On the new episode of the Law and Business podcast, Wil and Anthony talk about when clients have an idea.
Episode 31 starts with the first words many clients and potential clients have: “I Have an Idea”. What is next in the intellectual property development process? What are the first questions that a potential client is asked in a consultation?
-What is your business plan?
-Is this a product or is this an idea that deserves patent protection?
- -Patent: What makes this idea or product useful?
- -Utility: How do we know that a product is new?
-We need to do a search. Patents. Patent applications. Journals. Pictures. Videos. Can this invention be found in action?
- -Looking at keywords, concepts, elements of the idea or product.
- -Are there differences between what is found and what is disclosed by the client?
- -Looking for suggestions in the prior art that is relevant to see if any prior disclosures teach the invention that the client has developed.
- -Looking for material that is new, useful, and not disclosed.
-Design patents: Ornamentation may be different. The design has to be different, even if the utility is the same as another product.
-Copyright law: Can a product fall under copyright law (for example, a three-dimensional work of art)? This protection is of what is not useful in a product. For example, a lamp that has a statue. So the light bulb is on top of the statue. So there is a portion of the product that is a work of authorship; it is a work of art and would fall under copyright law. But there is also a useful part of the product (the lamp) which does not fall under copyright law.
-Trademark law: Branding and selling a product. Think of a box of Pepperidge Farm cookies. In these mixed boxes of cookies, the company name is a trademark – Pepperidge Farm cookies. However, all of the brands of the cookies are trademarks, also. Be it Milano, Chesapeake, Chessmen, etc. Customers are able to create the relationship of the brand to the product. Trademarks can include color, sounds, shapes.
-Trade dress law: How the packaging of a product matters and creates that relationship to consumers.
Wil and Anthony talk specific examples of intellectual property development and enforcement.