Page 11 - September 2020
P. 11

ISSUES REGARDING THE LAW                               PROTECT IDEAS

            by Margaret Heine

               WHAT A GREAT IDEA!          protect your property, then you will  be uniquely different from other similar
                                                                               names which are protected.  The
              You have been home for months  lose the right to use the property  Trademark office conducts a test for each
      now, are your creative juices flowing?  exclusively.  That new commercial  submission, and makes a publication to see
      New ideas?  New products?  New       jingle you’ve dreamt up, it needs to be  if anyone objects to the issuance of a
      services?  A new book?  A new        copyrighted.                        Trademark.  The office looks at “sounds
      invention?                                  A copyright is granted after an  alike, looks alike, is it the same category:
              There has been a surge in    application is filed with the Office of
      developing new ideas, patents,       Copyrights within the Library of    for example, a food, clothing, a publication.
                                                                                      A Service Mark, “SM”, identifies a
      trademarks, and creating new products,  Congress.  They will ask information  business which is in the service industry,
      inventions, screenplays and books.   about who created the work (it is easiest  for example Rotary “Wheel”, United  Margaret A.M. Heine is the principal
              How do you protect all of  these  when you are the creator of the work), if  Airlines “Fly the Friendly Skies”,  counsel at Heine Law Group in Fullerton,
      great ideas?  There are a number of  it was someone else, you have to prove  Southwest Airlines “I (Heart) SWA”, and  California.  She is licensed in California and
      things you can do so that your idea  you have the right to copyright the  McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”.  They go   Washington, and has authority to practice
      doesn’t get stolen!  All of the options fall  work.  You will submit the work along  through the same examination as  before the Supreme Court of the United
      under the category of Intellectual   with your application.  Registration fees  Trademark applications.  There is a cost to  States and the United States Court of
      Property.                            are very reasonable at $45-150.00 per  receive A Trademark or Service Mark  International Trade.  Her practice includes
              Intellectual Property broadly is  application (one application per work).  depending on the classification and  estate planning, wills, trusts, and probate as
      copyrights, trademarks, and patents.  There is also a process where you can  categories it is being requested to be used  well as business, real estate, and civil
      Conceptually, it protects your words,  copyright a “collection of works”, which  for.  Fees start at $275.00.  Trademarks and  litigation.  Email: or
      your ideas, your designs, and any    would be up to 10 items all classified as  Service Marks are handled by the Office of  visit company website
      proprietary new inventions, formulas,  a “collection”.  You can fill out the  Patents and Trademarks.  More
      ideas and artistic works.  The various  applications online or file a paper  information is available at
      agencies which handle these rights   application.  Additional information can   Finally, there are patents.  A
      generally try to make sure that      be found at          patent is used for a process or a machine,  READING: A Great Past Time
      your idea is not someone else’s                            A trademark   an innovation.  The idea or process has to
      idea, and makes it so that no one                  is a registration which  be novel or unique, not something within  The Library of Congress has thousands
      can steal your idea from you.                      protects a word, a    the common knowledge.  Usually, a patent  of books on line - Open to the Public
              A copyright protects                       phrase, a symbol or a  attorney is used to help process patent
      words.  Books, music, lyrics,                      design.  The design   applications.  A Patent attorney is specially  and FREE to read.  GO TO
      screenplays, architecture,                         would typically be the  licensed and meets specific criteria to
      software, artistic works are all                   logo for a brand.  For  practice patent law.   A patent could be a
      covered by copyright laws.  Copyright  example, the swoosh of Nike, the polo  new piece of machinery, a combination of
      laws allow the publication, distribution,  player on horseback for Polo, the  materials creating a new material which
      and sale of works while protecting them  Mermaid on Starbucks, the apple on  hasn’t been done before—caveat, however,
      from being stolen or misused without  Apple products.  These are all     no patent may issue for anything
      permission of the owner of the       Trademarks.  A trademark when filed  radioactive, nuclear weaponry.  The patent
      copyright.  The copyrighted work is  and approved will usually be denoted  cannot issue for a mere idea.  It has to be in
      usually designated by the “©” symbol.  using the “®” symbol or the letters  physical use and be presently made.  A
      This means that the work has been    “TM”.  If filed, registered and approved  patent could also issue for a new
      registered and is a protected work under  by the Trademark office, you have  compound, for example, drugs and       ANYONE NEED ASSISTANCE?
      the United States copyright system. The  national protection for the use of that  pharmaceuticals.  New drugs, using  CHECK OUT THE RESOURCES
