Abandonment: When an applicant does not reply to an action by the USPTO within the required time limit and the application is considered withdrawn.

Abstract of the Disclosure: A brief statement explaining what is new in the industry of your invention.

Acceptable identification of Goods and Services Manual: A manual showing examples of identifications of goods and services that the USPTO will accept for trademark registration.

Add-On: A product or service that you add to the original product to expand its capabilities.

(ACoS) Advertising Cost of Sales: A metric used to measure the performance of an Amazon Sponsored Products campaign. ACoS indicates the ratio of ad spend to targeted sales and is calculated by this formula: Ad spend sales = ACoS

Adjusted Gross Revenue: The amount of revenue that remains after deducting damages, returns, spoilage and other costs from the profit.

Advance: Payment ahead of time, such as a payment in anticipation of royalties.

Advance Shipping Notice: This document tells the customer the details of the order, including the number of boxes, the packaging, the weight and shipping information.

Aftermarket: Additional parts not included on the original.

Allowable Deductions: Includes business and/or operating expenses that may be deducted prior to calculating a royalty percentage owed to a licensor.

(AOU) Allegations of Use: This applies to trademarks filed on the basis of a 1(b) Intent to Use. the applicant must submit a specimen showing use of the mark for each class of goods/services included on the application. If the specimen if filed after the mark is approved, the AOU is also called a Statement of Use.

(AIA) America Invents Act: Also known as Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. passed in 2011, the Act, among other things, switched the U.S rights to a patent from the previous “first to invent” system to “first to file” system for the patent applications.

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999: Passed in 1999 to protect inventors rights by establishing a cause of action for inventors injured by materially false or fraudulent statements or representations, or any omission of material fact, by an invention promoter, or by the promoter’s failure to make the required written disclosures as set forth more fully in the statue.

Annuity Fee: Also known as the renewal or maintenance fee, the annuity fee is paid to maintain your patent application.

Application (patent): An application for the patent filed naming the inventor and must contain: a specification, claim(s), drawings (when required) and an oath or declaration stating that the applicant is the actual inventor; along with the required filing fees.

Applications Filing Date (trademark): The date the USPTO receives a fully completed application along with the required filing fees.

Application Number (patent): The unique number assigned to a patent application when it is filed. The application number includes a two digit series code and a six digit serial number.

Arbitration: An alternative method of resolving disputes through various tribunals (e.g., American Arbitration Association or JAMS) including mediations and arbitrations.

Arbitrary Marks: These are words that are commonly used to identify particular goods and services, and do not describe an ingredient, quality or characteristic. Examples: Old Crow for whiskey, Apple for Computers.

As Built Drawings: The set of drawings including exact dimensions of the product documenting all changes in the construction phase.

Assignee: The entity that is the recipient of a transfer of a patent application, patent, trademark application or trademark registration from its owner of record (assignor).

Assignment (agreements): A clause included in an agreement which states whether either party to the agreement may assign its rights to a third party and whether the other party must content prior to any such transfer of rights.

Assignment: A transfer of ownership by the “assignor” of a patent or a trademark application or a trademark from one entity (or person) to another “assignee”. Assignments are with the USPTO Assignment Services Division to become a matter of public record to establish the Assignee as the owner.

Assignment (agreements): The transferring of rights (such as website operations or Amazon store) for the duration of licensing or distribution agreement to a third party to enable them to perform their duties under the agreement.

Assignor: The owner of a patent application, patent, trademark application or trademark registration or domain name who is transferring (assigning) ownership to another (assignee).


Bait and Switch: Advertising tactic that lures buyers in with a compelling offer and then tries to sell them a substitute item by telling them the original offer is no longer available.

Barcode: The UPC or Universal Product Code is a barcode for tracking trade items in stores. The UPC consists of 12 numeric digits assigned to each trade item.

Blackout Period: This is the time between the date the examining attorney approves the trademark for publication and the date of issuance of the Notice of Allowance.

Bill of Materials: The Bill of Materials lists the quantities of all components and materials required for the manufacture of the product.

Blister Pack: The blister or bubble pack is clear molded plastic on the front of the cardboard packaging that displays your product.

Boilerplate: A legal slang for provisions in a contract that are standard or routine.

Blow Molding: A technique used to make items such as containers, cans and bottles that are hollow inside.

Brainchild: An original idea attributed to a person or group.

Brand: A name or trademark of a manufacturer or the product identified by the name.

Branding: A marketing strategy that promotes your product.

Breakthrough: An important new discovery that has a dramatic and far-reaching effect.

Business Plan: A document that outlines how your company is structured, explains how investments will be spent, outlines anticipated milestones and projects profits to the company and the investor.

Buy Back: When the contract states that you agree to repurchase merchandise for a reason you negotiate with the retailer. Common issues for a buyback include returns by the customer, late shipment, damage, etc.



C&A: Certification and Accreditation

CAD: Computer Aided Designs depict your product with specific dimensions so it can be machined and tested. CAD aids in the production of the product.

(CTA) Call to Action: The portion of a DRTV commercial asking the viewer to place an order. Often used term is ‘Cal Now’ or ‘Act Now’ in order to take advantage of the advertised offer.

Canadian Standards Association: A testing laboratory recognized by OSHA.Upon successful completion, the product can display the CSA logo to indicate certification.

Cancelled: A trademark registration that is inactive due to failure to respond to an office action or to pay maintenance fees.

