Do It Yourself (DIY)

[The following information on this page is offered as a convenience "only".  It does not represent legal advice.  It does not establish a legal representation.  Instead it is offered as a public service and research information that may be considered, and acted upon, by readers at their discretion only.]

The public record shows that there is a "do it yourself" (DIY) mentality in the United States.  It may be described as "the term pro se is rooted in Latin, meaning "for oneself" or "on behalf of oneself." FindLaw describes its findings for people seeking to represent themselves, where allowed, as

"There are a number of reasons why individuals elect to represent themselves pro se. They include strong personal views about a particular matter, refusal or inability to work with legal counsel, and inability to find legal counsel who are willing to work with an individual, often because of the position taken by the pro se party in the litigation.

But the driving force for much pro se litigation is economics. The high cost of legal representation often leads individuals to represent themselves. This trend has been branching out in recent years as legal fees and expenses continue to mount...."

By curating this information T-I-L wants to bridge the gap between taking an informed decision on representing yourself and/or your organization in a legal matter.  Where you determine it is in your individual/organizational interest, we recommend hiring an attorney and/or other professional licensed to consider your interests in full compliance.  Give Technology-Innovation-Law consideration if you elect to hire counsel.  We believe that T-I-L offers a unique skill focused on creating value and solving problems for its clients.


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What is a Copyright?

Copyright is a legal protection given to an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Thus, there are two threshold requirements for protection—originality and fixation—and a significant limitation—no protection for ideas. A work is “fixed” when it is captured (either by or under the authority of an author) in a sufficiently permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. Examples of copyrightable works include

  • Literary works
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings, which are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds
  • Architectural works

Advantages of Copyright Protection

A Copyright registration is not mandatory to protect a certain work. An artistic work which is original and fixed in any tangible medium acquires automatic copyright protection. However, the Copyright Act does provide additional benefits to those who register with the Copyright Office. Consequently, copyright registration and the use of a copyright notice is recommended. In addition to establishing a public record of a copyright claim, registration offers several other statutory advantages:

  • Registration establishes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright and facts stated in the certificate when registration is made before or within five years of publication.
  • When registration is made prior to infringement or within three months after publication of a work, a copyright owner is eligible for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
  • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration (or refusal) is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
  • Registration permits a copyright owner to establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

We provide our clients a range of copyright services including:

  • Assist clients in identifying and determining how best to protect their copyrightable property
  • Counsel and process registration, licensing, assignment/transfer of copyrights, fair-use assessment, permissions for third-party use, recordation with U.S. Customs, and litigation involving enforcing or defending copyrights.
  • Evaluate IP portfolios to identify copyrightable property, determine ownership, formulate the best methods of protection, and address other potential issues.


What is a Patent?

Patent is a legal right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling or importing an invention for a period of 20 years from the date of filing. Section 35 U.S.C. § 101 states that “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent”. There are three types of patents

  1. Utility Patents
  2. Design Patents
  3. Plant Patents

Who Can Register a Patent?

Any Inventor or a person appointed by the inventor may apply for patent registration. According to the law, Inventors may prepare their own applications and conduct the proceedings by them-selves. However patent law is a complicated subject which requires technical assistance from various professionals. Technology-Innovation-Law LLC provides affordable and high quality patent registration and protection services to clients. Please contact us if you seek our help.

Basics of the Patent Application Process

Patent application is a legal proceeding that requires careful consideration of rules and regulations of the patent law. Inventors may prepare their own applications and file them in the USPTO and conduct the proceedings themselves. Following are the basic steps of patent application:-

The first step is checking the patentability of the invention. Applicants are required to study whether the invention is new/improvement and useful as per the requirements of the law. The invention or idea, by its nature, must be patentable; one skilled in the applicable field must be able to make and use the claimed invention; it must be new (novel) and has not been iterated; its originality must be obvious, meaning the idea cannot be something that anyone in the applicable field of expertise could have easily identified; and it must be useful. 

 The second step is conducting a prior art search. If the invention you are intending to patent is already known to the public, there is no need of applying for registration.  Therefore a search of all previous public disclosures, foreign patents and printed publications should be conducted before any patent application.

The third step is preparing an application and submitting documents in the USPTO.  The application is required to include documents such as Specification, Claims, and Drawings.



What is a Trademark/Service Mark?

A trademark or service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.

Advantages of Registering a Mark

Trademark ownership right can be sought through use or registration of the mark. Use right (Common Law right) is a right that emanates from using a trademark or a service mark for a long period of time in a particular geographical location. This type of right cannot prohibit others from using confusingly similar marks in other places.

Federal trademark registration confers key benefits and rights such as 1) constructive notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark 2) nationwide constructive use as of the date of application 3) the right to request Customs officials to bar the importation of goods bearing infringing trademarks 4) the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in Federal court 5) the use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries etc…

Trademark Registration Process

Any trademark or service mark registration requires a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not use simply made to reserve rights in the mark. Before completing the online registration form, it is very important to make sure that another company hasn’t already registered an identical or similar mark for the same categories of goods or services you offer. Therefore the first step is conducting a trademark search.

The next step is application. You may file your trademark application online using TEAS - the Trademark Electronic Application System. TEAS system allows you to fill out an application form and check it for completeness, and then submit the application directly to the USPTO over the Internet.

Who Can Register a Trademark?

Any trademark owner or a person appointed by the owner may apply for trademark registration.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need our assistance.