Intellectual Property in the USA

IP in the USA

The three main areas of intellectual property that innovators use to protect their ideas in the USA are Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights.

Regarding the first two, the institution in charge is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and related to the latter, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) is the entrusted governmental institution.

Trademarks

Trademark registrations are managed by the USPTO in the United States. The registration process has the following steps:

1. Application
2. Evidence of use
3. Publication for Opposition
4. Issuance of Certificate


During this process the applicant may receive an Office Action, which has to be answered within 6 months. Applicants may also face opposition from a third party for the trademark registration. 

Applicants that are not American residents must appoint an attorney from the USA to represent them. Here at Brealant we will provide you with all the services necessary for US-based, as well as foreign, applicants. Our attorneys will manage the entire process effectively and with confidentiality.

Patents

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, the period of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed.

The right conferred by the patent grant is the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.

There are three types of patents:

1. 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

2. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture
3. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant

The preparation of an application for patent and the conducting of the proceedings to obtain the patent is an undertaking requiring the knowledge of patent law and rules and Office practice and procedures, as well as knowledge of the scientific or technical matters involved in the particular invention.

Inventors may prepare their own applications and file them in the USPTO and conduct the proceedings themselves, but unless they are familiar with these matters or study them in detail, they may get into considerable difficulty. While a patent may be obtained in many cases by persons not skilled in this work, there would be no assurance that the patent obtained would adequately protect the particular invention, which is why here at Brealant we offer the registration service.