Cancellation Proceeding: A proceeding before the TTAB where the plaintiff attempts to cancel a mark’s registration on the basis that the registration will harm or damage the goodwill of the plaintiff.

Certification Mark: A mark filed by members of the union or organization that is used to show origin of goods, material, quality, or other characteristics of the goods or services.

Certificate of Registration: Official document bearing the USPTO seal evidencing that a mark is registered at the USPTO.

CIF: Cost, Insurance and Freight or CIF is a term used for ocean shipments. Typically the seller has the responsibility for the cost of goods in transit, and at the point of delivery the buyer assumes responsibility. The CIF details the price for goods including insurance and transportation.

Claims: The extent of the protection sought in your patent application or the extent of the protection conferred by a patent.

Claims: Specification of the invention.

Clam Shell Packaging: A clear product container with two sides that join together to form an enclosure.

Classification of Goods and Services: An international system used to classify the category of goods or services that will be sold under a particular trademark.

Clearance Search: A search of names that is performed prior to filing a trademark application to ensure that the chosen mark is available for use and registration.

(CTR) Click -Through Rate: The ratio of users who click specific links to the number of total users who view a webpage, blog, email, or advertisement as compared to those who received the link but did not click through.

Co-Inventor: Where more than one inventor contributed to the creation of an invention (i.e., develops one or more claims) that is included in a patent application.

Cold Call: You make a cold call when you contact a company to pitch your product when you don’t know anyone in the company.

Collective Mark: A trademark used by members of a group or association indicating membership.

Combination Patent: A patent granted for an invention that unites existing components in a new way.

(CE) Commission of Europe: Certification that a product meets European Union safety, health and environmental standards.

Common Inventor: An inventor whose name is listed on multiple patent applications, making the inventions at least partially the work of the same person.

(CAD) Computer Aided Design: Computer Aided Designs (CAD) depict your product with specific dimensions so it can be machined and tested. CAD aids in the production of the product.

(CNC) Computerized Numerical Control: CNC refers to automated controls that guide machines using software including CAD and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing).

Concept: An idea or design.

Confidentiality Agreement (Non-Disclosure Agreement): Protect information shared with an employee, client, vendor, or other party.

Consumable: Products that are replaced regularly such as food and fuel.

Container Load: FCL or a Full Container Load is a standard 20 or 40 foot length shipping container that has lower freight rates than “loose” cargo. Less than Container Load or LCL describes cargo that is insufficient in quantity or weight to qualify for lower freight rates applied to standard shipping containers.

Continuation: A second application for the same invention that is filed before the first application is granted or abandoned which included additional claims.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads (i.e., visitors to a website or viewers of an infomercial) that turn into sales.

Copycat: A copycat product or knockoff is similar to the original and may be in violation of the original patent (patent infringement).

© Copyright Registration Symbol: The symbol used in copyright notices for works other than sound recordings.

Copyright: A copyright protects published or unpublished literary, scientific or artistic work that grants the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly. 

Copyright Office: A division of the Library of Congress that maintains records of copyright registrations filed within the United States.

(COGS) Cost of Goods: The direct cost associated with manufacturing and packaging of a product (i.e., included raw materials, freight or shipping charges).

Country of Origin (trademark): The country where a trademark applicant resides or is incorporated.

Cost Per Order: Also referred to as CPO ratio refers to how much media you are spending to generate a single order. For example, if you spend $100,000 in Media and generate 5000 orders, the CPO is calculated as $100,000/5000 orders, which equals $20.00. See also MER.

Creator: An individual who produces or initiates.

Current Filing Basis: The designation of a trademark as not yet in use but intended to use (§1(b) filing) or is already in use in commerce (§1(a)filing)

Customs: Customs are duties imposed on imported goods, and less often on exported goods.

Cutting Edge: The most advanced and modern stage.


Deceive: If you deceive someone, you make them believe something that is not true, usually in order to get some advantage for yourself; to trick, fool, cheat. 

Declaration: In the oath of declaration for the USPTO you affirm that you are the original and only inventor, state your country of citizenship, declare that you understand the specifications the declaration refers to and promise to disclose information as to patentability.

 Declaration of Non-Infringement: A court document stating that your actions don’t infringe on a specific patent. You can obtain a Declaration of Non-Infringement before a patent owner files a lawsuit against you for patent infringement.

 Deliverables: Something you promise in your contract with the customer.

 Demand Letter: A Demand or Threat Letter is sent to a company threatening a lawsuit for patent infringement and seeking royalties.

 Descriptive Mark: A mark that only describes the products or services such as its ingredients, qualities, registration on the basis that it lacks distinction ( e.g., Big Book or Hot ‘n Spicy Chicken).

 Design: A graphic representation that shows the function of something or how it is to be made.

Design Around: See Work Around.

Design Patent: Intellectual protection granted for novel and unique ornamental design (e.g., a shape of a bottle or eyeglass design) which is granted for a period of 14 years.

Design Patent Application: An application for a patent to protect against the unauthorized use of new, original, and ornamental designs for the articles of manufacture.

Design Search Code Manual:  The Design Search Code Manual lists the numerical codes for searching designs in the USPTO’s trademark database (TESS).

Develop: To add details to a basic plan or idea.

Die Cast: The process of forcing molten metal or plastic into a mold to produce an object.

