Appitalize On Your Idea(TM) podcast about Global IP Symposium


                                          Access the podcast website

Posted by Elizabeth Gearhart, Ph.D., Patent Agent at Gearhart Law

Two of Gearhart Law's attorneys are featured in a Podcast, Appitalize On Your Idea (TM), by Justin Esgar, to discuss the upcoming Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium, or GIPLS for short.  His introduction:

"Today is a special episode of Appitalize On Your Idea(TM) the Podcast. We have first time returning guest David Postolski, and his associate Susanne Somersalo to talk about The Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium.  You can register for it at

The GIPLS is the first of its kind. A three day event taking place March 30th-April 1st in three locations, Philly, Montclair, and Manhattan. The Symposium, being put on by Gearhart Law, will bring nine lawyers from around the world together to answer questions about global IP protection.

Thinking about building a product? Think you want it to go global? You need to protect yourself. You need to make sure no one can steal your idea, or your design and sell it themselves. That’s what patents and trademarks are for, but you need a patent or trademark in every country.

Lucinda Longcroft from the World Intellectual Property Organization will be on the panel – which I think is absolutely amazing.

This is your opportunity to go and ask questions to these global lawyers for FREE! What can be better? Oh there will be food of course.

Register today to sign up for the event. You do not want to miss it.

If you like the content in this episode please do leave a review in iTunes."*

*partially quoted from the Appitalize On Your Idea(TM) website.  Hear the podcast here:


Playing on the Global Stage - IP strategies for maximum ROI

                                                              VISIT THE SITE

posted by Elizabeth Gearhart, Ph.D., Patent Agent at Gearhart Law

Free symposium for entrepreneurs and small business owners with networking and light refreshments. 

Are small companies and entrepreneurs able to sell internationally and still have their Intellectual Property (IP) protected without spending many thousands of dollars?

The answer is YES! 

In the past the ability to conduct business globally has been limited mainly to large corporations with extensive resources, but with the advancements in communications and the globalization of the business world the ability to become a global business has become increasingly available to smaller entities.  The Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium (GIPLS) addresses the IP needs of those smaller entities when entering the global market, such as:

How easy is it for the typical entrepreneur or small company to export their product?
Do other countries have strong laws to protect ideas, ie: Intellectual Property? 
What do you need to do to have patent, trademark, or copyright protection in a foreign country? 
Is there even a market for US products abroad?

IP professionals from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, and the US will discuss the business climates in their countries/regions and the IP protections available at the symposium.

The symposium will be held in 3 different venues on 3 different dates, 6-9pm:

March 30, 2015   University Science Center, Philadelphia, PA  
March 31, 2015   Montclair State U., Montclair, NJ
April 1, 2015        Fordham U., Manhattan, NY                                                                          

Join us at one of these venues for networking and light refreshments!

Please visit the website for more details and to register:





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Business Idea contest for high school students

 posted by Elizabeth Gearhart, Ph.D., patent agent at Gearhart Law

                      2014 Winners

2015 New Jersey Business Idea Competition

Attention all New Jersey High School Students!

The Rothman Institute is pleased to announce the 12th annual New Jersey Business Idea Competition!

Gearhart Law is proud to sponsor this incredible event for entrepreneurial high school students.

Students are given the challenge to create a business idea and submit it to a panel of judges comprised of University professors and experts in business and entrepreneurship. Students with the most innovative ideas and business proposals will be awarded cash prizes and recognized at our awards ceremony, where they will get to connect and network with other high school students from across New Jersey who are creative and innovative, as well.

Apply here at the 2015 Application Portal.

Deadline for applications: March 30, 2015
Awards Ceremony: May 8, 2015 - Save the date!!!

- learn more here

International patent and trademark experts to participate in panel discussion

posted by Elizabeth Gearhart, Ph.D., patent agent at Gearhart Law

Are you an entrepreneur planning to conduct business internationally?  Or do you just want to find out more about global commerce?  Join us for a free symposium. 

For more information or to register: 

A distinguished panel of patent, trademark and copyright experts from around the globe will discuss international practices and strategies for small companies and entrepreneurs at GIPLS, the Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium.  

