Gerald R. Black has more than thirty years of experience in Intellectual Property law. He was "Of Counsel" with Dykema Gossett in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Associate Patent Counsel with Borg-Warner Automotive, Inc. and an Intellectual Property Attorney with the Licensing Division of the Battelle Memorial Institute and the Rockwell International Corp. - Aerospace Division (now Boeing). His strong corporate background has enabled him to develop an expertise in managing global patent portfolios. Prior to completing law school, Mr. Black was a systems engineer with the Owens Corning Fiberglas Corp.
Mr. Black graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He received his Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School. He has been admitted to practice in Michigan, California, and Ohio, and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Mr. Black is the author of Keyword Patent Searching Online – A Workbook. The book uses the USPTO and the EPO search engines to obtain professional-quality search results. The workbook includes four (4) invention disclosures and step-by-step search solutions. Copies of the book are shelved at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Leeds, the University of Queensland, Stanford University, the Boston Public Library, and the New York Public Library.
Mr. Black has taught one-day seminars entitled "Patents - A Global Perspective" for the Society of Automotive Engineers. He also presented a two-day patent seminar in Herzliya, Israel, sponsored by Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.
A sampling of some of the recently-issued U.S. Patents that our firm provided representation include:
9,492,907 - Surface Media Blasting System and Method
9,487,271 - Modular Boat Lift Cover
9,441,902 - Articulating Aiming Support
9,403,559 - Helicopter Transport Apparatus
D761,360 - Collapsible Game Table Top and Game Board
9,272,754 - Modular Boat Lift Cover
9,266,241 - Robotic Work Object Cell Calibration System
9,213,861 - Mobile Communication System
D741,782 - Extended Vehicular Armrest
9,114,534 - Robot Calibration Systems
9,081,259 - Camera Lens Body Shield and Focus Assist Device
9,061,421 - Robotic Work Object Cell Calibration Method
9,042,608 - Data Security System
8,918,251 - CAN Based Vehicle Immobilizer
8,894,467 - Surface Media Blasting System and Method
8,833,769 - Collapsible Game Table Top and Game Board
8,818,187 - Camera Lens Body Shield and Focus Assist Device
8,657,642 - R/C Car with Demolition Features
8,520,905 - Data Security System
8,485,017 - Robotic Work Object Cell Calibration System
8,464,486 - Contoured Floor Pads and Method
8,388,428 - Community Poker Card Game Online Playing System
8,374,402 - Data Security System
8,286,285 - Orthopedic Support Pillow
There are a number of myths and fictions associated with filing for trademarks. Thankfully, we have outlined a few of the major myths and have listed the facts below. This way, you are armed with the truth, so that you make the best decisions regarding your inventions.
Fiction: If the federal trademark database is searched and no applications or registrations for the mark are found, rights to the mark are available in the U.S.
Fact: In addition to federal trademark rights, there are state and common law trademark rights. A federal registration is recommended for businesses that engage in interstate commerce. However, there remains the likelihood that there has been a prior and ongoing use of the mark, which has never reached the U.S. Trademark Office. Also, if the mark is to be used in other countries, an international search may be needed.
Fiction: If our mark has a different spelling than a mark that is already registered, we will be able to avoid infringing the trademark.
Fact: A registered mark confers a bundle of exclusive rights upon the owner, including the right to the exclusive use of the mark in relation to the products or services for which it is registered. The owner of the registered mark can prevent unauthorized use of the mark in relation to products or services which are identical or "colorfully" similar to the "registered" products or services.
For example, if I open up a gourmet coffee shop and call it "Star Buck's" (rather than "Starbuck's(tm)"), many people frequenting my coffee shop will probably mistakenly believe that I am affiliated with Starbuck's. Starbuck's attorneys will have me in court to shut me down quickly.
Fiction: The registration of a corporate name confers trademark rights in the corporate name.
Fact: If trademark rights in a name are wanted, a trademark application is needed. In the U.S., if the name will be used in more than one state (interstate commerce), a registration with the U.S. Trademark Office is recommended.