 Digital Millennium Copyright Act: defines legal duties with which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must comply in order to limit their legal liabilities in the event a user of their service violates copyright laws (including providing the identity of the infringer in response to a subpoena).

 Direct Response: A marketing strategy such as a TV commercial or a direct mail postcard to sell a product directly to consumers.

Disclosure: In return for a patent, the application fully describes the invention they seek to protect.

 Discover: The process of finding something after searching.

 Discrete Manufacturing: Accounting for a product with serial numbers instead of volume or weight.

 Display Cost: The cost to display an individual item. Example: The display cost is 1/50 of the cost of the entire display if the display holds 50 items.

Distribution: Delivery to numerous people.

Distribution Center: The Distribution Center or Branch Warehouse is the location for receiving, storing and distributing goods.

Distribution Channel: Refers to the means of offering a product for sale be it retail, wholesale or direct to consumer via various means such as internet or TV advertising.

 Distributor: A company or agent that undertakes to supply goods to stores and other businesses that sells to end-users on another’s behalf.

 Divisional Patent Application: The Divisional Application refers to an issue in an application that was filed previously.

Domestic Representative: Refers to a person residing within the United States who represents an applicant who lives or resides outside the country.

 Double Patent: Two patents on one invention.

 Drawing (patent): Schematic of each feature of the invention that is specified in the claims.

Drawings (trademark): An application must include either standard characters (words) or a drawing of applied- for the mark (logos, and/or colors (if claimed as a feature of the mark)).

DR Media Agency: A company which buys infomercial or short form media on behalf of a client and provides reports on profitability of Long Form or Short Form commercial airing for a customary fee of 15% of the billings.

 DRTV, Direct Response Television: Any television (or digital) advertising that asks consumers to either visit a website or call an 800 number to make a purchase.

 Drop Shipping: When you send the product directly to a retailer from the manufacturer.

Due Diligence: A company interested in licensing your product will perform research or due diligence before making an offer. The research may include the market share of the product, the ROI (Return on Investment), profit margin and the manufacturing process.

Durable Goods: Products that last a long time without damage like furniture and electronics




EFS-Web: Electronic Filing System -web- based filing system to upload applications and other data to the USPTO website.

 Efficient Infringement: Deliberate infringement of a patented or trademarked product where a cost-benefit analysis deems it cheaper to infringe (and possibly pay damages) than to obtain a valid licensing agreement.

 Elasticity of Demand: When sales decrease when prices rise and increase when prices drop.

 Electrical Testing Lab: Testing laboratories that are recognized by OSHA. The ETL symbol indicates certification.

 Embodiment: A specific definition of features or method of the invention in a patent or patent application.

 Enforceability of Patent: The patent owner has a right to sue anyone who makes, uses or sells the invention without permission. This right extends for the length of the patent plus six years under the statute of limitations to bring an infringement lawsuit.

 Essential Patent: A patent for an invention that is necessary to implement a standard in the industry.

 European Article Numbering: The 13-digit bar code that is compatible with the UPC.

 Exclusivity: When the inventor and the company agree that the company will have exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the product.

 Examiner’s Amendment: An amendment made to trademark application by the examining attorney following consultation with the applicant.

 Examining Attorney: A USPTO attorney assigned to review trademark applications.

 Expired: Trademark registration is no longer active due to a failure to renew the mark at the end of the registration period.

 Exploded View: A drawing that shows how the parts of the product relate to one another.

 Express Abandonment: A written declaration submitted to the USPTO that the trademark will no longer be used.

 Extension Request: A sworn statement signed by the applicant stating applicant has a good faith intention to use the mark in commerce, and needs additional time to show proof that the mark in use accompanied by the required fees.




False Advertising: False or misleading statements about a product or service’s source, benefits or origin. To bring a claim for False Advertising (Section43(a) of the Lanham Act), requires that a plaintiff show (1) defendant made false or misleading statements as to his own products (or another’s); (2) actual deception; (3) deception influenced purchasing decisions; (4) the advertised goods are transported in interstate commerce; and (5) a likelihood of injury to plaintiff.

 Fanciful Marks: These are invented or uncommon terms used as a trademark. Examples are Pepsi, Kodak and Exxon.

 Feeder: A person or company which seeks out products for marketability and feeds them to a marker in a process known as Flipping.

 Field of Use Limitation: The scope of authorization to manufacture the product by the patent owner.

 File Wrapper: A complete record of proceedings in the USPTO from the filing of the initial patent application to the issued patent.

 Filing Basis: The legal basis for filing an application for registration of a mark which mainly fall into 3 categories including: (1) use in commerce under (§1(a)filing); (2) intention to use a mark in commerce under (§1(b)filing); (3) based on a previously- filed foriegn application.

Filing Date: The date the USPTO receives a completed application along with the required filing fees.

 First Right of Refusal: A contract allowing a specific company the right to see your design first. You agree not to send the product or idea to other companies until you are notified that the company is not interested in the product or idea.

 First Sale Doctrine: When a copyright owner has sold a lawfully made copy of his or her work, the purchaser is permitted to transfer, distribute or lend that copy to another person without violating copyright or trademark laws.

 First to Invent: The person who has the right to the patent.

 Flipping: The act of gathering all testing data (target market, price points, etc) to demonstrate product appeal in order ‘Flip’ product to someone else (normally in exchange for a fee).

 Footprint: The space that a product takes on the store shelf or display.

