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Defense.
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Fortress PATENTS / IP provides patent, trademark, and other intellectual property monitoring and escalating defense services.
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The saying “A good offense is the best defense” is fully applicable to patenting. It is the reason that Fortress PATENTS / IP places so much attention to deliberately building in strengthening features, rather than just allowing a patent to simply evolve.
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Creating and then preparing, filing, and prosecuting a patent application, trademark application, or other intellectual property is just the first step along the intellectual property path. Monitoring and defending your rights, protections, and market potential is an important next and continuous action.
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Listed is a view into the life cycle of patent, trademark, copyright, and other informal intellectual property.
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Defense
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Table Superscripts:
1 – Some action must be taken to record and identify what is considered to be proprietary followed by some demonstrated policy or precautions established to preserve the informal intellectual property.  Recourse for theft, observation, and use is more a corporate espionage and civil law matter, with some deference to honoring informal intellectual property that was properly established.
2 – An option with patents is to stop maintenance fees and allow rights to be released for general use.
3 – At 20 years from the filing date of Utility Patents and 14 years from the date of issue for Design Patents, then rights will have run their course and be completed.
4 – Trademark rights never terminate if they are preserved by active management.
5 – Copyright rights are completed 70 years after the author’s death or for works for hire or anonymous works the earlier of 95 years from publication or 120 from creation.
6 – Informal intellectual property rights held as trade secrets, know-how, etc. never expire is they are preserved by active management.
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Fortress PATENTS / IP provides services in each area of an appropriate defensive posture to retain granted rights and protections.
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Assert Rights – Once the patent application has been filed, begin market exposure of the invention for product sales or invention and patent licensing or sale. Although not necessary “Patent Pending” can be used, as well as use of ™, ©, or other indicators of intellectual property ownership and rights.
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Maintain Rights – Usually maintaining patent rights simply means paying the maintenance fees at 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years. To obtain and maintain a trademark you need to be using your mark in commerce and it is wise to use the trademark ™ if unregistered or ® if formally registered.
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Know Infringement – Identify the types and places of infringement that can occur with your patent, trademark, or other intellectual property. 
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Monitor Infringement – Become observant of your specific market, tangential markets, and just general awareness for items that directly infringe or suggest partial infringement. Get others involved from other professionals, a network, to friends, and family. Look through all market channels of the Internet, trade journals, store shelves, and more.
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Test Infringement – If you find a potential infringer, then before doing anything, run a few simple tests to see if there is the needed exact match for infringement to occur. See www.FortressPATENTS.com for the simple tests. 
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Defend Rights – Patent, trademark, and other intellectual property defense is a series of careful tactical and strategic steps. Running to the courts is the last action choice among many earlier preferred choices. Fortress PATENTS / IP refers to this as an “escalating defense.” It is a wiser to seek a business and technical resolution before choosing costly and risky legal action. 
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Listed are specific action associated with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and informal intellectual property for maintaining granted rights.  Also suggested are possible unintended consequences of some maintenance and defensive actions..
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Defense
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Doctrine of Laches – An affirmative defense by the defendant and means idly holding on to one’s rights without enforcing them can lead to forfeiting those rights. The Doctrine of Laches can be interpreted as waiting too long and the door to act is closed and locked or latched. Laches applies when infringement is known or should have reasonably been known, there has been an unreasonable or substantial delay before action, and such delayed action would be harm to the defendants (meaning they acted based upon the inaction, such as over a reasonable time began to make related investments, staffing levels, etc.).
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Doctrine of Estoppel – An equitable doctrine by the defendant that prevents a plaintiff (holder of rights) from holding a defendant (potential infringer) in limbo or a state of unpredictability. If notice is given and a lawsuit is implicitly or explicitly communicated, but such a lawsuit does not follow, then the Doctrine of Estoppel can surface. That is to stop or avoid injustice or harm due to inconsistencies. If there is a threat to sue, then the lawsuit must occur. If the lawsuit does not follow, then the potential infringer can infer the inaction suggests the owner has relinquished their rights.
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Release Rights – Usually a patent is maintained and protected for its full period. In cases, a patent may not be needed or effective for its full 20 year period, and as such maintenance fees may not be paid and defense of patent rights may not be pursued. Similar with trademarks that have lost their market need or value can be released by not pursuing cyclical registration, fees, and not pursuing any defense. 
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Expired Rights – These are rights that have run their normal course or period of granted exclusivity and ownership. Patents expire at 20 years from filing, except for the Design Patent that expires 14 years after granting. Trademark rights have no expiration as long as they are actively maintained and protected. Copyright terms are 70, 95, and 120 years based on circumstances.
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Perpetuate Rights – This title is really for trademarks that have no expiration, except if the trademark owner neglects to defend their rights and allows the trademark to become part of the common social lexicon. When the trademark stops being a uniquely identifier then it become generic with no trademark rights and protections.
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Fortress PATENTS / IP provides an informed and balanced approach to asserting and defending patent, trademark, and other intellectual property rights, protections, and potential. We invite and welcome your questions, get acquainted, and get started written or call communications.