What Are the Most Important IP Protections for U.S. Businesses?

A recent study reveals that most U.S. businesses view trademarks and trade secrets as the most important forms of intellectual property (IP) protection. The study was conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Census Bureau as part of their Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS).

According to a NSF press statement, the survey polled a nationally representative sample of about 40,000 companies, including companies in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. Here’s what else they had to say:

Fifteen percent of all businesses reported trademarks as either very important or somewhat important to their business (6 percent said trademarks were very important, while 9 percent said they were somewhat important).
Fourteen percent of surveyed businesses reported trade secrets as very important or somewhat important (6 percent and 8 percent respectively).
Twelve percent of those surveyed identified copyrights as important.
Five percent of respondents indicated that design patents are important, while four percent viewed utility patents as an important form of IP protection.
“Much of today’s business derives its competitive advantage from the ability to protect and exploit exclusive rights over investments in intellectual property,” said John Jankowski, lead author of the report in NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. “Hence, IP protection is a persistent and recurrent concern of businesses.”

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Don’t Get Scammed: Warning For IP Applicants and Registrants

Biotech Boardwalk

There are ongoing scams targeting patent, trademark, and copyright applicants and registrants. Although each scam varies slightly, they all generally involve notices intended to look like they are coming from an official government office such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The notices, sent by unscrupulous entities and organizations, are designed to solicit fees from applicants. In fact, they may often be called “invoices.”

To give the appearance of legitimacy, they usually contain publically available information about the application or registration and use names and logos that resemble official entities like the USPTO or, the case of an international application, the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In one recent case, a client received a notice from an entity calling itself the “United States Trademark Registration Office.” The “invoice” requested payment in the amount of $375 for registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and trademark monitoring services.

Despite what this mailing…

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Copyright FAQ: Is a Copyright Notice Required?

Biotech Boardwalk

U.S. law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice. However, prior law did contain such a requirement, and the use
of a notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.

Works published before January 1, 1978, are governed by the previous copyright law. Under that law, if a work was published under the copyright owner’s authority without a proper notice of copyright, all copyright protection for that work was permanently lost in the United States.

The Benefits of a Copyright Notice

Although a copyright notice is not required, it is certainly beneficial. A copyright notice informs the public that a work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication.

More importantly, in the event that a work is infringed, if a copyright notice was used, the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s claim that he…

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The Coolest Back to School Patents

One of the most exciting things about the start of the school year for most students is the pre-school year shopping trip to collect all new supplies for the coming year. In putting together this list, we tried to find the coolest back to school supply patents that we would have actually used in grade school. We think you’ll agree with our choices. 

Source: The Coolest Back to School Patents