. The two other forms of intellectual property -- copyrights and trade secrets -- are not part of the mandate.   Most librarians can point you to the Copyright Office website, which contains all you need to know. Trade…
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Patent fees

The USPTO is entirely self-supported.  The fees collected support all that goes into the granting of patents and registering of trademarks.  Periodically, the Office reviews the fees charged and costs incurred, and revises the fee schedule, with input from patent stakeholders. The results of the most recent revision of patent fees were issued earlier this month, with an…
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Learning about licensing

Once a patent is granted, or a trademark is registered, what can be done with it?  Besides using it to protect your own use of your intellectual property, it can provide indirect benefit which can be just as valuable.  Both patents and trademarks are property, and just like the owner of a house can rent it out to generate income…
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Plant patents

There are three kinds of patents granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office: utility, design, and plant. What is a plant patent? A plant patent is granted "to anyone who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other…
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USPTO Resources

Here are three sources of assistance and information from the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Inventors Assistance Center (IAC):   The Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC is staffed by former Supervisory Patent Examiners, experienced Primary Patent Examiners, various intellectual property specialists and attorney who can answer…
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Pro Se Assistance

Filing a patent application without the guidance of a registered patent attorney or agent is called pro se filing.  The patent application process can be a bit complicated and particular, and the USPTO's Pro Se Assistance Program is here to help!  The webpage addresses commonly encountered issues and has resources for inventors.  In particular, the Nonprovisional Utility Patent Application…
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Protection for apps

These three articles on smartphone applications (usually referred to as apps) show a side of intellectual property protection that is quite interesting, and sheds light on the process. They discuss the various ways to protect an app, and the differences between copyrights, trademarks, and patents. https://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/articles/thieves-beware-intellectual-property-rights-iphone-app/ https://www.elance.com/q/blog/protecting-intellectual-property-your-app https://www.lw.com/thoughtLeadership/ip-in-mobile-applications…
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Watch out for trademark scams!

Federal Agencies Tackling Trademark Scams Guest Blog from the US Patent & Trademark Office by Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison Some trademark applicants and registrants have paid fees to private companies while mistakenly thinking they were paying fees required by the USPTO. To combat this problem, last week, the USPTO co-hosted its first ever public…
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Pro bono patent help

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has worked to set up a system of volunteers who can help inventors with legal assistance to file patent applications. In Missouri, the place to go for help is Gateway Venture Mentoring Service.  Below is a blog post describing the nationwide network in more detail. From the USPTO Director's…
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