Can I Protect My Patent or Trademark Overseas?

Unfortunately, the rights granted by a U.S. patent or trademark can only be enforced in the United States and generally have no effect in a foreign country. Therefore, a company who wants to safeguard its intellectual property rights in other countries must take additional steps to ensure international protection. Since securing and registering patents, trademarks, and copyrights in foreign markets can be exceedingly complex, it is generally advisable to work with an experienced intellectual property attorney who can work with you to create an international IP strategy. To give you a brief look at the process, below is a short summary of the legal issues regarding protecting IP overseas. Patents and Trademarks Patents and trademarks are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought. However, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) streamlines the process of filing patents in multiple countries. By filing one patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), U.S. applicants can concurrently seek protection in up to 143 countries. The Madrid Protocol also makes it easier to file for trademark registration in multiple countries. By filing one trademark registration application with USPTO, U.S. applicants can concurrently seek protection in up to 84 countries. Copyrights Although most countries do not require copyright registration in order to enjoy copyright protection, registration can offer several benefits, such as proof of ownership. The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other’s citizens’ copyrights. However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country. A listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States is available here. Source: USPTO At Sheldon Mak & Anderson, we recognize that innovation is your competitive edge – and it needs protection. As a full-service intellectual property firm with more than two decades of experience, we provide local, regional, national, and international legal services in the following areas: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, IP litigation, international patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, alternative dispute resolution, and green technology.

Please contact me if you need more information or assistance.

Its Dusty Out There!

No amount of “hovering” as they say in England will clean up all the dust in the cosmos.  Just take a look at the astronomy picture of the day on the right.  The image shows the star forming regions in the Orion arm of the Milky Way, the same arm where we are located.  But just why is it so dirty in space?  Well, all those stars and planets started out just this way.   Little tiny specks of hydrogen dust that over millions and billions of years swirl around and eventually get attracted to each other.  Once these little specks of hydrogen dust start forming larger specks of dust, the eventually turn into small clumps of hydrogen dirt.  This goes on, and on until something forms a really large lump with enough mass to start a nuclear reaction.  Then, for a brief time, a massive explosion happens and a star is born!  The other lumps of dust, gas and other particles are left with what remains.  Depending upon the area of space, some of these stars will only last a few million years burning hot and fast before they die in another explosion or just collapse down.  Some of the really large stars can form black holes bringing a “hole” new dynamic to the region.  I have a brother that was once considered a black hole, but I digress.  Eventually the universe itself will run out of dust to make into new stars and planets.  Alas, we don’t know what will happen then, but I’m not overly concerned as my atoms will have been scattered to the galaxy hopefully to start some new star.  I always dreamed of becoming a star, and it just might come true.

Ex astris, scientia

Will NASA Need More Citizen Scientists?

In a not unanticipated move, the Washington Post states that President Obama’s next budget will cut funding for certain NASA programs by as much as 20%.  reportedly, the two biggest programs hit will be the Mars and Jupiter Rovers.  Additionally, the president is planning to call for severing of the relationship between NASA and the European space agency with regard to Mars probes that were scheduled to be launched in 2016 and 2018.

Although the budget cuts have been anticipated for a long time, the reality can be a little shocking.  So how can the public help with the scientific endeavors?

There are many programs where citizen scientists can help NASA and free up money they can be used on more expensive projects such as the Jupiter and Mars rovers.  I personally know several members of the Center for solar system science, a project headed up by Robert Stephens, a Chambliss award-winning citizen scientists, who actively assists NASA in near Earth orbit objects research involving Trojan asteroids.  Along with other CS3 members like Ralph Megna, the group at CS3 has done analysis of the Vesta and Ceres asteroids to help NASA with their Dawn Mission.  Their research has been invaluable to the NASA team, and has freed up resources that can be used on other parts of the mission.

So what does it take to be a citizen scientist?  A love of science is helpful.  A thirst for knowledge.  An adventurer’s spirit.  Ralph once told me that finding a new asteroid was like being in Star Trek(r), because he is literally the first person to know something about this object.  He and other citizen scientists all around the world participate in expanding man’s knowledge about the universe and help explain it better.

In a May at at the Northwoods Resort in Big Bear California, there will be a Symposium on Telescope Science where citizen scientists can meet with professional scientist and find out where they can help.  If you can’t wait till May or are unable to attend you can still take part by becoming a member of the Society for Astronomical Sciences.

– Ex astris, scientia –

Before You Hire an Invention Promoter

Unfortunately, there are countless companies that are looking to take advantage of an inventor’s eagerness to bring his or her ideas to market. Therefore, if you or your company is planning to hire an invention promoter, it is important to understand how to discern a legitimate marketing company from a scam.

First, it is important to be aware that the firm must disclose specific information to you regarding their past business practices. This mandatory disclosure form is required by law and is intended to help you make an informed decision whether or not the firm will meet your needs.

Specifically, before an invention promotion contract can be established between you and the firm, each invention promotion firm must disclose to you in writing each of the following items of information:

The total number of inventions evaluated by the invention promoter for commercial potential in the past 5 years, as well as the number of those inventions that received positive evaluations, and the number of those inventions that received negative evaluations 
In other words, how much experience does the promoter have? What is their track record? Do they generally give mostly positive or negative evaluations, or is there a balance between their positive and negative evaluation history?
The total number of customers who have contracted with the invention promoter in the past 5 years, not including customers who have purchased trade show services, research, advertising, or other non-marketing services from the invention promoter, or who have defaulted in their payment to the invention promoter 
This information will give you an idea of just how experienced the promoter or firm is and the volume of services they provide.
The total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received a net financial profit as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter 
What financial impact, if any, has the promoter or firm actually made to its customers?
The total number of customers known by the invention promoter to have received license agreements for their inventions as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter 
Like item (3) above, this information will also enable you to gauge the effectiveness of the firm in evaluating its direct impact on its customers. Note the key words in the last two requirements–”as a direct result of the invention promotion services provided by such invention promoter”. Be aware that just because a license agreement was eventually secured for a given invention does not necessarily mean that it was a “direct result” of the promotion activities of the firm.
The names and addresses of all previous invention promotion companies with which the invention promoter or its officers have collectively or individually been affiliated in the previous 10 years 
This information will help you to know the history of the promoter or firm, even if the promoter changes firms or the firm changes its name.
In addition to making sure you receive the required disclosures, it is always advisable to research the reputation of invention promoters/promotions firms before making any commitments. As detailed by the USPTO, it’s best to be wary of any firm that promises too much and/or costs too much. If you are thinking about using one of these firms, ask for references from their current clients and thoroughly research the firm’s reputation. In many cases, a patent attorney can assist you with the vetting process.

Please contact me if you need more information or assistance with you idea.

Meet the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Here  is your chance to see what all the fuss is about.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host a public series of educational “roadshows” regarding the America Invents Act, allowing the public to speak with USPTO officials about the new patent law and its implementation. The programs will be held at seven venues across the U.S., beginning Friday, Feb. 17 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Va., and running through March 9 with stops in Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake City, and Silicon Valley.

If you are an inventor, or a decision maker regarding your companies intellectual property and you need to know how the America Invents Act will affect you and your business, this is a perfect opportunity to get your questions answered.


More information can be found here: