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The Patent Law is a particular area of law that involves the legal regulation, enforcement and jurisprudence of particular intellectual property rights referred to as the 'patent rights'. Nevertheless, a patent is a right issued by the government to groups or individuals in protection of their original or new inventions from being sold, made or used by other people without their acquiescence for a specific period of time. Patents can be got legally without using an attorney; that is an attorney who specializes in patent law can help in ensuring that their customer's patent is enforced by the law. Since patent law is concerned with intellectual property, which appears to be like any other property, meaning that it can be sold, abandoned, traded or exchanged legally, the patent law's finger points are regularly amended with changes in technology. This is another reason as to why an attorney who specializes in patent law is of essential use to those who seek a patent law (Aharonian, 2004).
Under the U.S. patent law, there must be three criteria applicable to the invention before the issuing of a patent. The creation has to be new, handy, and not apparent to those who have ordinary skills in any area that is related to the creation. These specific requirements are normally skewed. The term 'New' means that the creation has never been in existence. In accordance with the patent law, the term 'useful' refers to the provision of a benefit that is meant for a legal use or purpose. The one part of the patent law that is specifically biased is the description of whether a creation is obvious or not (Baxter, 2000).
Patent law is not only concerned with the process that governs the application and granting of a patent, but also the enforcement of the existing patents. It is the sole responsibility of the holder of the patent to pursue a contravention or infringement of his or her patented rights. The violation of a patent law can be argued in court, although it is a very expensive and complex process. This is one area where the law appears to be distorted, since small companies and investors can easily be defeated by the larger, wealthy companies, and it is not easy for the minority to be in a position of affording the litigation or defense expenses. Patent law, just like the other areas of law that are concerned with intellectual property, is very complicated. Investors need to be careful and thorough when doing the application and even possible contact an attorney (Wright, 2006). Despite, common misapprehension, one cannot mail him or herself a copy of his or her invention or even the comprehensive process that pertain to a creation and consider it formally patented, trademarked, copyrighted or even legally protected. A patent normally remains in force for a period of fourteen years from its application date subject to the payment of the stated renewal fees. However, the case is different when it comes to food, drug or medicine, whereby it is five years from the selling date or it is seven years from the patent date whichever period appears shorter.
Copyright can be described as a form of protection that is given to original work's authors and included thins like dramatic, artistic, literary, musical and some other creations including published and unpublished. Ideas are not protected by ideas. It only protects the specific and original expression of the idea. Copyright is an absolute right and gives the owner or creator the sole right of reproducing the copyrighted work, distributing and selling all the copyrighted work, preparing derivative work, displaying of performing the copyrighted work publicly, if the rights are sold (Stross, 2008).
In most states, we find that it will grant the work's creator privileges of determining the way the work should be displayed. The Copyright protection is usually automatic. The act or the work's creation also makes the Copyright. The registration for a Copyright does not require anything, even though in the United States and many other nations it is essential to show (state) that Copyright is claimed in a specific work. This can be easily done by plainly making any work that is original with the sign © then followed by the date of the claiming of the Copyright and the Copyright's owner. In the United States and many European nations, Copyright generally lasts until seventy years after the creator's death (Pool, 2004). However, there are various rules for the created works that are industrially applied, like Patent and Design drawings.
A Trademark refers to the way by which a business or company makes itself noticeable in the market. It can be any unique (not only descriptive) logo or name. The best Trademarks are immediately identifiable and conjure up in the minds of potential or existing customers things such as reliability, quality, conjure up in the minds of existing or potential customers things like reliability, quality, or at the very least the origin of the goods and services being purchased. Trademarks give their owners the legal right of preventing others from the use of a confusingly similar symbol. They cannot be used in stopping competitors from trying to make the same goods from the selling of the same goods and services under a plainly different symbol (Graeme, 2007).
