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KEY DEFINITIONS


What are Geographical Indicators / Appellations of Origin?

Geographical Indicator/Appellation of origin is the name of a region, a specific place or a country used to designate goods originating in that region, whose quality or other characteristics are essentially or exclusively given by a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors and whose processing, production and preparation takes place in a delimited geographical region. Traditional geographical and non-geographical appellations are also considered as appellations of origin of agricultural products of foodstuff, provided that such goods fulfill other conditions according to this regulation.

Denomination of Origin is a type of Geographical Indicator applied to a raw or elaborated agricultural product whose quality or characteristics are derived fundamentally and exclusively from the geographic area in which it is produced, transformed, and elaborated.

Controlled Denomination of Origin, also called Appellation d'Origine Contrôlé (AOC) or Denominación de Origen Controlada (DOC), is an intellectual property certification based of the geographic location and certain rules of production, where a particular wine or spirit is produced.

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What are Trademarks and Servicemarks?

Succinctly, a Trademark is the commercial identity of a product, while a Servicemark is the commercial identity of a service.

A Trademark may be a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A Servicemark is the same as a Trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than of a product. The terms “Trademark”, “Mark”, “TM”, ®, “Registered TM”, “Registered Trademark”, are commonly used to refer to Trademarks. A Servicemark is usually designated with an “SM” or ® symbol.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark.
In the USA, Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the USPTO.

A GOLAB IP Trademark Attorney can help you register and secure your Trademaks and Service Marks.

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What is a Copyright?

Copyright is form of protection provided to the authors of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.

Copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.

In the USA, the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress registers Copyrights

A GOLAB IP Copyright Attorney can help you register and defend your rights.

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What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is, and functions as, an address in cyberspace, a hostname that identifies an Internet Protocol resource, for a web site.

A Domain Name is not a Trademark, nor grants rights for a Trademark, and vice versa. Disputes of commercial uses of a Domain Name usually involve Trademark rights, but are registered, enforced, and litigated separately.

How do you get back DOMAIN NAME that is also your TRADEMARK?
Disputes over a Domain Name possession have become common, especially when conflicting with a business name, whether registered as trademark or not. Reclaiming a Domain Name registered by another may be difficult, but not impossible, if superior rights exist.

A GOLAB IP Attorney can help you register and enforce your Domain Name rights.

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What is a Patent?

A Patent for an invention is a grant of a property right, issued by an authorized patent office of a country, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for a limited term, normally up to 20 years, that allows the right holder to exclude others from making, using, importing, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the country where the right was obtained.

Patents are valid only in the country where they are granted. As of this writing, there are no international patents; however there are international treaties, such as the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which facilitate the securing of the same registration date and national stage prosecution.
In the United States there are three types of patents:

•Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
•Design Patents, in other countries called Industrial Designs, may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
•Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers an asexually reproduced and distinct new variety of plant.

TYPES OF PATENTS
You may obtain a Patent for:
♦ PRODUCT
♦ MACHINE to make products
♦ PROCESS to make products
♦ Chemical COMPOSITION OF MATTER
♦ INDUSTRIAL DESIGN – practical and ornamental
♦ New PLANT VARIETY asexually reproduced
♦ BUSINESS METHOD implemented in a machine
♦ SOFTWARE

TYPES OF PATENT APPLICATIONS
♦ PROVISIONAL PATENT
♦ NON-PROVISIONAL PATENT (REGULAR)
♦ NON-PROVISIONAL ACCELERATED EXAMINATION (12 MONTHS)
♦ INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY via PARIS CONVENTION signatory countries
♦ INTERNATIONAL PRIORITY via PATENT COOPERATION TREATY signatory countries

What can be patented?
Generally utility patents include everything that is made by man and or the processes for making it. Each country may specify what can be patented. It is possible that a country may grant a patent on an invention (i.e. software, business methods, and oil eating bacteria) that other countries may not recognize the invention. Thus, the patent law of each country specifies the general field of subject matter that can be patented and the conditions under which a patent may be obtained.

In the United States, the right to obtain a patent is granted in the U.S. Constitution that states in Article I, section 8, "Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." The body of law is codified in Title 35, United States Code.

In the language of the statute, any person who "invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent," subject to the conditions and requirements of the law.
The term "process" is defined by law as a process, act, or method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. The term "machine" used in the statute needs no explanation.

The term "manufacture" refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles.

The term "composition of matter" relates to chemical compositions and may include mixtures of ingredients as well as new chemical compounds.

The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be "useful."

The term "useful" in this connection refers to the condition that the subject matter has a useful purpose and also includes operativeness, that is, a machine which will not operate to perform the intended purpose would not be called useful, and therefore would not be granted a patent.

The rights given to the patentee do not include the right to make, use, or sell the invention themselves. The patentee may have to comply with other laws and regulations to make use of the claimed invention. So, for example, a pharmaceutical company may obtain a patent on a new drug but will be unable to market the drug without regulatory approval, or an inventor may patent an improvement to a particular type of laser, but be unable to make or sell the new design without a license from the owner of an earlier broader patent covering lasers of that type.

What cannot be patented?
Interpretations of the laws by the courts have defined the limits of the field of subject matter that can be patented, thus it has been held that the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter. A patent cannot be obtained upon a mere idea or suggestion.

The patent is granted upon the new machine, manufacture, etc., as has been said, and not upon the idea or suggestion of the new machine. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject matter, understandable by a Person of Ordinary Skill in the Art, for which a patent is sought, is required.

What are the requirements to obtain a Patent?
a. New invention (35 U.S.C. 102).
b. Useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof (35 U.S.C. 101).
c. Non-obvious (35 U.S.C 103) to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains.

How long does a Patent last?
It depends. In most countries, the laws allow a maximum of 20 years from the time of filing with the appropriate governmental authority, however there are factors that may reduce or extend the term of the right.

Once a government grants a patent, they require the owner to pay various fees to keep the patent alive, thus, failure to pay these fees will result on a patent term being shortened. There may be many reasons why an owner does not pay the governmental fees, from simple neglect to purposeful abandonment of the right. In certain cases, where governmental regulatory and examination processes delay the grant of the patent, a government may extend the maximum term for up to five years.

How to obtain a Patent?
A GOLAB IP Patent Attorney can help you draft and present your application and defend your patent rights both in the US and internationally.

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What is a Trade Secret?

A Trade Secret is a SECRET formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information used by a business to obtain an advantage over competitors within the same industry or profession. In the United States, Trade Secrets are protected by various state and Federal laws.

Trade Secrets are NOT registered, however they require a constant and continuos effort to maintain and ensure secrecy in all the relevant processes. Publication of the Trade Secret by any means or omission renders the Trade Secret unenforceable.

A GOLAB IP Attorney can help you establish the procedures to ensure confidentiality of your Trade Secrets

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What is Intellectual Property (IP)?

IP is a compendium of rights of ownership, created by the laws of a particular country, conferring legal title to its creator and or owner.

IP is the product of the creation of a fertile mind. IP distinguishes itself because of its uniqueness, practicality, and novelty that grants its owner rights that represent an advantage over its competitors.

IP manifest itself in many types of varied applications and length of time. Some types are Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Trade Secrets, Copyrights, Service Marks, Denominations of Origin, Plant Varieties, and Geographic Indication. A single product may be protected by more than one type of IP.

For example a bottle containing a drink manufactured in a specific region may be protected by one or more Patents, Industrial Designs, a Trademark, one or more Service Marks, a Copyright, one or more Trade Secrets, a Denomination of Drigin or a Geographic Indicator.

At GOLAB IP, a professional can help you identify and secure your IP rights.

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