 FOB, Freight on Board: A shipping term used to describe the time when the supplier or seller is no longer responsible for the shipped goods and when the buyer is responsible for paying the transport cost (e.g FOB China port or China factory).

Fraudulent: Obtained, done by, or involving deception, especially criminal deception.



Gap in the Market: A void in the market where customers are not being served, providing an opportunity.

 GIGO, Garbage in Garbage Out: An analysis is only as good as the information source.

 GDPR, The General Data Protection Regulation: European Union law passed in May 2018 that sets forth policies regarding data collection and privacy to safeguard personal information on the internet.

 Generic Term: Generic terms refer to a class name for goods or services, such as Live Plants or and cannot be used as a trademark.

 Goods and Service: Goods are products, and services must be a real activity, must benefit someone other than the applicant and must be qualitatively different from another service. Every application must include an identification of goods and/or services.

 Gross Revenue: Total revenue derived from the sale of goods or services.





Hold Harmless Clause: An agreement in a contract that one party will not hold the other one responsible for damages.

 Hook: The main feature of a product that appeals to buyers.



Identification of Goods and/ or Services: A written statement of the goods or services included in an application. Every application must include an identification of goods and or/ services.

IGES: A file format used to transfer files in CAD.

Imaginative: New and original.

Improvement: A change that makes something better.

Incontestability: Under Section 15 of the Trademark Act, a trademark may be declared incontestable after five years of continuous means which means that it can never be cancelled through Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings.

Indemnification: An agreement to receive compensation for loss incurred as a result of a specific incident. An example is where an inventor indemnifies a licensee in the event the invention is found to infringe on another patent and the infringer is ordered to pay damages.

Indemnify: Protection against loss in a contract.

Indirect Infringement: When the cause of the patent infringement is a party other than the one infringing on the patent.

Industrial Design: A department of a manufacturing or development company

Industry Applicability: A patent is granted only if the invention can be applied to the industry.

Industry Standards: Criteria dictating rule for operations within an industry.

Infringement (patent): To make, use, sell or offer to sell, any patented invention without the permission of the patent owner or licensee.

Infringement (trademark): To use a trademark on or in connection with goods or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods or services.

Ingenuity: Cleverness and originality

Injection Molding: Molds made of steel, ceramic or aluminum used to manufacture solid products.

Innovation: Inventing or introducing a new idea, device or method for better solutions.

Innovation Patent: A patent with a short term of protection for inventions with a short use or a small advance over current technology.

Inspired: Brilliant and creative.

Intellectual Property: Original creative work or ideas in a form that can be shared for others to recreate, emulate or manufacture. There are four ways to protect intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets.

Inter Pares Review: Inter partes review is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a patent only on a ground that could be raised under §§ 102 or 103, and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications. See PTAB

IC, International Class: Refers to the classification of the goods and services that are assigned to a trademark.

Intent to Use: Refers to a trademark application filed Section 1(b) of the Trademark Act where the mark applied for is not yet in use with regard to the sale of any goods or services. Once the trademark is actually in use, the applicant must file a Statement of Use in order to obtain registration of the mark.

Intrinsic Value: The price for product or service based on supply and demand.

Intuitive Use: Whether the product’s purpose and function is easily understood by the consumer.

Invalidation: An action to oppose an application for a trademark (after registration) before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Invention: Any art or process (way of doing or making things), machine, manufacture,design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws of the United States.

Innovator: A person who introduces new ideas, devices or methods for better solutions.

Investor: An investor or angel is an individual or group that invests money in return for part ownership in the company.

Inventor: One who contributed to the conception of an invention, The patent law of the United States of America requires that the applicant in a patent application must be the inventor.

Invention Disclosure: A document prepared by an engineer and used by a patent attorney to determine if the inventor should proceed with an application for patent protection.

Invention Promoter: Also known as a invention promotion or marketing company or an invention submission company, provides services to inventors to help them in develop or market their inventions. The U.S. government estimates that hundreds of companies offer invention-promotion services and that “virtually all of them are either ineffective or outright fraudulent. One official at the United States Patent and Trademark Office says he believes there are fewer than a half-dozen legitimate invention promoters in the country.”   

Inventive Step: The requirement that your product or service is sufficiently inventive to warrant a patent.

IP: Intellectual property

Issue Date: The date that a patent application becomes a US patent. The USPTO issues patents on Tuesday.



Joint Application (joint inventors): An application in which the invention is presented as that of two or more persons have contributed to the invention set forth in at least one claim in a patent application.

 Jurisdiction: Refers to the court or tribunal that has the authority to interpret and apply the law with respect to a particular legal or administrative matter.




Kill Fee: The amount of money paid for services rendered when a contract is cancelled.

 Knockoff: A knockoff or copycat product is similar to the original and may be in violation of the original patent (patent infringement).

 KISS: Keep it simple stupid!



Landed Cost: The total cost for a shipment over land including the purchase price, insurance, freight and port charges.

 Large Entity: An applicant status under US patent law compared to Small Entity and Micro Entity status.

 Letter of Intent: A statement of both party’s intent that details the actions required to meet their common goal. A formal contract follows.

 Liability Risk: You can purchase liability insurance to defer the costs associated with a lawsuit arising from damages caused by the product to limit your risk.

 License: A contract stating that you as the licensor grant a licensee the right to use your patented invention in exchange for royalties.

 Licensee: The entity that has contracted to license the rights to sell a product to wholesalers, retailers and/or consumers.

