Intellectual Property


IP Legal 

Utah Patent Law

Our Utah patent attorneys practice patent and trademark law and counsel clients across the Mountain West. Through our registered attorneys, we serve businesses and individuals looking for help with patent work and copyright law questions. If you need a patent attorney, Utah knowledge can be helpful. Protecting your company, ideas, and intellectual property is what we love to do for every client in their various industries. We’re proud to provide help from our foundation of quality lawyers. Steve Rinehart is a registered Utah patent attorney who can draft, file, and prosecute U.S. patents, trademarks, and PCT applications for your intellectual property. In addition, our team of qualified attorneys also provides patent litigation services and Internet/cyberlaw legal services. These services for our client’s intellectual property include assistance with ICANN domain name disputes and UDRP complaints via offices in Utah and Virginia to protect their intellectual property.

Utah Offices

Our Utah office in Salt Lake City leads the way for our partner offices across the West and Midwest to help with patent and copyright law concerns. Our team of intellectual property attorneys can help you defend your intellectual property (I.P.) rights using patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and domain names through I.P. law. Utah, which sits in the Tenth Federal Circuit, has stricter, brighter-line rules which are more favorable in many respects to intellectual property owners than are other jurisdictions. We make sure you can enjoy the full benefit of those intellectual property laws through our rigorous defense of your right to your intellectual property. As a registered patent attorney, Steven Rinehart is prepared to help you secure rights to what is yours by law.

IP Legal Services

Mechanical Patents
Utility Patents
Methods Patents
Design Patents
PCT Patent Applications
Provisional Patents

Patentability Options
Trademark Search
Freedom to Operate

Intellectual Property
Trade Secrets
Domain Name Disputes
Confidentiality Agreements



ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is here to help organize domain name contracts. ICANN is the governing body that oversees domain name contracts across the internet. So if you’re registering a domain name on the internet, you’ll work through ICANN to make sure your domain name is secure and safe as your intellectual property.

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is a policy ICANN issued to handle domain name disputes. This policy attempts to resolve any general top-level domain name disputes and applies to all gTLDs or general top-level domains. The gTLD is a section of a domain name regulated and controlled by ICANN across the internet. The gTLD of a domain can always be found at the farthest right of the dot and can be sold (generally) to anyone. Although gTLDs are pretty standard, new gTLDs, made in 2013 as part of a general domain name expansion program, can also be regulated by ICANN’s UDRP.

Aside from the generic top-level domains discussed above (examples include .com and .org), there are country code top-level domains under a particular country's authority rather than the ICANN as an entity. ccTLDs only include two characters and constitute country codes controlled and monitored by either third parties or a branch of that individual country’s government, depending on how the organization is structured. Generally, there can be geographical or similar limitations concerning registering domains under ccTLDs. Again, third parties or government branches enforce these limitations. There’s one last kind of domain: a third-level domain, which is the leftmost portion of the domain name (example: www).

You can visit the USPTO (The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) website to learn more about getting started with that question of your intellectual property rights. But really, it’s a complex process. Not only do you have to check “prior art” and previously patented inventions in your country, but you also need to make sure that there’s nothing in the publicly disclosed space that would make your invention not patentable. This search is where a registered patent attorney comes in handy.

There are two ways to apply for patent rights for your invention. The first, a nonprovisional application, begins with an examination process and has the potential to lead to a patent, and the second, a provisional application, establishes a filing date without an examination process. Whichever method you choose as best for your particular patent application can be achieved through filing electronically on the Electronic Filing System (EFS). If you’d rather, you can also file in writing to the Commissioner for patents. If you’d like more information, you can also request more information from the USPTO, but this information will be pertaining to general applications only and won’t be able to answer the full range of questions that a registered patent attorney can provide.

As defined by the USPTO, a patent is “a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the USPTO in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.” Although patents are only available to protect your intellectual property for a limited period of time, you can renew them with annuities or fees so that your property right to your invention doesn’t expire. Public disclosure simply means that now everyone else knows about the invention and, with enough skill, an ordinary person now has the tools to reproduce the invention as is legally possible.

As long as you are the inventor of an invention, you can apply for a patent in the confines of intellectual property law. A patent has to be applied for in the name of the individual who invented the concept or product, and you can’t apply for a patent in someone else’s stead. This is to ensure that there is no miscommunication or doubt about who the patent belongs to that could exclude you as the inventor from benefiting from all aspects of the patent you intend to acquire. If you’re applying for a patent, there should be no doubt that you are the owner of the invention. To make absolutely sure that you’re not infringing on someone else’s patent, it’s probably best to work with a certified patent attorney who can provide certainty that your patent can be protected in your individual name.

A patented invention must be three things:

  • Novel
  • Nonobvious
  • Useful

The different categories of patented inventions can span these categories:

  • Process
  • Machine
  • Article of manufacture
  • Composition of matter
  • Improvement of any of the above

Things that are not able to be patented include things that are not novel, are obvious, and unable to be described in a way that allows others to make and use them. They must also be claimed by you (the inventor) in clear and definite terms, so how you apply for a patent is crucial to whether or not you’ll be able to have a patent at all. A patent cannot be offensive to public morality, which is usually concerned with human rights violations. Embryos used for commercial research, cloning machines, and other inhumane inventions are not allowed under this restriction.

Other things that cannot be patented include:

  • Laws of nature
  • Physical phenomena
  • Abstract ideas
  • Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (although these can be copyrighted)

Trademarks involve any name, device, word, or symbol (or any combination of these) either used or intended to be used for commercial purposes to identify and distinguish goods of a manufacturer or seller from another manufacturer’s goods. A trademark can be defined as a brand name. Trademarks help signify the validity of your business and protect your name from distortion or any illicit activities.
Unlike trademarks, a service mark can be used to distinguish services between providers. It still applies to any combination or usage of words, names, symbols, and devices, but it distinguishes services between providers, not products between manufacturers and sellers.

The USPTO provides access to almost every element of your trademark during its pending and registration process. Once the trademark is finalized and registered, however, you have to pay $3 for a copy of your trademark registration. Either way, the process of filing a trademark can be followed by a clear, accessible paper trail that you absolutely should track if you’re embarking on this journey by yourself. If you’re working with a trademark registration attorney, they will handle documentation for you.

Pending, registered, and dead trademarks are listed in the Trademark Electronic Search System. It’s advisable that you search through the system to see if your potential trademark is already listed. And additionally, it’s best to get the opinion of a trademark attorney if you’re uncertain about the information you’ve found in the TESS.

The R within the circle is a federal symbol, while the ™ is usually a local, state, or foreign symbol that has to do with local, state, or foreign countries’ rights and related practice areas.