Posts by Destiny McManimie

April 1, 2024

Acquiring IP Rights & Investors: Skyrocket Your Startup & Dominate the Market

Intellectual property rights showcase a startup’s value, ability to dominate the market, and stand strong in times of adversity. Specifically, with trademarks and patents, startups are 10 times more likely to secure funding from investors and about 3 times more likely to have favorable odds when exiting as evidenced by a study from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Accordingly, the acquisition of IP rights, for startups are fiscally essential in providing a durable foundation and may be correlated with the increase in filing in Trademarks from 28% to 72 and Patents from 10% to 44% from the initial seed stage to later funding stages. There are two key reasons why these IP protections incentivize investors to engage with startups.

Branding in Market Domination and Innovation   

First, IP protections are perceived as unique signatures connecting startups with a strong brand identity. This is significant to investors for three key reasons. First, IP protections demonstrate a sense of identity to investors for a startup’s potential recognition in the marketplace. Second, investors view IP protections as vital pieces to the construction of a valuable portfolio because they can provide tangible capital in future business dealings. Third, IP protections demonstrate to investors the startup is protected against infringement. 

A Mark of Innovation Signaling Potential Leadership in the Marketplace, Longevity, and Liquidity During Times of Change

Second, IP protections, demonstrate a startup’s innovative nature. This is significant for investors for three key reasons. First, IP protections, especially patents, showcase a startup’s innovative qualities signal and demonstrate to investors the startup is unique and has strong technical capabilities. Second, IP protections, demonstrate to investors startups can establish dominance in the market because IP protections reduce competition by preventing the use of the startup’s mark. Third, IP protections signal to investors they are safe to invest because the startup could liquidate its assets for sale in unpredictable times of change.

Conclusion 

With IP protections, investors are incentivized to fund your startup, leading it to have the ability to achieve fiscal success and dominance in the global marketplace. If you are interested in the potential to achieve fiscal success, recognition, and financial support from investors, please reach out to Lloyd & Mousill, a team of visionaries, who will protect your vision and future goals. 

April 1, 2024

Copyright Registration: What is “Special Handling?”

Submission Requirements for the Standard Copyright Process

The U.S. Copyright Office requires submission of (1) a properly completed application (2) a nonrefundable filing fee and (3) a nonrefundable deposit. 

Requisites of a Properly Completed Application
  • Completion of a profile with the eCO at eco.copyright.gov
  • Initiation of a new application by or on behalf of the author of the copyrighted work, a copyright claimant, or an owner of one or more exclusive rights by clicking “Register Work” which will then require the: 
    • Identification of the type of work being registered.
    • Identification of the title of the work, together with any previous or alternative titles under which the work can be identified.
    • Identification of whether the work has been published. 
    • Identification of the work’s “author” and the copyright “claimant.” 
    • (if the work is derivative) identification of the new material and any preexisting materials that should be excluded from protection.
    • Identification of the mailing address where the certificate of registration should be delivered.
Required Filing Fee 

The filing fee for a standard application is $65 and may be paid online at pay.gov. 

Required Deposit of Work 

For the deposit of work, the applicant must submit the required number of copies or phonorecords of either the first published or the "best edition" of the work depending on the nature of the work.

What is “Special Handling”?

Special handling is a procedure for expediting the examination of an application to register a claim to copyright or the recordation of a document pertaining to copyright for an additional fee of $800 per claim. 

To request special handling, the applicant must state the reason for the expediency either online, in person, by courier, or by mail. The request may be made when the application or document is submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office or any time before the Office issues a certificate of registration or a certificate of recordation.

When requesting special handling for an application, the Office strongly encourages applicants to complete an online application and upload an electronic copy of the work if the work is eligible for submission in an electronic format. 

During the submission of an application by using the electronic registration system, the applicant may request special handling by completing the fields that appear on the Special Handling screen. 

Like, the standard copyright registration process, the request for special handling must then be certified by an author of the work, the claimant named in the application, an owner of one or more of the exclusive rights in the work, or a duly authorized agent of one of the aforementioned parties. The certifying party should then check the certification box to confirm the information provided in the request for special handling is correct.

When is “Special Handling” recommended”?

“Special Handling” is recommended generally when pending or prospective litigation exists, for custom matters, and when contract or publishing deadlines necessitate the expedited issuance of a certificate.

Once the request is approved, the Office will attempt to complete the examination within five working days followed by the issuance of a certificate of registration.

With this expediency, special handling has the power not only to accelerate copyright protection, but to safeguard your projected earnings, time, and intellect from competitors.

April 1, 2024

Three Common Trademark Scams & How to Avoid Them

Scammers Posing as Government Agencies and Personnel

Trademark scammers often use official-sounding names and government data to trick you into believing they are affiliated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“UPTSO”). Once your trademark application is filed, you may find yourself flooded with phone calls or texts from fake Trademark officials and official-looking offers and notices from private companies posing as government agencies. 

To avoid being scammed by these illegitimate agencies, be cautious of any solicitation from phone numbers you don’t recognize and entities like "Trademark Compliance Center" or "Patent and Trademark Bureau." These solicitations often contain accurate information about upcoming deadlines, but their true purpose is to deceive you into paying for their unnecessary services or fees.

The Trademark Renewal Trap

Another common scam involves offers to renew your trademark registration for an unreasonable fee. While it's true that trademarks must be periodically renewed to remain active, these scammers often send notices months or even years before the actual deadline. They may also charge fees that are much higher than the official USPTO renewal fees. 

If you have questions about whether the renewal notice is legitimate or a scam, check the USPTO database using your serial number for outgoing letters and contact your attorney if you are unsure of any upcoming deadlines, required actions or unexpected bills or fees. 

Phony Private Registries and Legal Services

In addition, trademark scammers may offer to record your trademark in a private registry but, these registries have no legal significance and provide no additional protection for your trademark. While companies offering legal services, like assistance with filings or responding to office actions, may be legitimate, they may also be fraudulent. Therefore, you must check to ensure the company is affiliated with a licensed U.S. attorney and has a valid bar number. 

Conclusion

To safeguard your trademark and avoid these trademark scams, always be cautious of unsolicited offers, notices and extra “required” payments. Remember that all official correspondence from the USPTO will come from the "United States Patent and Trademark Office" in Alexandria, Virginia and will normally come from an email (usually tmng.notices@uspto.gov).  All emails will be from the "@uspto.gov" domain. If you receive a suspicious offer, contact the USPTO’s Trademark Assistance Center directly at 800-786-9199 (press 1) or set up a consultation with Lloyd & Mousilli so that we can protect your intellectual property from falling prey to the hands of trademark scammers.  Remember, NEVER pay any money after your trademark application is filed until you check that it is legitimate.