 Licensing Agent: Someone who handles requests for legal use of work, branding and other copyrighted material. The licensing agent negotiates licensing deals and manages existing contracts.

 Licensing Agreement: A contract to produce and market a product in exchange for royalties

 Licensing Evaluation: When a company considers adding your product to its line and evaluates the product to see if I will be profitable.

 Licensor: The entity owning the rights to the product that contracts to license its rights to a third party.

 Like for Like Sales: When the current year’s sales are compared to last year to see which products sold better.

 Likelihood of Confusion: A basis for rejecting a trademark application when an applied-for mark is similar to another mark so much so that it may cause confusion as to the source of the goods or services.

 Line Extension: Extending a line with additional products with the intent that the brand name will boost sales of the products.

 Line Review: When a retail chain reviews a company’s products with the intent to include them in an existing product line or establish a new line.

 Line Sheet: A detailed breakdown of a product that you give to the retailer. A line sheet includes a photo of the product, sizes, colors, terms of payment, lead time required, terms, discounts for volume orders, shipping method, etc.

 Liquidated Damages: Refers to damages that would be paid to an injured party in the event a contract is breached.

 Long Form: Refers to an infomercial that is either 30 or 60 minutes in length.




Madrid Protocol: An international treaty that allows trademark owners to register in other countries that are members of the treaty by filing a single application, called an “international application.”

 Maintenance Fees (renewal fees): Refers to the fees that are paid to the USPTO or other foreign patent offices for maintaining patent rights. Maintenance fees are due at the fourth, eighth and 12th- year anniversary from the time the patent is granted.

 Manufacture Gross Profit: The manufacture gross profit (MBS) is the difference between the cost of development and the wholesale price.

 Manufacturer’s Break Strength: The MBS is the point at which your product is likely to fail physically.

 Manufacturing Broker: Individual or group that finds a manufacturer for your product in return for a fee or percentage of every unit as payment.

 Margin: The margin is the difference between the cost price of your product and the selling price.

 Mark: See trademark.

 Market Share: Your market share is the percent of total sales you get in a particular market.

 MER, Marketing Expense Ratio or Media Efficiency Ratio: Refers to how much revenue a campaign is generating against a particular media spend. For example, if you spend $100,000 in media and generate 5000 orders, the MER is calculated $200,000/$100,000, which equals a 2.00 MER.

 Market Research: A method used to research a market to determine the demand for a product conducted using various means such as direct response advertising, local sales channels, in-person interviewing, direct sales results and feedback from potential buys.

 Mechanical Drawing: Illustrations that are submitted as part of a patent filling that depicts the functionality of the invention.

 Media Buy: Purchasing advertising from a media company (i.e., TV station, newspaper, magazine, blog or website) to convey a marketing message to a target audience.

 Mere Descriptiveness: See Descriptive mark.

 Micro Entity Status: The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) enacted in 2011 allows small businesses and independent inventors to achieve micro entity status and receive a substantial 75% discount on patent fees. To qualify you cannot have more than four utility patents, design patents or plant patents, and your gross income cannot exceed three times the median household income.

 Milestone: A measurable projection for a scheduled accomplishment within a project. Milestones are part of a series.

 Minimum Royalty Payment: The lowest payment amount per contract that you, the inventor, will receive in royalties regardless of how much product is sold.

 Misdirected Perception: When packaging makes the consumer expect more for their money than they get.

 MOQ: The Minimum Order Quantity is the lowest amount of product you have to sell to make a profit.

 Multi-Brand Strategy: When the same company markets competing products to gain more shelf space, limit the competition and give the consumer the impression it is a needed product.




Net Media Billings: Shall mean all medis costs charged by any broadcast or cable entity to advertisers for commercial airings (including the media agency fees)

Net Revenue: Gross (total) revenue, less costs and expenses.

Non-Compete Agreement: In contracts, a non-compete clause prevents a party from entering into a similar business or selling a competing product for a specified term.

 NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement: A Non-Disclosure Agreement or confidentiality agreement.

 Non-Exclusive: The inventor retains the right to allow other companies to manufacture the product.

 Non-Final Office Action: Refers to an Office action letter that raises issues that may prevent a trademark from being registered unless the applicant responds within 6 months from the date of issuance otherwise, the application will be considered abandoned.

 Non-Obvious: A requirement for a patent that states an invention must not be obvious to an individual with ordinary skill.

 Nonprovisional Patent Application: The non-provisional patent application establishes the filing date and initiates the examination process for a patent. It is typically a long, complicated procedure, but when it is granted you are protected from infringement by others. Many inventors file for a provisional patent first to protect their invention quickly, and then file a non-provisional application.

 Notice of Abandonment: A written notification from the USPTO that an application has been deemed abandoned as a result of failure to respond to an office action or to pay fees. The applicant has 2 months from the issue date to revive the application or request a reinstatement of the application.

 NOA, Notice of Allowance: A written notification from the USPTO (following publication in the Official Gazette) that a mark that was applied for under section 1(b) “intent to use” has survived the opposition period and will be allowed registration. After receiving a NOA, the applicant must file a statement of use (or a request for an extension of time to file) within 6 months from the date of the notice.

 Notice of Publication: A written statement from the USPTO notifying an applicant that its mark will be published in the Office Gazette and if no objections are filed within 30 days from the date of publication, the examining attorney will approve the mark for publication.

