The US Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) hosted a webinar on April 26, 2021 for World Intellectual Property Day 2021. The theme was “small businesses taking big ideas to market.”

There were 287 participants on the Vimeo livestream.

Notes scribbled during the webinar from a variety of speakers:

(SME = small and medium enterprises. IP = intellectual property)

John R. Sommer advised: Don’t wait to file a trademark application. Stüssy waited five years to file and had to fight dozens of squatter registrations.

IP is the most valuable asset in many companies.

SME should get a strong trademark attorney in China.

Some of the counterfeiters have very convincing websites.

Can be death of the brand if you become over-distributed. Poor quality counterfeits damage the brand.

Joel Meyer noted Digimarc’s IP strategy emphasizes trade secrets and patents.

Prof. Frank Gupton noted that a key source of innovation is the interface between different disciplines.

You don’t need a trademark attorney. A U.S. citizen can file a pro per application.

CASE Act: Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement establishes a tribunal for claims up to $30,000.  (A right is not meaningful if there’s no effective remedy to defend it. Lawsuits are expensive.)

USPTO resources:

Home page

Inventor Assistance

Trademark Assistance

Trademarks Basics

Startup Resources

Pro Bono Patents

Law School Clinic

USPTO Events

U.S. Copyright Office resources

Home Page

Public Record System Search (pilot)

YouTube channel

Additional Resources

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

International Trademark Association (INTA)

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC)

Licensing Executives Society (LESI)  

American Bar Association (ABA) Intellectual Property Law Section

From the attendee comments during the webinar:

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is authorized to license its IP to private industry and other entities.  


Book Review:

Intellectual Property Law: Legal Aspects of Innovation and Competition by Kurt M. Saunders

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