Patent protection is a right which allows the patentee to prohibit another from producing, using, selling, reselling, offer to introduce or to have in stock his patented invention.

The patented invention generally relates refers to innovations of a 'technical' nature. The term of a patent is a maximum of twenty years from the filing date. What exactly can and cannot be patented depends on local laws. Thus, in the United States it possible to patent software in Europe this is less likely. In the United States, for example therapeutic interventions are patentable, in Europe this is not the case.

A patent is granted (e.g. by the European Patent Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office) for inventions that are new and inventive. The novelty requirement is satisfied when all the elements of the invention are not revealed in a stand-alone publication or presentation. Sales of a product can also be harmful novelty which later patent is no longer possible.

Always file, therefore (in at least one country), a first patent application in order to obtain a "first date '. Then, the invention can be publicized, for example, by test samples to send to customers or via a presentation at a conference. Within twelve months after the first submission a subsequent filing in other countries (continued) may be submitted as well so the product will be protected. By then the 'first date' of the original filing prevents any publication from being harmful to the patentability in these other countries.

Abcor works with an independent network of professionals to submit applications more efficient and at an affordable rate. This applies not only to new applications, but also for the renewals. Our totally different method and a strategic partnership with a renewal office, allows us to offer renewals at much lower costs than is customary.

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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?