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Startups and other small businesses often develop groundbreaking products with great commercial potential. However, their limited resources often prevent them from manufacturing and selling those products themselves. It becomes necessary, therefore, to license the invention to third parties who have the resources to do so or to use the invention as leverage for investment. But pitching an invention to a third party is not without risk; the other company could steal the invention or the inventor could inadvertently lose patent rights in it. An Alabama intellectual property lawyer can help you protect your IP in these scenarios. 


Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are some of the most exciting, potentially world-changing innovations being developed today. Given the rapid expansion of AI/ML innovations in virtually all industry sectors, it makes good financial sense for AI developers to apply for patent protection on their innovations. However, some innovators want to take AI patent protection a step further by seeking patents on inventions created by their AI systems, viewing AI inventors as analogous to human inventors. When asked whether an AI system could qualify as an inventor under U.S. patent law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit answered on August 5 with a resounding “no” in Thaler v. Vidal, as our Alabama AI patent attorney explains. 


For technological innovations — for example, machines, compositions, processes, plants, chemicals, software, etc. — patents offer the strongest form of intellectual property protection available. Not only does a patent give its holder the right to exclude others from the invention claimed in it, but patent owners can also monetize their patents through licensing and as leverage for investment. But obtaining a patent is often a long, arduous, and expensive process, and some companies simply do not have the resources to see that process through to completion for each and every innovation they produce. Luckily, there are alternative forms of IP protection available for such innovations, and an Alabama intellectual property lawyer can help you decide which ones are right for you. 


Registering a trademark is one of the most effective strategies companies can use to protect their intellectual property (IP) assets. While the process of applying for a trademark registration can be daunting, registration comes with a number of benefits, such as nationwide constructive notice and the right to file a trademark infringement action in federal court. However, once registered, trademarks do not necessarily stay registered in perpetuity. Trademark owners can inadvertently lose their trademark rights, and third parties may petition the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel existing registrations in some circumstances. Canceling a trademark registration (or defending against a cancellation) is complex, but an Alabama trademark lawyer can assist you. 


Let’s say that your company has made it through the trademark application process and that your trademark has been approved for registration, but you receive a notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that your application is now being published for “opposition.” Even worse, your attorney informs you that another business is opposing the registration of your trademark. Or consider the opposite: You have a registered trademark, but the attorney handling your trademark maintenance informs you that another company is attempting to register a trademark that is strikingly similar to yours. What do you do? Ideally, you would turn to an Alabama trademark lawyer who could help you handle a trademark opposition.