Intellectual Property

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Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. This field of law is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.

Principle Register vs. Supplemental Register Supplemental Register Principle Register
Distinctiveness Required 1
Presumption of Validity 2
Can Become an Incontestable Mark 3
Mark is Published for Opposition
Can be Filed Under Intent to Use Basis
Madrid Protocol Applications Can Be Based on Principal Register Trademarks
Can Use the Trademark Symbol “TM” 4
Will Protect Against Registration of a Confusingly Similar Mark
Presumption of Ownership, and Provides Constructive Notice 5
Can Record with the US Customs Services to Prevent the Importation of Counterfeits
Registrant may bring suit for infringement in federal/state court
Registration may serve as the basis for a filing in a foreign country

1 Distinctiveness can be established by unique characteristics or long and exclusive use
2 Supplemental registration requires a litigant to prove the validity of the trademark
3 Can become incontestable by filing a Section 15 affidavit after five years of continuous, uninterrupted use from the date of registration
4 Can use the ® symbol
5 Eliminates an infringers good faith defense

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