get informed about patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other IP.

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IP Guide for Startups

Important information about patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and intellectual property agreements specific to startup and early stage businesses.

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Patent Basics

A collection of resources on the fundamentals of U.S. patents and patent law.


  • Patent Assignments and Priority in an International Context
    Materials from a presentation by Austen Zuege and Jonathan Bench about patent assignments and rights of priority, including presentation slides and an on-demand video recording, are available here: “Patent Assignments and Priority in an International Context”
  • How Should Advertising Legal Review Occur?
    It is beneficial to have advertising undergo legal review prior to release. Such review should generally cover a number of different concerns, including false advertising, trademark infringement, right of publicity/privacy, copyright infringement, special considerations for regulated industries (i.e., industry-specific laws and regulations requiring certain disclosures, etc.), medium-specific requirements (for commercial […]
  • How Do DMCA Copyright Takedown Notices Work?
    The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) created a notice and takedown provision in §512 of the U.S. copyright laws for alleged online infringement. Essentially, online service providers have a safe harbor against monetary liability for infringing materials that their users/customers post online if they comply with takedown notices alleging copyright […]
  • How Can I Find Patents with the USPTO’s Patent Public Search?
    The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) makes granted U.S. patents and published U.S. patent applications publicly available. Patent Public Search is its open-access patent searching platform, available online to anyone free of charge.  It exists with two different interfaces:  Patent Public Search Basic (PPUBS Basic) and advanced search. Both allow […]
  • New and Upcoming Changes in U.S. Patent & Trademark Law for 2023
    Important Developments At the beginning of 2023, following a year in which new filings declined, some recent and upcoming changes in practice at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for patent and trademark matters merit attention. Patents Reduced official fees for small and micro entities A change in the […]
  • Assignor Estoppel for Patent Assignments
    The following article is available at SSRN: “Assignor Estoppel for Patent Assignments: A Shifting Landscape” Abstract: This article provides critical analysis of the doctrine of assignor estoppel for patent assignments following the Supreme Court’s Minerva v. Hologic decision, which limited the situations in which the doctrine is available to those […]
  • Who Owns Rights to a Domain Name?
    Domain names are used as addresses on the Internet via “name servers” under the domain name system (DNS). A domain name is “example” in the URL “” For generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .com, .net, .org, and the like, domain registrations occur through various individual registrars on essentially a […]
  • How Should U.S. Patent Applications Be Formatted for Filing in DOCX Format?
    The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) requires that non-provisional patent applications filed on or after June 30, 2023 be submitted electronically in Office Open XML “DOCX” file format in order to avoid a non-DOCX official surcharge. This means applications can still be filed electronically in PDF format, or by […]
  • How Can I Correct An Assignment?
    Assignments of intellectual property (IP) such as for patents, trademarks, and copyrights are sometimes signed and then an error is later discovered. This is often due to a clerical or typographical error or other inadvertent mistake. For instance, there might be a typo in the number identifying a given patent, […]
  • How Does a Trademark Office Action Extension of Time Work?
    For U.S. federal trademark applications, the standard deadline to make a response to an office action is three (3) months from the date the office action was sent. Failing to respond by the deadline will result in abandonment of the trademark application. However, it is possible to obtain an extension […]
  • What Are the Origins of Modern Patent Law?
    Most people are well aware that patents are available. And patents are commonly known to relate to inventions. But what are the historical origins of patents and patent law? And, specifically, when did modern forms of patent laws emerge? The following is a short historical overview of how, and where, […]
  • What Are Common Issues Around Software Patenting?
    Patenting inventions based around software, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the like presents a number of challenges. Of course, these types of inventions must be novel and non-obvious over what was already known (the “prior art”) to be patentable. That is no different for software patenting than for any […]
  • What Patent Application Extensions of Time Are Available?
    For U.S. patent applications, official communications from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) may require a response by a particular deadline. Failing to respond will result in the application being abandoned. If more time is needed to respond, extensions of time may be available, with the payment of official […]

“Virtual Patent Marking: Practical Considerations, Recent Court Guidance, and Ideas for Designing Your Own Virtual Patent Marking Program”

July 13, 2023

12-1:30 PM CST

CLE Credits

In this live CLE webinar, a panel including Austen Zuege will discuss requirements and best practices for virtual patent marking. The panel will also review traditional/physical marking and false marking. The panel will examine how courts are beginning to evaluate the sufficiency of virtual marking efforts. Examples and hypotheticals will be used to discuss some of the challenges of virtual marking and where there continues to be areas uncertainty. Use this registration link to obtain discounted registration.

Have an invention you would like to patent? Have a brand you would like to register as a trademark? Concerned about infringing someone else’s intellectual property? Is someone else infringing your IP? Need representation in an IP dispute? Austen is a patent attorney / trademark attorney who can help. These and other IP issues are his area of expertise. Contact Austen today to discuss.