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Archive for the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ Category

Top 6 Reasons for a Trademark Search / 50% Discount on New Trademark Searches in April 2019!

50% Discount on Trademark Searches in April!

Through April 30, 2019, we’re offering a 50% discount off of the price of all trademark searches!  As long as 1) the specifics of the project are agreed upon by April 30, 2019; and 2) the funds for the search are deposited in our client trust account by April 30, 2019, then you’ll receive a 50% discount.  Call us at (610) 892-9942 or e-mail us.

Top 6 Reasons for a Trademark Search

Top 6 reasons to do a trademark search BEFORE you name your business or product

When you start a business or bring a new product to market, you may not be thinking about first doing a trademark search.  Why spend money on lawyers instead of investing in the business, right?  Wrong!  Not hiring a lawyer to do a trademark search can cost you many thousands of dollars, months of wasted time and effort, and your position in the marketplace. 

We care about this issue so much that we’re offering you a 50% discount on new trademark searches when we begin the project before the end of April.  It’s the best deal we’ve ever offered, so take advantage of it today by e-mailing us (or call us at 610-892-9942).

Here are the top 6 reasons to do a trademark search at the beginning:

1.  Your business name could infringe on the trademark of a large and established (and now very unhappy) company.

When you start a business, it will need a name. Some people assume that if the name they've selected is available for a corporation or an LLC in the state, they're home free. Unfortunately, that's wrong. If that name you adopt is close to the trademark of a company that offers related products, they might demand that you change the name and even sue you for monetary damages

2. Create and protect distinctive branding.

When you initiate a product or service, you'll want to be confident that its branding is distinctive, able to build up goodwill in your favor. If your brand or logo isn't memorably different from a competitor's, you risk inadvertently losing trade to them.

3.  Reduce your risk of getting sued for trademark infringement.

You'll want to avoid getting sued by a competitor for infringing or diluting its trademark on related products. As mentioned above, they could demand that you change the name and even sue you for monetary damages. Re-branding would involve both direct costs and loss of whatever goodwill you've built up over time.

4.  Your trademark will give you exclusive rights to your branding.

When you apply to register it with the Patent and Trademark Office ('USPTO'), an Examining Attorney will search their records for current registrations that would disqualify yours. You're far more likely to succeed at this step if you look in the USPTO trademark registry before you leap. Consider not only the trademark itself but also the listed goods or services. Even if an identical term is registered, your mark won't necessarily be precluded if the goods or services are so different from yours that they would move in different channels of trade. But beware of registrations for similar products even if the marks are somewhat different, but have enough similarity in look, pronunciation or meaning (including translation from a foreign language) that a customer might be confused as to their source or sponsorship. The legal test for this is 'likelihood of confusion,' and here it will be valuable to take advantage of the expertise of a seasoned trademark lawyer.

5. Another company may already have common law trademark rights.

Even if there isn't a federal registration of a conflicting trademark, it's possible that another company has accrued trademark rights by using the trademark in interstate commerce, under 'common law' principles. In that situation, the company would be entitled to file a formal Opposition to your trademark application, even though it's been 'allowed' by the Examining Attorney. To minimize the likelihood of this happening, it's important to search additional sources, such as websites on the Internet.

6.  Reserve the related Internet domain name.

You also want to confirm that a related Internet domain is available for your website. If someone is already using a dot-com version your term, consider that a variety of specialized domain extensions have recently become available. http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt So if you're going to sell exercise devices, you could register a domain name ending in dot-fitness.

Trade Secrets: an Essential Element of Your Intellectual Property Strategy.

In December, we presented a webinar for the Data Protection Advisory Council ('DPAC'), on the topic of Trade Secrets: an Essential Element of Your Intellectual Property Strategy.

Companies generally have records of their intellectual property ('IP') in the categories of patent, trademark, and copyright. But most overlook the value of their data that would qualify for protection as trade secrets. Because trade secrets don't get registered with a government agency, they're the red-headed stepchild in the IP family. Yet when your company assesses and documents its trade secrets, you enhance their protection against misappropriation. Gerry Elman and Josh Waterston of Elman Technology Law, P.C., shared a roadmap for making this a part of your comprehensive data protection strategy. Companies can learn how to get the benefit of trade secret protection not only under longstanding local state law, but also under a comparatively new federal statute – the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.

