Featured Partner

Intellectual Property Protection for Entrepreneurs

Monday, Oct 15 2012 11:45AM to 1:20PM

Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach at USPTO
Ben Craig Center, Iverson Room 8701 Mallard Creek Road Charlotte, NC 28262

This special edition of Venture Knowledge at Ben Craig Center is sponsored by the Business Innovation & Growth Council (BIG), the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), and Ventureprise, Inc.

Intellectual Property Protection for Entrepreneurs

Our guest speaker is Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


The program begins by discussing the difference between trademarks, copyrights, and patents, as well as domain names and business name registrations. It explains the importance of selecting a strong mark, that is, one that is both federally registrable and legally protectable.  The program highlights factors important when choosing a mark, such as the possibility of a likelihood of confusion, and explains the importance of doing a complete search and whether an attorney should be used. You will learn other potential grounds for the USPTO to refuse registration. You will also learn what may happen if another trademark owner believes it has stronger rights in a mark and issues a "cease-and-desist" letter. 


The program concludes with information on how to find an attorney and the distinction between what the USPTO does in the federal registration process and what a private attorney could do, and how to avoid"scams" perpetrated by companies that request fees for services not required by the USPTO. There will be time for questions.

About Our Speaker

Mr. Craig Morris works within the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, Virginia.  Previously, he was the Managing Attorney for the Trademark Electronic Application System, focusing on making the Trademark Operation a total e-government environment.  He was the head of the eGovernment Task Force, whose goal is to increase the percentage of applications processed electronically from submission through registration.  Mr. Morris has been with the USPTO since 1983, previously serving as a Law Office Examining Attorney, Senior Attorney, and Managing Attorney.

Who Should Attend?

Ø  Entrepreneurs (innovation-based businesses)

Ø  University researchers

Ø  Inventors & Innovators

When and Where

The Intellectual Property Protection program will be Monday, October 15, in the Ben Craig Center’s Iverson Room. Sign-in and networking begins at 11:45. The program will begin promptly at 12:00 and end at 1:20. Parking is free.


Please register your attendance by 2:00 p.m., October 12, by sending your contact information to Carolyn Smith (carolyn.smith@ventureprise.org) or 704-548-9113. Lunch is available for $10.00 (cash only, reserved in advance). Pre-registration required to guarantee your space.