 Novelty: A requirement for a patent that states an invention cannot receive a patent if it was known before the filing date.



Oblique Drawing: A 3-D drawing to showcase the features of the product.

 OEM: An OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer is a company whose goods are used as components in the products of another company which then sells the finished item to users.

 Office Action: A letter from the examining attorney assigned to a trademark application which normally requires a response from the applicant in order for the trademark application to continue to process.

 Office of Origin (trademark): The government trademark office in a country that is a member of the Madrid protocol.

 Off Shore: Manufacturing outside of the US.

 Operation Cost Target: The maximum a company intends to spend on a project to bring it to completion, including labor, material and overhead.

 Opposition Proceeding: An action to oppose an application for a trademark (prior to registration) before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

 Original: Completely new.

 Original Equipment by Manufacturer: A company whose products are used as components in another company’s products. The second company sells the completed product to consumers.

 OSHA: Occupational Safety Health Association.



Passing Off: Falsely representing another’s product as one’s own (e.g., selling others product under a different name) or using copyrighted images of another to promote one’s own product.

Patent: A patent is a property right granted to an inventor by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that excludes others from making, using, offering for sale or selling the invention for a limited time.

Patentability: An invention that satisfies the requirements for a patent.

Patentable: An idea hatis novel, useful, and nonobvious is suitable to be patented.

Patent Application: The document the inventor submits to the USPTO to be named the sole owner of an idea.

PAIR, Patent Application Retrieval: Electronic means to patent application status online.

Patent Attorney: A patent attorney helps inventors obtain a patent on their product or idea.

Patent Drawing: Patent drawings must show every feature of the invention.

Patentee: The inventor to whom a patent is granted. A patentee can be referred to as the patent holder or the patent proprietor.

Patent Infringement: The unauthorized making, using, offering to sell, selling or importing into the US of any patented invention.

Patent Pending: A phrase that often appears on manufactured items. It means that someone has applied for a patent on an invention that is contained in the manufactured item. It serves as a warning that a patent may issue that would cover the item and that copiers should be careful because they might infringe if the patent issues. Once the patent issues, the patent owner will stop using the phrase “ patent pending” and start using a phrase such as “covered by U.S. Patent Number 0000000.” Appling the patent pending phrase to an item when no patent application has filed can result in a fine.

Patent Search: A search through issued patents to determine if an invention is new and qualifies for patent protection.

Patent Troll: An individual or company that holds a patent and claims patent rights against patent infringers to collect fees but does not manufacture the product.

PCT, Patent Cooperation Treaty: Is an international patent law treaty that enables an applicant to file a single application to seek patent protection in various countries that are members of the PCT.

PCT Regulations: Provide rules concerning matters expressly referred to in the Patent Cooperation Treaty, any administrative requirements, matters,or procedures, and concerning any details useful in the implementation of the provisions of the Patent cooperation Treaty. The rules must be adopted by the Assembly of WIPO.

Petition to Revive an Application (trademark matters): A formal request for the USPTO to return an abandoned application to active status.

Perceived Value: The value a consumer sees in a product that prompts them to buy.

Pioneer: A person who is the first to do something that leads to developing something new.

Polyethylene: A common plastic found in containers, bottles and plastic bags.,

Polypropylene: Thermoplastic used in plastic parts and packaging such as containers.

Principal Register: Primary trademark register the USPTO. When a mark has been registered on the Principal Register, the ark is entitled to all the rights provided by the Trademark Act.

 Prior Art: Material that was available before the date of a patent application that may prevent the patent from being granted.

Priority Claim (patent): A claim an applicant makes under 35 U.S.C. § 119(a)-(e) and 35 U.S.C § 20 to receive the benefit of the filing date of an earlier-filed application(s).

Product: Something created by a person, machine or natural process and offered for sale.

Product Adaptation: Improving an existing product so it stands out against the competition.

Product Category: Defines a product based on use and market. For example, games fall into the toy category, cleaning supplies are under household goods, supplements and beauty creams fall under health and beauty, etc.

Product Development: A company or a division of a company that works with the innovation, design and marketing of a new product.

Product Launch: The date a new product is available for sale.

Product Liability Insurance: Product liability insurance protects against lawsuits for injury or property damage due to a product defect or malfunction

Product Placement: Product placement or embedded marketing is an advertising technique where companies subtly gain exposure for their product by having it appear in films, on television or other media.

Product Search: Conducting a search to discover if a product exists.

Proof of Concept: The ability to demonstrate via a prototype, engineering model, 3-D animation, etc. that the product actually will work as claimed.

Protect My Idea: You can protect your ideas quickly by filing an application for a provisional patent with the USPTO. This can create a micro entity status if you qualify.

Prototype: A functional model that demonstrates the features of a product.

Provisional Patent: When you file a provisional patent you can protect your invention quickly. A provisional patent application is filed with theUSPTO and establishes an early filing date. When the applicant files a non-provisional patent application within a year, the provisional patent may become a non-provisional patent.

Provisional patent application: Refers to a type of patent application that is submitted without formal patent claim(s) or any information disclosures (prior art) which is effective for a period of 1 year. It allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied to a product.

Plan-o-Gram: The plan drawn by the retailer showing the placement and location of a product on store shelves.

Plant Patent: May be granted to anyone who invents, discovers and asexually reproduces a new variety of plant.