The next presentation by the DPAC will be April 23rd at 3:00 PM EDT. Joshua Marpet of Red Lion compliance and risk management services will speak about the 'California Consumer Privacy Act, less than a year out. Are you scared?' followed by a campfire-style, ask-me-anything discussion among DPAC members and the audience. Register for free to participate with us.

Download the presentation on Trade Secrets: an Essential Element of Your Intellectual Property Strategy using the form below.

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Gerry Elman’s Temple Law School presentation on Patents and the Internet of Things

On April 3, 2018, Gerry was a guest lecturer at Temple Law School, on the topic of Patents and The Internet of Things. If you’re developing a Smart Technology, helping a company navigate the Internet of Things, or just curious about the subject, check out his slideshow.

To download this presentation, please complete the form below to provide or update your contact information. Then you’ll see a link immediately below, which you can click on to download a digital copy of the presentation in PDF format. We’ll add you to our mailing list to share information about events and other news which we think would be of interest.

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Happy New Year 2018

As 2017 winds down, we at Elman Technology Law wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of health, happiness, and success. 2017 was full of noteworthy events, and we thought we’d highlight a few items that especially affect our clients. For decades we’ve had the privilege of offering calendars with images from historic patents. We regret that our supplier has discontinued them for 2018. To our friends who have, through the years, accorded them an honored place on their walls, we share your pain.

Photo credit: "The Slants" performing at a 1st Amendment Society concert, by Grundick, via Flickr

Photo credit: “The Slants” performing at a 1st Amendment Society concert, by Grundick, via Flickr

What’s In a Name?

The past six months have seen two landmark trademark decisions, both on the unconstitutionality of longstanding legal restrictions. In Matal v. Tam , a unanimous Supreme Court struck down a ban on the registration of “disparaging” trademarks. The case involved an Asian-American rock band named “The Slants” that was refused a registration because the term was a racial slur. The Supreme Court held that the Lanham Act provision at issue violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Then, in December, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s In re: Erik Brunetti decision opened the door for the word “Fuct” to become a registered trademark – despite the sound of the word being a vulgar term. It will be an interesting 2018 at the trademark office…

December 31 Deadline to Appoint a DMCA agent

Most of us are familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA gained some notoriety in the fight against online piracy. It’s been an important tool to prevent unauthorized content from spreading across online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Websites and other “service providers” provide contact information for their DMCA agents, so that the author or owner of a creative work can send a DMCA take-down request to that person. The Copyright Office has recently moved to a new system, and requires that any service provider that previously designated an agent must submit an updated designation to the Copyright office by December 31. Our firm can handle this for you, and is also available to act as your designated agent, with a quick turnaround to meet this imminent deadline.

Can Tribes and State Universities Use Sovereign Immunity to Avoid Patent Invalidation?

Our firm’s recent e-mail newsletter described the efforts of a drug company to prevent its patents from being challenged at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Allergan had transferred certain patents to St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and licensed them back, hoping to take advantage of the tribe’s sovereign immunity to block the inter-partes patent review process. That case is still unfolding in the courts and in Congress, but a recent court decision doesn’t bode well for patent owners who would blindly follow this path.

In a refreshing case of common-sense prevailing over convoluted legal maneuvers, efforts by the University of Minnesota (“UM”) to prevent PTAB inter-partes review, by claiming sovereign immunity, have failed. On December 19, an expanded PTAB panel, including the Chief Administrative Patent Judge, denied UM’s motion to dismiss a company’s request for inter-partes review of the patents. Though acknowledging that state universities are generally immune from inter-partes review, as arms of the state, the PTAB concluded that UM had waived its sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment by filing an action in federal court alleging infringement of the patents at issue. This apparently was a bridge too far for the judges, since UM was obviously trying to have its cake and eat it too.

IoT Becomes the New Thread Stitching IP Together

In 2017, the Internet of Things came into its own. Everyday folks (not just techies or Intellectual Property lawyers) started talking about smart IoT devices: thermostats, lightbulbs, door locks and even smart clothing. On November 29th, I gave a webinar on Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things. To download a copy of my slideshow, see below.

