FAQ’s

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General Questions

When was the firm founded?
The firm was founded in 1996 by Stevan Lieberman & Michael Greenberg

Where is the firm located?
The firm is located in Washington, D.C.

What is the firm’s address?
1775 Eye Street NW, Suite 1150, Washington D.C. 20006

What is the firm’s phone number?
The phone is 202-625-7000 or toll free 888-275-2757

What is the firm’s fax?
The firm’s fax is 202-625-7001

Is there a general email for the firm?
The general email for the firm is questions@aplegal.com

What is the firm’s website?
http://aplegal.com

Can I visit the firm offices?
Yes, Please call for an appointment so we can make sure the attorney you wish to speak to is
available.

Can I get a referral?
Of course. We already have some client testimonials available on our site at: http://aplegal.com/client-testimonials/ , however please just call or email and we will provide as many referrals as you care to call.

Can I see some of your previous work?
Much of the work we do is confidential, however, some of the patent applications and trademarks that we have filed are available at: http://aplegal.com/our-work/

What services does your firm provide?
The firm began as intellectual property law firm providing patent, trademark and copyright prosecution and litigation. Over the years the firm has expanded its areas of practice to Internet related ip, securities, business law, corporate law and Military law.

How many attorneys work at Greenberg & Lieberman?
The firm currently has nine attorneys including of counsel attorneys.

What do the attorneys do?
In short, the attorneys work with you to advance your interests. Please click here to see information about our attorneys in greater detail. http://aplegal.com/our-attorneys/

How big is Greenberg & Lieberman?
Greenberg & Lieberman is purposefully relatively small — under 20 people working in all capacities, attorney and non-attorneys. The firm has found that its small size allows it to cater to clients’ needs without the bureaucracy that would be needed if it were to grow much larger.

What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property is considered the prosecution, litigation and representation in areas of law where you can not touch the property. This includes, though is not limited to, patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, domain names and associated contracts.

What is the difference between G&L’s legal advice including advice on escrow and just plain escrow from other providers?  With G&L, you can obtain qualified legal advice on both the terms of your purchase and the related escrow.  Non-lawyer  bare- escrow services do not provide that.


Patent Questions

What is a patent?
A patent is the right to exclude others from making, using, selling an invention. Or in other words, non-legally but simply said by many — “it is a monopoly on your idea.” There are different types of patents.

What types of patent applictions are there?
There are provisional patent patent applications, utility patent applications, design patent applications, and plant patent applications. Some people call provisional patent applications “provisional utility patent applications” and call utility patent applications “non-provisional utility patent applications.”

What is a provisional patent application?
A provisional patent application is a way to get patent-pending for one year. Technically, it is only a patent application that holds your place because it never is examined by the Patent Office, and never becomes a granted patent.

What is a utility patent application?
A utility patent application is the only way to get a patent granted for something that solves a problem or achieves a goal.

Can a patent be renewed?
No, a patent cannot be renewed, but you can always file for an improvement on the patent.

What is a design patent application?
A design patent application tries to protect the look of your invention that has nothing to do with solving a problem or achieving a goal. In other words, a design patent protects the appearance of your invention.

What is a plant patent application?
A plant patent application tries to protects plants. More specifically, a plant patent is for asexually reproduced, distinct and new varieties of plants, other than tuber propagated plants or plants found in an uncultivated state.

Can I file for a patent?
You should do a patent search first.

What is a patent search?
A patent search is a way to try to see if someone else has already thought of your invention.

How much does a patent search cost?
For current pricing, please call 1-888-275-2757 to speak with Michael L. Greenberg, our registered patent attorney. He will give you an opinion as to patentability based upon a patent search.

How much does a patent cost?
Patent costs vary a lot depending upon how complicated the invention is. If you contact Michael L. Greenberg, he can talk to you about how much a patent will cost for your specific invention.

How long does a patent last?
A provisional patent application lasts for 1 year. A utility patent lasts for 20 years from its filing date. A design patent last for 14 years from the date that it is granted. A plant patent lasts for 20 years.

