Patent & Trademark Law

Protect Your Intellectual Property by Hiring an Experienced Attorney.

Why is a patent important to you?

Many of our clients are inventors, scholars, engineers, and business owners. Their creative process is important and protecting their work can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there are some who choose to take short cuts to steal those ideas and inventions and use them as their own. A patent is a form of intellectual property. As with other property interests, it can be owned by an individual or entity. The patent application process can establish your legal right to that property and provide for protections under the law. Those protections allow for judicial remedies that can keep the would-be thief from infringing on your idea or invention and provide for monetary compensation if infringement is found.

Why is a trademark important to you?

For many of our clients, the strength of their brand is one of their most important assets. A brand name typically associated with a word, phrase, symbol, design, or logo helps differentiate our business owners from the rest of the pack. Your brand name will help customers identify a product or service with you or your business and the high quality that comes with it. At one point in time, the word Kleenex ® was just a word – now people all over the world associate it with a brand of facial tissue.  Similarly, I can probably just say the words golden arches, and most would associate that described logo with a hamburger, right?

Bottom line, your brand protects your customers from being confused with goods or services of less quality.  Your brand is your lifeblood.

3 Types of Patents

Design patent examples on desk

Design Patent

A design something that is new and original.  It refers to the surface ornamentation of an object that is different and district from others.  It cannot imitate a naturally occurring or well-known object.  Design Patents are good for a term of 14 years from the date they were granted by the USPTO.

Utility Patent

This is different than a design patent. A design patent deals with the way the object looks and a utility patent deals with how the object is used or works.  A utility patent can be a new process, improvements, machine, or composition of an object.  New Utility Patents are good for a term of 20 years from the application filing date.

utility patent machine example
utility patent machine example

Utility Patent

This is different than a design patent. A design patent deals with the way the object looks and a utility patent deals with how the object is used or works.  A utility patent can be a new process, improvements, machine, or composition of an object.  New Utility Patents are good for a term of 20 years from the application filing date.

different plant patents on table

Plant Patent

A Plant Patent is granted to an inventor who has produced or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.  The Plant Patent lasts for a term of 20 years from the date of the filing of the application.

Getting started with Patents

We recommend that you hire an experienced intellectual property attorney that can help you protect your patent. Our attorneys at Sullivent & Fontanez have the experience you need.

  • We can give you advice on the process.
  • Perform a comprehensive search for you
  • Provide professional legal advice on your likelihood of success in filing with the USPTO
  • Prepare and file your application with the USPTO
  • Monitor your application throughout all phases
  • Advise you on potentially infringing patents
  • Defend or prosecute patent infringement actions

2 Types of Trademark Law

attorney signing trademark document

Common Law Trademarks

First, there are protections that exist from the common law. Common law is typically defined by the interpretation of state or local law as, in this case, would apply to your trademark. Common law trademark protections exist from your use of the mark in public, but those protections are very limited.

An owner can immediately use the TM symbol with a common law trademark.  But common law trademark owners are constrained by local enforcement as opposed to nationwide.  Additionally, their remedies are typically limited by the lack of statutes that would otherwise provide adequate remedies when someone is found to have infringed on the trademark.

A common law mark cannot be identified with the ®symbol which can only apply to trademarks that are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Federally Registered Trademarks

Second, and most importantly, there are federal protections that exist when you obtain a registered trademark often identified with the ® symbol. A federally registered trademark provides notice to the public that someone owns the mark. This notice is a very important one that dissuades others from wrongfully infringing on the mark. Infringement occurs when someone uses a strikingly similar trademark for a similar purpose that creates confusion in the marketplace between goods and services and ownership of that brand. If infringement occurs, the federal statutes that cover registered marks provide much better protections to enforce your mark throughout the United States.

There are also better remedies against infringement with federally registered trademarks. For example, an owner of a federally registered trademark can petition the federal court for an injunction which will immediately stop the infringing activity. If the cause has been found true and the trademark was infringed on, the owner may obtain higher damages than from a common law mark.

registered symbol for trademark law
registered symbol for trademark law

Federally Registered Trademarks

Second, and most importantly, there are federal protections that exist when you obtain a registered trademark often identified with the ® symbol. A federally registered trademark provides notice to the public that someone owns the mark. This notice is a very important one that dissuades others from wrongfully infringing on the mark. Infringement occurs when someone uses a strikingly similar trademark for a similar purpose that creates confusion in the marketplace between goods and services and ownership of that brand. If infringement occurs, the federal statutes that cover registered marks provide much better protections to enforce your mark throughout the United States.

There are also better remedies against infringement with federally registered trademarks. For example, an owner of a federally registered trademark can petition the federal court for an injunction which will immediately stop the infringing activity. If the cause has been found true and the trademark was infringed on, the owner may obtain higher damages than from a common law mark.

Getting started with Trademarks

We recommend that you hire an experience intellectual property attorney that can help you protect your brand. Our attorneys at Sullivent & Fontanez have the experience you need.

  • We can give you advice on the process.
  • Perform a comprehensive search for you
  • Provide professional legal advice on your likelihood of success in filing with the USPTO
  • Prepare and file your application with the USPTO
  • Monitor your application throughout all phases
  • Advise you on potentially infringing trademarks
  • Defend or prosecute trademark infringement actions

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to trademarks, there are different types of protections found in Common law and Federal Statutes.

Brand name protection is important.  If you don’t register your brand now, then someone could technically register a similar brand for similar goods before you do.  This can put you at risk of becoming the infringer.  Your business could suffer greatly as a result.

Contact our office today and we will send you a simple questionnaire and a payment link. Or you can fill out our TRADEMARK INTAKE FORM for expedited service.

Here is how we can help:

  • We will perform a comprehensive federal, state, and common law trademark search to avoid possible conflicts that could result in a denial of your application.
  • We will provide you with a thirty (30) minute consult to go over your search and application process.
  • We will draft your application for your review prior to filing.
  • If acceptable to you, we will file your application with the USPTO and track its progress.
  • If required, we will respond to any non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf.
  • Sullivent & Fontanez, PLLC can also represent your interests with any substantive office actions or infringement claims.

United States regulations specify that only an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any U.S. state or territory can represent you in a trademark application, registration, or TTAB proceeding at the USPTO. As U.S. licensed attorneys at Sullivent & Fontanez PLLC, we can be your listing attorney for your trademark application.  If needed, we can also represent you before the Trademark Trial and Appeal board. If you need a U.S. licensed attorney for your trademark application or Office Action, feel free to reach out to us so we can help. You can also fill out the form below for assistance.

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616 South Boston Ave, Suite 300
Tulsa, OK 74119

6315 East 102nd Street
Tulsa, OK 74137

3030 Northwest Expressway
Suite 200
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

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