intellectual property

Design Patent

A design patent, unlike a utility patent, limits the investor’s patent protection to the ornamental design of the article. Per 35 U.S.C. § 171, “[w]hoever invents any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a...

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Public Law 105-304, was signed into law on October 29, 1998, by President Clinton. It combined four proposed bills as well as some other revisions to copyright law.

The “WIPO Copyright and Performances...

Dilution

Under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act, a plaintiff can make a claim against defendant if the plaintiff proves (1) that the plaintiff's mark is famous; (2) that the defendant is making commercial use of the trademark in commerce; (3) that the...

Dilution (Trademark)

Definition

The use of a mark or trade name in commerce sufficiently similar to a famous mark that by association it reduces, or is likely to reduce, the public's perception that the famous mark signifies something unique, singular or particular....

Direct Infringement

The unauthorized exercise of one of the exclusive rights granted to the owner of a patent, copyright or trademark.

In patent, direct infringement occurs when a person without authorization makes, uses, offers to sell or sells any patented...

Distinctive Trademark

In order to be eligible for federal trademark protection and registration at the United States and Trademark Office, a trademark must “identify and distinguish” the relevant goods or services.

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Doctrine of Equivalents

Definition

A means by which a patentee may raise a claim of infringement even though each and every element of the patented invention is not identically present in the allegedly infringing product. The purpose of the doctrine is to prevent an infringer...

Espionage

Espionage is the crime of spying or secretly watching a person, company, government, etc. for the purpose of gathering secret information or detecting wrongdoing, and to transfer such information to another organization or state. The act of...

Exclusive License

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA written contract in which the owner of a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret authorizes, for a limited time, someone (the licensee) to exclusively exercise one or more of the rights. For...

Exhaustion

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA principle in patent law that a patent owner cannot later sue a customer who purchased an authorized copy of a patented product. In other words, the patent owners rights are exhausted after the sale.

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