PTAB, The Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Conducts trials, including inter partes, post-grant, and covered business method patent reviews and derivation proceedings, hears appeals from adverse examiner decisions in patent applications and reexamination proceedings, and renders decisions in interferences.

PTO, Patent and Trademark Office: Former destination for USPTO.

Publication for Opposition: A trademark is published in the Official Gazette once the examining attorney has approved the mark for registration. Any party who wishes to oppose the mark has 30 days from the publication date to file either an opposition (or request an extension of time to oppose).

Publication Number: A number assigned to the patent applications filed on or after November 29,2000.




QR Barcode: A printed square containing a bar code that can be read by a smartphone. The QR barcode is linked to a website or other form of additional information about the product.


Radio Frequency Identification: Using wireless electromagnetic fields to transfer data.

Ready to Assemble: Products that need assembly by the consumer after purchase.

Recordation Form Cover Sheet: Form used to transfer (assign) ownership of registered trademarks and trademark applications.

Reexamination Proceeding: During the enforceability of a patent, any person may file a request for the USPTO to conduct a second examination of any claim of the patent on the basis of prior art patents or printed publications. In order for the request for examination to be granted, a new question of patentability must be raised with regard to at least one patent claim.

Refusal: A USPTO Office action which states the final determination of a trademark application.

Registration: Federal registration of trademarks evidencing registrant’s claim of ownership of a Trademark.

Registration Number: Refers to a number assigned by a registered patent attorney/agent that must be included on all correspondence to the USPTO.

Renewal Fees: See Maintenance Fees.

Repetitive Manufacturing: Making the same product, as on an assembly line.

Retail Price: The price a retailer charges the consumer for a product.

Retainer: Also known as a hold fee, a retainer is a payment to the inventor that allows a company to keep a product or idea exclusively for evaluation and/or development.

Ripoff: A fraud or swindle, especially something that is grossly overpriced. 

ROI: Return on Investment that tells an investor what the return will be versus how much money

they invest to assess their risk.

Reverse Engineering: Taking apart a specific product to figure the process used to manufacture or develop it.

Rough Cut: A first stage version of an edited commercial or infomercial.

Rollout: Refers to a product release that is introduced to the general public via TV, social media ads or print ad campaigns.

Royalty: A payment made by a licensee to the licensor for selling a product; usually pursuant to terms of a pre-negotiated agreement.

Royalty Cap: When sales hit a certain agreed-upon amount, royalties stop. This benefits the company, not the inventor. 

Running Royalty:The royalty paid to an investor as the units are sold and not in a lump sum.




Scam: If someone scams a person or organization, they deceive them in order to get something valuable from them, especially money.

Section 1(a) Applications: If you file a trademark application with this basis, you must actually be (a) using the mark you want to register with the goods and/or services in an application, (b) this use must be in commerce, and (b) prior to or at the time of filing an application. You will need to submit proof of how you actually use the mark.

Section 1(b) Applications (intent-to- use basis/ITU): Refers to a trademark application that the applicant intends to use.

Section 15 Declaration of Incontestability: See Incontestability.

Section 8 Declaration of Continued Use: A sworn statement,filed by the owner of a registration that the mark is in use in commerce which must be filed at the end of the 6th year after the date of registration and at the end of each 10-year period after the date of registration.

Seeding the Market:Putting a small number of new product in strategic retail locations.

Sell Off Period: Period provided for at the end of a license or distribution  agreement during which the licensee can sell existing inventory and stock, or fulfil existing orders. Also known as a run-off period.

Sell My Idea:To sell your idea, establish a fair market price by considering production costs and the price consumers are likely to pay. You can market your invention by demonstrating it at national trade shows, sending out press releases and contacting companies that carry similar products. Some inventors work with a marketing firm to license the product.

Sell Sheet: A brief one-page document explaining the features and benefits of a product.

Sell-In:The wholesale price, or the price a retailer pays to the manufacturer.

Serial Number: A number assigned by the USPTO to an application at the time of filing.

Service Mark: A service mark is a word, name, symbol or device that indicates the source of the services and to distinguish them from the services of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies the source of a service rather than a product.

Set Off: Refers to an amount that may be deducted from royalties owed (e.g., advance payment on royalties, chargebacks, product recalls or product returns).

Shelf Life: The amount of time a product is expected to remain in inventory. Or, in the case of items that deteriorate, the time the item is viable.

Shipping Container: A reusable container that is sealed to ship products overseas or overland, generally in 20-foot or 40-foot lengths.

Short Form: Refers to a video or infomercial that is 30 seconds to 1 minute in length.

SKU: A SKU or Stock Keeping Unit identifies an item to track the product for inventory.

Small Business Association: An organization that provides mentoring and small business loans.

Small Entity Status: If you qualify for a small entity status as an independent inventor you can file a patent application and maintain an issued patent for a 50% reduction in fees. To qualify you must be an individual or a small business with no more than 500 employees, a university or a nonprofit organization.

Spoilage: Items that are broken in shipment.

Special Form Drawing: See Stylized Mark.

Specification: A written description of the invention and the manner and process of making and using the same.

Specimen (trademark): An image submitted as part of a trademark application that shows the applicant’s mark in use in connection with the goods or services. For a trademark, acceptable specimens include: labels, tags, packaging, or containers for goods or webpages. For a service mark, acceptable specimens include: advertising and marketing materials such as web page advertisements or direct mail or email advertising.

