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Boon or Bane, Patenting Green Products

  Green Living Magazine April 2014- Have you ever watched the TV program “Shark Tank”? Inventors and business owners pitch their ideas in hopes of persuading a panel of savvy investors to give them money and, sometimes, advice on how to advance to the next step and grow their customer base. One panelist usually asks if the business has patented the product. Watch the excitement ebb away if the inventor says, “No.” Why is this? Not patenting your product before selling means that your product is subject to rapid, uncontrolled competition. Shark Tank investors and others are less likely to invest if there is no intellectual property protection to deter competitors and force them to develop their own products. UNPROTECTED GREEN INNOVATION SUFFERS FROM LOW-COST COMPETITION Some inventors of green products believe the best way to share their product with the world is to sell...

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What’s New in IP? Protect What You Own, Avoid Problems

C- Level Magazine March 2014– Do you have drawings, photos or pictures on your website? You may soon find yourself in the cross-hairs of the creator or owner of any of those. Creators and owners have become more aggressive in asserting and defending their copyrights, including warning copiers and attempting to extract money from them on the first take-down notice. We were recently consulted about two incidences where creators/owners of pictures contacted website owners and demanded hundreds and even over a thousand dollars in an initial letter. How is this even possible? There is new software that can scan the web for the same image. If you watch TV or access the news, you have already heard about face-recognition software. Scanning for copyrighted images is a civilian use of the same software: Just enter the image of your photo or painting and search the Internet...

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New Changes in Patent, Copyright Filings Force Entrepreneurs to Adapt

Phoenix Business Journal February 2014– What are your best tips for local entrepreneurs to protect their ideas? Keep your ideas secret until you can protect them. A client told a “friend” about his great new product name, and before he could meet with me 12 hours later, the “friend” purchased the URL’s for those great names. He’s no longer a friend. File applications to protect your new ideas and names as soon as possible. Words and designs come into fashion, and there is competition at the trademark office for who filed first. For example, a local business owner asked me to file on a new name; a quick check of the trademark office records indicated that a global corporation, Henkel, filed a few days earlier, fortunately for a totally different product. We both got our trademarks. A recent change in the patent law gives the...

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