How do I get more information about patents?
Please email at Questions@APLegal.com or call us toll free at 1-888-275-2757 with any questions.

Is one patent better or best?
No, different patents are for different people and different circumstances. Call Michael L. Greenberg toll free at 1-888-275-2757 or email him at Questions@APLegal.com so that he can explain more.


Trademark Questions

What is a trademark? What is a service mark?
A trademark or service mark is a word, phrase, logo or combination thereof which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to identify uniquely the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

Can I file for a federal or state trademark?
You may only file for a federal mark if you have use in interstate commerce, re you are doing business or advertising either across state lines or from the US to another country or vice versa.

How much is a trademark search or trademark application?
Please go to http://aplegal.com/trademarks/ for current pricing or call 888-275-2757 to speak with one of our attorneys.

What type of trademark filings are there?
The primary concern for most people is whether they are filing their mark as an intent to use or an use based mark. Intent to use marks are marks which you wish to preserve as your own, but which you have not begun using in interstate commerce. Use based marks are marks which you have already begun using in inter state commerce. There are other types of trademark filings, which include: certification marks, collective trademarks, defensive trademarks and configuration marks.

When may I use the r in a circle mark?
You may only use the r in a circle mark if you have a federally registered trademark.

When may I use the TM mark?
You may use the TM mark next to any trademark or service mark which you are claiming in association with goods or services you are currently providing to third parties.

Do I need to do a trademark search before filing an application?
A trademark search is not required, it is however very advisable. A trademark search is less expensive then the application and it will tel you if you have a chance of having the application approved. In trademark litigation proof of a search which does not show a previously registered mark can lower possible damages if you are found to be infringing on another entities mark.

What is the difference between a trademark and a service mark?
A trademark protects a mark that is associated with the sale of goods. A service mark protects a mark associated with the offering of services.

When may I use my trademark or service mark?
As soon as the search comes back positive you may begin using your mark in commerce. You do
not want to use the mark before the search as you might be infringing on some one else’s rights.

Why should I file a trademark?
Federal trademark registration has several benefits:

  • Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s claim.
  • Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
  • Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
  • Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
  • Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

How long does it take to register a trademark?
It is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take an application to mature into a registration, because there are so many factors that can affect the process. Generally, an applicant will receive a filing receipt approximately three weeks after filing, which will include the serial number of the application. The total time for an application to be processed may be anywhere from almost a year to several years, depending on the basis for filing, and the legal issues which may arise in the examination of the application.

How long does a trademark registration last?
Technically, if you follow all of the requirements and continue to use a mark it can last forever. For a trademark registration to remain valid, an Affidavit of Use (Section 8 Affidavit) must be filed: (1) between the fifth and sixth year following registration, and (2) within the year before the end of every ten-year period after the date of registration.

The registrant may file the affidavit within a grace period of six months after the end of the sixth or tenth year, with payment of an additional fee. The registrant must also file a Section 9 renewal application within the year before the expiration date of a registration, or within a grace period of six months after the expiration date, with payment of an additional fee.


Copyright Questions

What is a copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

How much will you charge me for filing my copyright?
Greenberg & Lieberman charges $800 to file a copyright. This includes the government filing fee, filling out the forms and associated discussions.

What does copyright protect?
Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?
Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.

When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register a copyright to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register with the Copyright Office, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.

Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.

I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?
The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration. At best it may be considered extrinsic evidence of creation on the date of the mailing.

Is my copyright good in other countries?
The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other’s citizens’ copyrights. However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country.

What does copyright protect?
Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

Can I copyright my website?
The original authorship appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright.

Can I copyright my domain name?
Copyright law does not protect domain names. You may be able to trademark your domain name if you use that name (without the tld (.com, .net, etc) to represent your company in association with particular goods or services. Please see trademarks for more information.

How do I protect my recipe?
A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records. Please see trade secrets for more information.

Can I copyright the name of my band?
No. Names are not protected by copyright law. You may however trademark your band name. Please see trademarks.