      United States Trademark and Patent   mark on your products.  When you    ingredients in a new way to make a new         AVAILABLE BELOW:
      Office and with the Library of Congress  apply for registration you must indicate  product, is patentable.   Full schematics,  RESOURCES ~ There are thousands of
      (Office of Copyrights) provides structure  what the trademark is going to used on,  drawings, samples, and formulas need to  federal, state, and private benefit
      to the copyright process.            whether color is an important       be provided in order for a Patent to be  programs that help pay for prescription
              A copyright provides protection  component of the mark, and whether it  granted.  A Patent typically protects the  drugs, health care, utilities, and other
      to the copyrighted work for an       is presently in use.  Phases that   product for 15-20 years depending on the    basic needs for adults over 55.
      individual is the life of the individual  trademarked are usually specific to a  type of Patent.  There are two types of;
      plus 70 years.  That is why there is value  particular product or brand, like “Just  patents: utility patents and design patents.  1-202-479-1200
      to an estate of an individual and why the  Do It”, “Where’s the Beef”, “Families  The patent process can be complex,  National Council on Aging.
      ownership of the copyright is so     First”.  You cannot trademark or take  nuanced, and technical.  It would be
                                                                                                                         Interested on serving on a jury?
                                                                                                                         Interested on serving on a jury?
                                                                                                                         Interested on serving on a jury?
                                                                                                                         Interested on serving on a jury?
      important to members of the decedent’s  ownership of common, ordinary words.  recommended that legal assistance be  Interested on serving on a jury?
                                                                                                                          Jury Service
                                                                                                                          Jury Sery Servicevice
      family.                              Also, you cannot use a trademark which  sought to file a patent application.  There is  Jury Sery Servicevice
              For example, the value of the  might confuse the public and have them
                                                                                                                         Orange County: 657-622-7000
                                                                                                                         Orange County: 657-622-7000
                                                                                                                         Orange County: 657-622-7000
                                                                                                                         Orange County: 657-622-7000
                                                                                                                         Orange County: 657-622-7000
      Intellectual Property in the Estate of  think they are purchasing products from  a $400 fee for filing the application for a  San Bernardino: 909-884-1858
                                                                                                                        San Bernardino: 909-884-1858
                                                                                                                        San Bernardino: 909-884-1858
                                                                                                                        San Bernardino: 909-884-1858
                                                                                                                        San Bernardino: 909-884-1858
      Michael Jackson or John Lennon or Elvis  a company, when they are not.  For     So, now you are protected, you        Los Angeles:
                                                                                                                            Los Angeles:
                                                                                                                            Los Angeles:
                                                                                                                            Los Angeles:
                                                                                                                            Los Angeles:
      Presley, has been of enormous value to  example, similar sounding, but spelled  may sell, license, or collect royalties on
      their respective families.  It is also why  differently:  “Which Water” and “Witch  your ideas!  Hoping that we all have come  Decluttering: Since the stay at
      families of many artists sue for violation  Water” would conflict with each other,  up with at least one profitable idea during  home order, I have decluttered my
      of the copyright laws (use of musics,  “Starbucks” and “Starbux” would   this unprecedented time!  Here’s to      attic, my garage and currently
      lyrics) or their image.  If you fail to  conflict with each other.  So, it needs to                               working on a storage shed.
                                                                               inventing and creating!
      September 2020                                                                                                                                    11
   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16