The symposium will be moderated by Richard Gearhart, Esq.  The panelists include:

Lucinda Longcroft, Head of the New York Office of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Mindy Bickel, from the New York Region of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Barry Eagar - Australia

Cristina Guerra - Brazil

Cory Furman - Canada

James Zhu - China

Outi Virtaharju - European Union

David Postolski and Susanne Somersalo - United States

The event will be held in 3 venues over 3 days from 6-9pm:

March 30       Quorum at University Science Center, Philadelphia

March 31       University Hall Conference Center, Montclair State U., Montclair, NJ

April 1             Fordham University, NYC at Lincoln Center.

The event is free and open to the public; to register go to 



Workshop - Protecting a food recipe - trademarks, trade secrets, trade dress, patents

How can you protect your food recipe from pirates and copycats? Do you need a patent? What kind of patent? What about a Trademark? What is Trade Secret or Trade Dress?  

James Klobucar, Esq., Intellectual Property Attorney at Gearhart Law, will answer your questions when he gives a presentation at the

Foodpreneur ® Recipe for Success Boot Camp.    

USE COUPON CODE Foodfeb2015 for $25.00 off enrollment.  

Information about the Foodpreneur program and enrollment on line can be found at; for additional information send an email to Call 908 685 2035 to ask for Esther or 908 797 9847 to ask for Janis for questions and enrollment.


Foodpreneur Bootcamp-Recipe for Success!


Monday, February 23, 2015 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

Affinity Federal Credit Union - Hillsborough Branch
315 U.S. 206
Hillsborough Promenade
Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844


What's in the Recipe for Success?


The Foodpreneur ® Recipe for Success Boot Camp is an intensive series tailored to new food entrepreneurs who have a great specialty food idea but are unsure of the next steps. The program covers the key ingredients needed to be a successful Foodpreneur. Participants will have an overview of the many facets involved with creating and launching a food or beverage product.

The Boot Camp is taught by food business experts with hands on industry knowledge of specialty foods products. Participants learn experientially through classroom interaction and are provided with tools, resources and information to both learn the food business and develop plans to create sales, manage growth, and create or refine a product. The knowledge gained in the Foodpreneur Boot Camp will increase chances of success in establishing a Specialty Foods Business. Established food businesses can improve their skills in key areas such as food marketing and sales. Participants will be introduced to the Foodpreneur business model strategy of MVP- Minimum Viable Product, designed to clarify their vision and help participants identify and understand what their product is; and how the product should be produced, marketed, and sold. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, participants can head to the checkout line with a personal "Recipe for Success" - a Foodpreneur basic business plan outline.


Our seminar reviews key phases that need to be addressed as you launch your food based product. A "taste" of what we will cover over the course of your Foodpreneur Boot Camp;


Before You Get into the Kitchen:


  • Initial Capital &Time /Company Formation/ Insurance/Legal & Trademark/Feasibility of product concept, who is your consumer and what problem do you solve?

Getting Your Idea Out of the Kitchen:

  • Recipe Development to Commercial Formulation / Certifications /Viability of Product & pricing /Commercial Kitchen and other manufacturing processes/ Branding, design & packaging/ Forecasting & Accounting/ Raising Dough- finding sources of funding

Getting Your Product on the Shelf:

  • Production/Understanding distribution channels- from specialty stores to supermarkets/How do you get it there? What do distributors and brokers do?/Developing a Sales Pipeline/Pitching the buyer

Getting Your Product onto the Consumer's Plate & into their Hands:

  • What does it mean to develop a "Go to Market Strategy"?/Trade Promotions/Social Media/Advertising

All Foodpreneur "Recipe for Success" Boot Camp Students will receive the following:

  • All PowerPoint presentations, worksheets & course materials
  • Updates and discounts on upcoming educational materials and instructional opportunities

Our Team of Foodpreneur Instructors: Led by Esther Luongo Psarakis, and Janis Hertz Grover, both subject matter experts in their field to provide you with a comprehensive educational "Foodpreneurial" experience.   Additional guest speakers featured:

Our Food Scientist:

 Dr. Marc A. Meyers is Managing Principal of Meyers Consulting, LLC, and is a senior Research and Development Manager with global experience in innovation and new technology development, microencapsulation and delivery systems. He is experienced in the development of functional foods and nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, encapsulated Flavors and bioactives, hydrocolloid applications, and the technical service needs for food, flavor, and functional Ingredient applications. He has been awarded 36 patents, including 19 US patents, 17 foreign patents and 12 PCT's. Dr. Meyers has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Food Science and a B.S. from Penn State University in Food Science and is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists. 

