Trademarks on wheels

For as long as I can remember, I have loved bicycles. In 1981, two high school buddies and I biked around Lake Ontario. The next year, two of us cycled across New England. On both these trips I rode a Motobecane, which was the premier French bicycle brand back in late 70’s and early 80’s. […]

Kick-starting the new year

When meeting with clients, we often explain to them that securing intellectual property rights of inventions or products is an important step of the process, but it is just the start and sometimes is the easiest part of bringing a product to market or starting a new business venture. Millions of great ideas are conceived […]

Maximize your business’ value

The law once said that to file an application for a United States federal trademark registration, an individual or a business had to actually be using the mark in interstate commerce. That individual or business must have actually sold the goods or services to someone in another state, or their sale of the goods or […]

My take on Tesla

What’s really behind Musk’s blog post? Kurt Leyendecker Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk made news in the patent and intellectual property world a few months ago with a company blog post entitled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You” (the error in the title is Musk’s, not mine). The post was most simply […]

The K-cup story

Many years ago, John Sylvan had an idea: provide a hermetically-sealed, compact cartridge containing a filter and enough ground coffee to brew a single serving in a specially designed brewer. After the freshly brewed coffee was delivered, the remaining carcass would simply be discarded without fuss or muss. Sylvan’s brilliant idea came to him in […]

It’s not always best to follow the leader

Case in point: Twitter’s new IPA A few months ago, I attended an intellectual property conference where the head IP counsel for Twitter discussed its new Innovator’s Patent Agreement, or IPA. A few of the panel members hailing from academic institutions were drooling over the IPA as a revolutionary new path for companies to take […]

Can I Patent That?

A question I frequently get from prospective clients is, “Is my invention patentable?” Variations on this inquiry include the following: • “Can I patent an improvement to a device that is already available?” • “Is it correct that in order for something to be patentable, it has to be at least 10 percent different than […]

File that Patent! Time is Running Out

Do you or your company have a product or process that you’ve been developing for some time but have yet to patent? If so, a new law could considerably affect your ability to patent. In 2011, Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA), with the provisions of the act to be amended over time.  The […]

The perils of public-generated content

There is a well-known phrase known to businesses relying on the internet to help drive marketing and sales: “Content is king.” That phrase has expanded, in the wake of businesses turning to Facebook and YouTube and in the development and use of better consumer digital cameras and video. That new and improved phrase is this: […]

Avoidance: Understandable, but Often Painful

This is about pain — the avoidable kind. Lawyers can get a bad rap for shark-ism and sometimes, that’s fair. In this case, however, the pain is shared across the board, by both the lawyers and the clients. No one, including a hard-working and ethical attorney, likes seeing people have to spend blood, time and […]