The ABCs of IP

By Catherine S. Yao

Anyone from individuals to companies of all sizes may have a range of intellectual property (“IP”) considerations.  Even where you do not specifically intend to create intellectual property, you and/or your company may have protectable rights or interests to consider.  You should also be wary of the possibility that you may be using and even unintentionally infringing the intellectual property of others.  From trademarks to copyrights to patents to trade secrets, it is important to understand each distinct category of intellectual property as well as the respective protections and limitations that surround them.

Therefore, the goal here is to provide a general baseline of understanding of the different types of intellectual property and help you to begin to identify and understand your property as well as the relevant rights, protections, and risks.  Subsequently, you will likely find it worthwhile to further explore certain categories in detail.

To read the full article that was published in the NH High Tech Council’s newsletter, please click here.

Know the Law: Preserve Patent Rights in the United States and Foreign Countries

By Scott C. Rand

Q.  I have an invention and plan to disclose it at a trade show.  What do I have to know and what steps do I need to take to preserve patent rights in the United States and foreign countries?

A.  To maintain your ability to obtain patent protection in the U.S. and abroad, it is important to file a patent application covering your invention in at least one country prior to publicizing or attempting to commercialize the invention.

To read my full article that was published in the Union Leader, please click here.

Know the Law: How Should I Respond to a Claim of Patent Infringement

By Scott C. Rand

Q.  My company recently received a letter alleging patent infringement and demanding payment for use of commercially available technology. We are not a technology company, but rather an end user of the technology. The patent owner has been referred to in media reports as a “patent troll.” What protections against patent trolls are in place for companies like mine and can I safely ignore the letter?

A.  Recently, more and more businesses have been receiving letters of this type. Although so-called patent trolls (persons or companies that assert patent rights to collect license fees, but do not manufacture products or provide services, also known as non-practicing entities or NPE’s) have been around for many years, they have historically targeted companies that either develop, manufacture, or sell the technology in question. A trend has now emerged, however, where NPE’s target end users based on their use of off-the-shelf products.

To read my full article that was published in the Union Leader, please click here.