Our Trademark Attorney:

 James Klobucar  is an intellectual property attorney from Gearhart Law, a boutique intellectual property law firm located in Summit, New Jersey. James has extensive experience in both patent and trademark matters, and chairs the firm's design patent practice. He strongly believes in assisting individual inventors and entrepreneurs and has worked with a number of incubators to help these driven individuals make their dreams a reality.


About Gearhart Law

Gearhart Law is an intellectual property firm located in Summit, New Jersey specializing in patent and trademark services. The firm's expertise lies in drafting and prosecuting patents, trademark filings and prosecution, drafting and reviewing licenses and agreements, conducting due diligence for both investors and entrepreneurs, drafting legal opinions, patent enforcement and other legal matters related to IP. Gearhart files both domestically and internationally and has attorneys who speak multiple languages.


Gearhart Law has over 20 years of expertise in the area of consumer/industrial products and life sciences, as well as software and chemical arts. The firm's clients range from individual entrepreneurs to global businesses. Gearhart Law is located at 41 River Road, Summit, NJ 07901. For more information, call 908-273-0700, email or visit our website at and our blog at






Patents and Trademarks

41 River Road 

Summit, New Jersey 07901

908 273 0700




Design patents are now easier to file internationally


Re-posted from the USPTO website
by James Klobucar, Patent Attorney at Gearhart Law

United States Deposits Instrument of Ratification to Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs

U.S. innovators will soon have more options for pursuing multijurisdictional protection for new industrial designs

February 13, 2015

Press Release 15-02

CONTACT: (Media Only)
Patrick Ross or Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 or (link sends e-mail) or (link sends e-mail)

Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that the United States has deposited its instrument of ratification to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. This marks the last step in the membership process for the United States to become a Member of the Hague Union. The treaty will go into effect for the United States on May 13, 2015.

Currently, U.S. applicants wishing to pursue protection for industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions must file individual applications in each of the respective jurisdictions where industrial design rights are desired. When the Hague Agreement enters into force for the United States, it will be possible for U.S. applicants to file a single international design application either with WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland, or the USPTO to obtain protection in multiple economies. The Hague system for the protection of industrial designs provides a practical solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 62 territories with the filing of one single international application.

“U.S. accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement will provide applicants with the opportunity for improved efficiencies and cost savings in protecting their innovative designs in the global economy,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee. “We are extremely excited about joining the Hague Union and contributing to the continued expansion and development of the Hague system which facilitates protection of industrial designs in design registration and examination systems alike.”

Hague system offers applicants increased filing efficiencies and potential cost savings in pursuing protection for their innovative industrial designs. As envisioned under the Geneva Act, the United States will continue to substantively examine design applications and to grant design rights in the form of U.S. design patents, whether the application is filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement or as a United States design patent application.

USPTO will soon publish the Final Rules governing USPTO processing and examination of international design applications filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement in the Federal Register.  The Agreement, Title I of the Patent Law Treaties Implement Act of 2012 (the implementing legislation for the Hague Agreement in the United States), and the USPTO’s Final Rules are all expected to go into effect on May 13, 2015. U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15 year term.

The Hague system is expected to experience significant growth over the next few years with recent and expected additions of several countries to the member list. In addition to United States membership taking effect on May 13, 2015, South Korea became a member effective July 1, 2014, and Japan is expected to become a member in the same time period as the United States.  Canada, China, and Russia are also among the countries exploring membership in the near future.

For non-press inquiries please contact David Gerk, Patent Attorney, Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) at 571-272-9300.

Stay current with the USPTO by subscribing to receive email updates at our Subscription Center at


Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium

The Global Intellectual Property Law Symposium organized by Gearhart Law

Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner who's ready to expand to the global stage, or do you just want to learn more?  Join us in either Philly, Montclair, NJ, or Manhattan for a powerful panel presentation.

Patent professionals from six countries will discuss the business climates and the best way to protect Intellectual Property in their countries.  Our panelists include attorneys from China, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S.  The presentations are in the evening so you may schedule meetings with the attorneys during the day as time permits. 

Space is limited so reserve your spot soon!