How do I protect my idea?
File a patent. Filing a copyright of the words explaining your idea will only protect the writing and not the idea itself.

Does my work have to be published to be protected?
Publication is not necessary for copyright protection.

Can I register a diary I found in my grandmother’s attic?
You can register copyright in the diary only if you own the rights to the work, for example, by will or by inheritance. Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author’s heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself.

Does copyright protect architecture?
Yes. Architectural works became subject to copyright protection on December 1, 1990. The copyright law defines “architectural work” as “the design of a building embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a building, architectural plans, or drawings.” Copyright protection extends to any architectural work created on or after December 1, 1990. Also, any architectural works that were unconstructed and embodied in unpublished plans or drawings on that date and were constructed by December 31, 2002, are eligible for protection. Architectural designs embodied in buildings constructed prior to December 1, 1990, are not eligible for copyright protection.

Can foreigners register their works in the United States?
Any work that is protected by U.S. copyright law can be registered. This includes many works of foreign origin. All works that are unpublished, regardless of the nationality of the author, are protected in the United States. Works that are first published in the United States or in a country with which we have a copyright treaty or that are created by a citizen or domiciliary of a country with which we have a copyright treaty are also protected and may therefore be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Can a minor claim copyright?
Minors may claim copyright, and the Copyright Office issues registrations to minors, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors. For information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney.


Trade Secret Questions

What is a trade secret?
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. A trade secret is defined by the particular state in which it is being prosecuted. In most states the elements of a trade secret are: (1) is not generally known to the public; (2) confers some sort of economic benefit on its holder (where this benefit must derive specifically from its not being generally known, not just from the value of the information itself); and (3) is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.

How is a trade secret protected?
A trade secret is protected through the use of contracts, primarily non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.

When should I protect my idea with a trade secret instead of a patent?
You should only use a trade secret instead of a patent if there is no possibility your idea could be discovered or reverse engineered.


Internet / Domain Names / New Media

What is a domain name?
Domain names are common language addresses corresponding to your domain, consisting of a string of words separated by a dot (.) and usually containing some word that represents you or your business and indicates the type of information someone might find there.
What is an escrow service?
Greenberg & Lieberman offers escrow services. We will hold the thing being exchanged or the money being exchanged for the thing until the thing or the money have been exchanged. G&L also offer dual sided escrow where we take control over both the thing and the domain. G&L also offers escrow over time which is the same as above, but may last years.

What are the fees for G&L’s escrow services?
We charge 1% or $350 per hour, which ever is higher. If you are doing an escrow over time then that fee is multiplied times the number of years the transaction takes.

Does Greenberg & Lieberman help with ICANN disputes?
Yes, the firm files response to UDRP / ICANN disputes as well as filing objections to such filings in federal court.

Where can Greenberg & Lieberman be found in Second Life?
Greenberg & Lieberman can be found everywhere in SL. Look in the classifieds and we are there. We also have a number of properties on different properties.


Litigation

Does Greenberg & Lieberman provide litigation services?
Yes, we provide litigation services in any of our areas of practice. Please speak to one of our attorneys about the details of your situation.

How much will litigation cost me?
It is impossible to know how much litigation will cost. Our attorneys bill anywhere from $250 to $450 per hour. Our paralegals and secretaries bill at lower rates. Our minimum retainer for filing federal court litigation is $25,000 US.

Does Greenberg & Lieberman file action in the patent and trademark office?
Yes, the firm often files trademark oppositions and cancellations. Our registered patent attorney can file patent reexaminations as well. Our minimum retainer for such filings is $15,000 US.


Marketing Services

Does Greenberg & Lieberman offer marketing services?
No, Due to the inventor protection act, we do not ourselves offer marketing services. We recommend a marketing company that clients have worked with in the past. Please see http://aplegal.com/patents/


FORMS OF PAYMENT

What forms of payment does Greenberg & Lieberman accept?
Please refer to our payment information form for detailed information.

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