Standard Character Drawing: Refers to a type of trademark that includes words only – without any reference to a particular font style, size, or color or design.

Start-Up: The beginning of a company.

State Trademark Registration: Protects your trademark in the state where you register it. Generally used for products or services that are sold within the state only or products that are legalized in particular state(s) but not on a federal level (e.g., cannabis products).

SOU, Statement of  Use : See Notice of Allowance.

STEP: A file format that transfers files between CAD software.

Stylized Mark: Refers to a trademark application that contains stylized letterings,design or logo, and/or color. An applicant must submit a specimen of the exact applied-for mark along with a description of the mark.

Subject Matter Expert: An expert with in-depth knowledge of a subject.

Supplemental Register: Refers to registration of marks that do not meet all the requirements for registration on the Principal Register but are still capable of distinguishing an applicant’s goods or services. Marks registered on the Supplemental Register do not qualify for incontestability.

Suspension Letter: An application may be suspended for a variety of reasons until a particular issue is resolved.




Technical Drawing: A drawing with detail, notes and dimensions used to construct the product.

Term of art: An expression or phrase that has a defined meaning when used in a particular context.

Test Marketing: A product is offered to a carefully selected demographic to give the company a view of the consumer’s reaction to the product. A positive reaction can initiate a full-scale product launch. Test marketing gives the company the opportunity to fix any problems that may arise.

Trade Barrier:A tariff, customs, policies, restrictions, quotas, etc. that are imposed by the government that limit the exchange of products internationally.

Trade Dress: A product’s design, product packaging, color, or other distinguishing non-functional element of appearance.

Trade Secret(s): Information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors.

Trademark: A trademark protects words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. Trademarks serve as the insignia of your product. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in commerce.

Trademark Application: A filing to request a federal trademark registration. An application must include (1) the applicant’s name, (2 address for correspondence, (3) a clear drawing of the mark sought to be registered, (4) a list of the goods or services, and (5) the application filing fee and (6) a specimen ( if the mark is already in use).

TARR, Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval System: Operated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (

TDR, Trademark Document Retrieval System: Free online retrieval documents and files on the USPTO website for trademark applications and registrations.

Trademark Drawing: A clear depiction of the mark an applicant seeks to register, also known

as a mark drawing. Also Every application must include a drawing of the mark.

TEAS, Trademark Electronic Application System : USPTO’s electronic filing system. It may be used to file a patent or trademark application, change address or contact information, record assignment documents and  respond to Office Actions, just to name a few.

TESS, Trademark Electronic Search System: USPTO’s free online database for searching registered and applied for trademarks.

TMEP, Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure : Contains information about the trademark examination process, and outlines the procedures which examining attorneys are required or authorized to follow in the examination of trademark applications.

Trademark Search: The USPTO will conduct a search of USPTO records for conflicting marks as part of the official examination process after you submit your application.

TSDR, Trademark Status and Document Retrieval  System: An online system that will retrieve documents from the USPTO’s electronic case file for any federal trademark or service mark applications and/ or registrations that you own,

Trademark Symbols: The use of the symbol ™ after the mark itself means the trademark is unregistered ; the use of the symbol  means that the mark has been registered with the USPTO or foreign trademark office.

TTAB (Trademark Trial & Appeal Board): An administrative tribunal that has jurisdiction over trademark appeals, opposition and cancellation proceedings.

Turns: Based on the number of units that fit on a retailer’s shelf, how many times you need to refill the shelf annually.

TV Test: Producing an infomercial and airing on television to gauge product demand. A TV test is performed after a successful web test and upon a successful TV test a product goes into ‘Rollout’ stage.



Underwriter’s Laboratory: Testing labs recognized by OSHA to ensure high standards in compliance with industry guidelines. The UL symbol on the product indicates certification.

Unit Cost: Manufacturer’s cost including materials, shipping, tax, etc.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP): The essence of what makes your product or sevice better than competitors.

UPC Barcode: The UPC or Universal Product Code is a barcode for tracking trade items in stores. The UPC consists of 12 numeric digits assigned to each trade item.

Upfront Payment: An upfront payment is an advance on royalties paid to the inventor before the product goes to market.

Upsell: Any product or service offered for sale as an add-on or upgrade which  is generally advertised as free (other than the cost of the shipping and handling).

Use in Commerce: For the purpose of obtaining federal trademark registration, the mark must be used in the ordinary course of business. For goods, the mark must appear on the goods and/ or packaging of the goods which are sold or transported. For services, the mark must be used or displayed in connection with the sale or advertising of the services.

USPTO: United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Utility Patent: Intellectual property protection granted for the functionality aspects of a product, process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvements to an existing invention which is granted 20 years.



Variation: Differing from others of the same type.

VeRO: The Verified Rights Owners (VeRO) program allows owners of intellectual property (IP) rights and their authorized representatives to report eBay listings that may infringe on those rights.


Web Test: An online marketing campaign that is performed for the purpose of testing market demand, determining buyer demographics or the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Wish List: A list of areas where companies are soliciting new ideas.

Work-Around: To create or “to design around” a patented invention that does not infringe on the original patent.

Work for Hire: A fee paid for services when the individual does not own the finished product.

Working Load Limit: A safe area where the product performs.

Work Mark: A type of trademark comprised of text only

WIPO, World Intellectual Property Organization: An intergovernmental organization of the United Nations.WIPO is responsible for property and administration of various multilateral treaties as it relates to the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.



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