Apple's latest patent - no more pausing the movie

written by Matthew G. Miller, Patent Attorney at Gearhart Law

Apple Wants You Snack Freely While Watching Netflix

            A few short weeks ago Apple, Inc. was granted a patent on a piece of technology that, if implemented, will change the living room forever. Ever since January of 2007, when Apple released the first generation of the Apple TV, the Cupertino company has been attempting to integrate themselves into the living room. With the issuance of United States Patent No.: 8,918,822 (“the ‘822 patent”), Apple has continued this trend.

            The ‘822 patent aptly describes a problem that we have all experienced: “…a group of people may sit in a room with the fixed display system and begin watching a movie or other content. Then, during the viewing when someone decides to leave the room (e.g. to prepare a snack), the other viewers must either pause the viewing while they all wait for the departed viewer to return, or let the presentation continue and the returning viewer may miss some of the presentation.

            This system works by first viewing content on a screen via a fixed display system via any device that is capable of receiving and transmitting streaming content to a separate device. Such devices include a set-top box, a network-enabled DVD player, an Apple TV, a Google TV, a Roku Streaming Player, a digital video recorder (DVR), and video game consoles (such as an Xbox 360).


            When a user wishes to view the streaming content on their portable electronic device (mobile phone/tablet), they have a number of options. First, if the content is coming from a specific provider that has a proprietary application on the portable electronic device (e.g. Netflix, Hulu), the system can interface directly with that application. Alternatively, the system may allow a user to choose from a number of active data streams. If the previous two methods are not available, the system also provides for the ability to mirror the content on the portable mobile device.

            As is clear, Apple is making strides to provide its customers with a seamless viewing experience. Interestingly, this is directly in line with the late Steve Jobs’ proclamation that he would like Apple to “create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use ... It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud ... It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

            Whether the contents of the ‘822 patent will ever make it to market remains to be seen, however, this type of innovation is indicative of future advances being brought to a living room near you.


EAT MORE KALE trademark


EAT MORE KALE: One Man’s Showdown With A Corporate Giant


By: James Klobucar, Patent Attorney at Gearhart Law

Back in 2001, Bo Muller-Moore, a Vermont resident, started using the phrase “Eat More Kale,” a seemingly innocuous phrase, to promote the green leafy vegetable. Mr. Moore generated some attention amongst his local Vermonters once he began making t-shirts and other items bearing the phrase. Fast forward about a decade, and Mr. Moore decided to capitalize on what was beginning to become a burgeoning business by filing a federal trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the phrase “Eat More Kale.” However, receiving the federal trademark protection he so desired was going to be no easy task.

Enter Chick-fil-A, a fast food chain with over 1800 locations nationally. Chick-fil-A first sent a cease and desist letter to Moore in 2006, a full five years before his federal trademark application filing. The letter did not have its intended effect and by and large the corporate giant left Moore alone. Once the federal trademark application was filed, however, Chick-fil-A increased the legal vices on him considerably. The company in a subsequent cease and desist letter claimed that Moore’s phrase “Eat More Kale” was too similar to Chick-fil-A’s trademarked “Eat Mor Chikin” slogan. 

About four months after that initial trademark filing, Mr. Moore received the first rejection of his application on minor technical defects in the application that were easily curable. However, a mere four days after this rejection was issued, “someone” anonymously submitted information to the trademark examiner encouraging them to examine Moore’s application in light of Chick-fil-A’s trademark registrations, which by the way is a perfectly legal procedural maneuver. 

A few months later, a new rejection was issued for Mr. Moore’s application under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act as his trademark presented a “likelihood of confusion” with the Chick-fil-A trademarks so kindly brought to the trademark examiner’s attention. Under this section, registration of a trademark is barred if the applied for trademark “so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused or mistaken or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant.” The legal wrangling between Moore and Chick-fil-A had thus begun and subsequently took on a life of its own through the media.

Moore, to his credit, was able to collect tens of thousands of Facebook followers and obtain equally large numbers of signatures to a petition supporting his cause. This was one man’s showdown against a corporate giant, and he wasn’t prepared to go quietly. By leveraging the powers of social media and attracting the support of Vermont state officials, Moore was able to receive the help of pro-bono lawyers including law students from a legal clinic at the University of New Hampshire School (UNH) of Law to assist him in fighting the legal technicalities involved with his case.

