Intellectual property (IP) infringement is usually handled in the civil courts. In a typical scenario, one business begins selling a product that, unbeknownst to it, contains elements covered by a patent that is owned by another business. The second business sues the first business for patent infringement and the parties either settle or the case heads to IP litigation in a civil court. In some cases, however, IP infringement or theft can also be charged as a crime, with the alleged infringers or thieves being prosecuted in a criminal court. If you suspect that your IP assets are being infringed, an Alabama IP litigation lawyer can evaluate your case and help protect your rights.
No one wants their patent application to be rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, patent application rejections are extremely common, with the overwhelming majority of patent applications being rejected at least once. While a rejection is certainly a bump in the road, it is not the end of the story. If your patent application has been rejected by the USPTO, an Alabama patent attorney can help you overcome it.
Trademarks protect information that identifies the source of a product and helps consumers differentiate that product from others. In the vast majority of cases, this information takes the form of brand names, logos, slogans, tag lines, and jingles. After all, the easiest way for consumers to identify the source of a product is through a distinctive mark that stands out from others. But trademarks can also encompass other less traditional, less obvious brand elements that nonetheless serve as source-identifiers. These nontraditional trademarks may be eligible for trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with the help of an Alabama trademark lawyer.
Once the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants a patent, the patent owner can then rest assured that his or her patent rights are safe, barring any challenges that arise in patent litigation, right? While that may seem like a logical assumption, it is not correct. In 2011, the America Invents Act created new procedures called “post-grant proceedings” that allowed members of the public to challenge the validity of issued patents, the most popular of which is known as inter partes review (IPR). While post-grant proceedings are complex, an Alabama patent litigation attorney can help you make sense of them and decide whether you should use them.
Trademark registration confers a host of benefits that are not available to common law trademarks. For instance, registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives you rights throughout the United States and allows you to sue for trademark infringement in federal courts. Federal registration also provides nationwide constructive notice that your trademark belongs to you. However, the USPTO frequently refuses trademark applications for a variety of reasons. A trademark search executed by an Alabama trademark search attorney can help you avoid stumbling into one of those pitfalls.