This fall, I was privileged to be a speaker and mentor at the annual conference for the Industrial Fabrics Association International (“IFAI”) in New Orleans. I was impressed by the many innovations in smart fabrics that are just beginning to unfold. These IoT inventions will need multiple layers of IP protection, through patent, trademark, trade secret, and licensing efforts (and even copyright, after the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision that certain features of cheerleading uniforms can be protected by copyright). At the IFAI Expo I met Ben Carson, an entrepreneur who’s about to launch a social media and podcasting platform called IoClothes.  E-mail me for further information.

On a Personal Note

2017 brought some challenges for friends and family, but I’m pleased to share that we’re still doing well. Lois was very understanding as I traveled to different locales to speak and learn. I hope that you and yours are thriving.

Best wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity in 2018.

-Gerry

Elman Technology Law, P.C. is a boutique law firm in Media, Pennsylvania. We enable small to medium size businesses to effectively secure and manage their intellectual property portfolios for maximum business benefit – protecting, enforcing, and monetizing their rights. Our intellectual property services include patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing. Our cyberlaw services include Internet business law and cybersecurity.


On November 29, 2017, Gerry gave a webinar on "Federal Guidelines for Security on the Internet of Things". IoT presents multiple opportunities and challenges in today's hyper-connected society. What will the future bring?

To download this presentation, please complete the form below to provide or update your contact information. Then you'll see a link immediately below, which you can click on to download a digital copy of the presentation in PDF format. We'll add you to our mailing list to share information about events and other news which we think would be of interest.

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* Street Address:

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Please check all options that apply:

To send a message, please use the following box. Keep in mind that no attorney-client relationship is created through this communication, and this communication is not confidential. For a confidential consultation, please call us at (610) 892-9942.


Cybersecurity After the Equifax Breach

Gerry to Speak About Cybersecurity After Equifax Breach.  Reports of security breaches at Equifax have focused attention on the need to follow practices that maximize protection of  sensitive and valuable information. At Elman Technology Law, we help our clients keep abreast of these issues. You’re invited to a free Lunch and Learn event in the Internet catacombs of Reading, PA, where Gerry Elman will be speaking about cybersecurity.

Securing the Internet of Things.  As our gizmos increasingly talk amongst themselves, the Internet of Things (IoT) raise increasing concerns. Recently Gerry gave a keynote speech on Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things at the CIO Government Technology Conference in Philadelphia.  Click here to download his presentation . Gerry will be in Harrisburg, PA (where he had served for four years as a Deputy Attorney General) for an update on October 26th.

Our Recent Talks

June 22, 2017  Gerry gave the Keynote Breakfast Speech on Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things and then participated in a panel discussing Government Cybersecurity Issues and Cyber Threat at the CIO Government Technology Conference in Philadelphia.  Click here for the page where you can download his presentation.

June 14, 2017 Gerry Elman spoke at the Digital Transformation & Security Roundtable on legal aspects of cybersecurity, at a Lunch and Learn sponsored by Wrklodz (IPR International), 401 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia.

June 14, 2017 Gerry also attended the Smart City Summit and Expo of the LoRa Alliance at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  LoRaWAN is the wide-area wireless technology being rolled out by Comcast business unit machineQ to facilitate applications for the Internet of Things.

June 9-10, 2017  Gerry participated in the Comcast/machineQ Smart City Hackathon in Center City Philadelphia, helping to build an Internet of Things solution for “smarter,” more responsive city infrastructure. This included hands-on experience with the long range wireless technology being rolled out by Comcast subsidiary machineQ. Along with others on Team 12, he proposed a system for logging potholes in streets.

Elman Technology Law attorneys Gerry J. Elman and Joshua D. WaterstonJune 9, 2017  Josh Waterston and Gerry Elman hosted a panel discussion at the Delaware County Bar Association’s annual Bench-Bar Conference.   They discussed Cyber Threat Management with attorney Craig Huffman and Judges Scanlon and Bradley of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.  Location: Skytop Lodge in the Poconos.

June 1, 2017  Gerry Elman spoke at the Pennsylvania Intellectual Property Forum on current litigation questioning the constitutionality of the power to invalidate patent claims that has been delegated to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  NEWSFLASH: On June 12, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the requested appeal.  He also discussed recent Supreme Court decisions on where patent infringement suits can take place, and exhaustion of the patent owner’s right to prevent resale of the product. Location: Media, PA

2018 Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent® Gerry Elman has received a 2018 Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent®
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