According to one of the lawyers involved with the case Attorney and UNH Professor Ashlynn Lembree, “we presented evidence and arguments [to the trademark attorney] that the marks are different, particularly in light of the connotation evoked by spelling differences and emphasis placed on the direct object of a command sentence, combined with the point that KALE and CHIKIN are different; that the abundance of third party uses of EAT MORE _____ on t-shirts means that consumers are attuned to placing emphasis on the third word to differentiate source; that comparable parallel marks in the same goods have been allowed to co-exist on the U.S. Trademark Register; and that consumers of the respective products from these two sources are sophisticated in their purchasing decisions in light of political and nutritional views that tend to be connected with the respective sources.”

Thanks to the thorough and well-versed arguments presented in the attorneys’ response to the rejection, the trademark “Eat More Kale” was allowed by the USPTO on December 9, 2014. In making the allowance, the trademark examiner provided no explicit reasons for allowing the application. This is not particularly surprising given that it is not required that any reason be explicitly enumerated. Thus, we may never know exactly why the trademark examiner allowed the application nor why Chick-fil-A seemingly gave up the fight they so wholeheartedly invested in and fought many times before. My guess is there’s at least one guy out there who really doesn’t care.

Overall, the victory is considered by many to give credence to small business owners, the local/farm food movement, and even the state of Vermont. Being a graduate of the University of New Hampshire myself, it’s great to see the type of assistance that exists in the legal community that enables it to play a pivotal role in assisting small start-ups and entrepreneurs and helps them prevail on the merits against any entity big or small. As Vermont’s governor Peter Shumlin said “The message is out: Don’t mess with Vermont. And don’t mess with Bo. In Vermont, we care about what’s in our food, who grows it, and where it comes from. That’s what Bo and Eat More Kale represent. And that’s something worth fighting for.”

Further reading:

Russia Modernizes its Patent Legislation


written by Susanne Somersalo, Ph.D., Esq., patent attorney at Gearhart Law

It is now safer for foreign companies to enter the Russian markets--- Russia modernizes its patent legislation

The IP laws in Russia have come a long way since the Soviet Union collapsed. The Soviet Union used to provide something that was called an Author’s Certificate to an inventor. However, inventions were state property and anyone could use the inventions without the author’s permission. The author, however, was entitled to a compensation for the exploitation of the invention. The maximum compensation was regulated by the laws.

The Russian Federation adopted a new patent law in 1991 which was based on the Soviet law. This law has since been amended twice and in October 2014 there was yet a new amendment which considerably improves the rights of inventors. From the perspective of foreign business owners, the amendments are especially important.

There are two basic ways to protect inventions in Russia: the invention may be protected by a patent or by a utility model. In addition to these two forms one can also protect a design.

The requirements for a patent have been similar to what we have in the United States, in that the invention has to be novel, it has to have an inventive step, and there has to be an industrial use for the invention. However, unlike the U.S. or European patent laws, the Russian law did not set any specifications as to what extent the claimed invention had to be described. The new law requires “sufficient description” which is similar to the US law requirement that the description be “enabling”.

A remarkable change in the law is the novelty requirement for the utility models. A utility model is very similar to utility models or petty patents in various other countries, such as Germany or China. A utility model is valid for a shorter period than a patent and it is usually examined and issued faster than a regular patent. What was the huge flaw in the Russian patent law, especially from the view point of a foreign company, was that only documents published in Russia were considered as prior art for utility models. This resulted in situations where foreign companies trying to enter Russian markets without patent rights in Russia got sued by Russian ‘trolls’ who had gotten rights in Russia by filing utility models for what the foreign companies had already patented or practiced outside Russia.   This is now made impossible by amending the definition of prior art to include publications from anywhere in the world.

Another major change is the amendment regarding assignments and infringement. Firstly, the new legislation bans payment free assignments. In practice this means that there has to be some sort of consideration. Also the new law requires recordation of assignments and licenses.

Secondly, the new legislation improves the rights of the infringed party. From the beginning of 2015, the infringed party can ask not only for an injunction but also for compensation from the infringement act. The compensation has been limited to be between 10,000 and 5 million Rubles which equals to $300 -$150,000. This may not sound like much, but considering that before this there was no way to get compensation, this is a major change. Instead of an injunction the infringed party may also allow the infringer to continue using the technology with a license that has double the price that would usually be imposed in a similar case.

In conclusion, the amendments modernize the IP legislation of Russia and bring it into conformity with international norms. This modernization will help foreign companies to enter the Russian marketplace as well as help Russian companies and inventors to protect their intellectual property against infringers.