Discreet business people normally register their Trademarks with the Patent Officers in order to obtain a formal record of their rights to a specific mark. The registration of a Trademark also provides a statutory right, subject to particular conditions, for the purpose of preventing others from trying to use the symbol without the consent of the registered owner; for instance to prevent contravention. One of the major aims of a business is the building up of the status of its goods or services and by making an application for and obtaining a registered Trademark facilitates the process as it warns the probable copiers of the serious intent of a company to defend its status in the market. If a Trademark is promoted and protected properly, it can be a very precious and important asset and in some cases can be worth more than the mortar and bricks of a company. In general, registered Trademarks are protected for particular classes of goods and services for periods of ten years, which are renewal for an indefinite period.
Ecolab v. FMC
The Ecolab, Inc, which is also known as the Economics Laboratory, is a sanitation supply company founded in the year 1923, and is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, whereas the FMC Corporation is a company that deals with the manufacturing of chemicals, and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both companies got patents allowing them to use peracetic acid as a sterilizer in poultry and beef processing. Ecolab, in April of the year 1993, got United States Patent No. 5,200,189, which wasn't asserted but applicable prior art (the Oakes patent). It had a composition of peroxyacid antimicrobial which contained octanioc, peroctanoic and peracetic acids. The three acids' combination, according to the patent yields synergistic effect, yielding a fairly stronger biocide than can be got by using three components differently.
According to the patent, the stated sanitizing solution can be used sufficiently to sanitize or clean equipment and facilities used in the food service, healthcare and food processing industries. The FMC, in October of the year 1993, presented a patent application disclosing a method for the sanitization of meat, particularly processed fowl, by applying directly to the meat, the peracetic acid. The patent issued as the '676' patent in the year 1997. The inventions were described by the patent as an effectual way of the sanitization of a fowl carcass without improperly affecting the bird carcass' flesh or skin. The Ecolab in the year 1998 filed three patent applications that were directed to ways of applying acid in combination with some other paracides or alone to the meat products directly, including poultry and beef, in order to reduce the microbial populations or numbers on the meat surface. The Ecolab filed a case against the FMC for the infringement of the '286, '963 and '729 patents in the U.S District Court for the Minnesota District. The FMC reacted by claiming that Ecolab had infringed its '676 patent. It was found by the jury that Ecolab had actually infringed claims 1, 5, 6 and 7 of '676 patent of the FMC.
Perfect 10 v. Google
The Google Inc. is a United States multinational public corporation that deals in internet search, advertising technologies and cloud computing. It is based in Mountain View, California, whereas Perfect 10 is a company that produced adult men's magazine and is also headquartered in California. Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc. was a United States court case between the Perfect 10, and Google, in the Central District of California District Court. The petitioner requested a preliminary restriction for the Google Company to stop making and distributing its images' thumbnails in its Google Image Search service, and also for it to stop the indexing and linking to sites that host such images. Nevertheless, the court, in early 2006, granted the request partly and denied it partly, making a ruling that the thumbnails were probably or likely to be found infringing though the links were not (Chisum, 2002). The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided to reverse the ruling by the District Court on its fair use and contributory breach findings on May 2007, thus remanding the case for further hearing. Judge Ikuta then wrote for a four-judge panel that they concluded that Perfect 10 was likely to be in a position of overcoming the fair use of defense by Google and, consequently vacated the preliminary injunction regarding the use of thumbnails by Google.
Specialty Brands, Inc. v. Coffee Bean Distributors, Inc
Specialty Brands is an American company that deals in the making and distribution of food stuffs. It is headquartered in Carthage, U.S, while the Coffee Bean Distributors Company is also an American coffee company based in Carthage, U.S. This case addresses a question of possibility of confusion under Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act. The Trademark Trial together with the Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected Opposition No. 65, 515 to the word mark SPICE VALLEY for teas' registration, appellee Coffee Bean Distributors' Application Serial No. 258, 167. The Specialty Brands, Inc. brought the opposition on the basis of its formal trademark 'SPICE ISLANDS' for teas. The United States Courts of Appeals, Federal Circuit, stated that they had analyzed the evidence to the likelihood of confusion between the two marks, thus concluding that the oppose had met its burden of showing that there was a possibility of confusion between 'SPICE VALLEY' and 'SPICE ISLANDS' (Charmasson, 2005).