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I met with an official of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office here in DC this month. She was very helpful and gave me great resourceful advice. I also thoroughly reviewed a few great websites on this topic to better understand why someone may want to obtain a patent or trademark on a name, song or product.
After years of developing an "image" or idea, it can all literally be stolen from you almost legally without protection. Quite a scary thought.
The representative of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office explained that the process usually involves a couple thousand dollars for a trademark lawyer to run a search and secure a trademark for the first year. Of course with my shoestring budget, I had to delve a little deeper. "What if" I asked "a very resourceful person wanted to try this themselves?" She replied that it "could" be done, with a lot of work and if you live near one of their Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries to run a "search" yourself. I went to the library up in DC...and personally, when I get to that point, I'll more than likely hire a lawyer...however, if you are more experienced in this area, you may wish to see the link below to the US Patent and Trademark office. They do have fantastic brochures you can download directly from the site that will answer many of your questions. As we know, lawyers charge by the hour, so the more information you can provide and the more research you've done in advance cannot hurt.
I wish you the best in your protection process and the links below should provide a great jumping off point for you to begin.
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Links On This Topic:
United States Copyright Office
The Library of Congress
US Patent and Trademark Office
See how you can obtain free brochures and information to get you started. Also a list of depository libraries available.
Oppedahl and Larson
This law firm specializes in copyrights, patents and trademarks. In my travels I have not found a more extensive site answering the basic questions in plain english to help you through the beginning stages.
Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks
Author: Hoyt L. Barber
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