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Walker Weitzel

Walker Weitzel

Alloy Patent law
  • Patents, Trademarks, Intellectual Property
  • Washington
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Summary

Prior to establishing Alloy Patent Law in 2015, Walker spent a decade designing and building aerospace assembly automation. His hands-on experience as an engineer allows him to work with and help inventors of all backgrounds, including those with little-to-no design experience, as well as those with highly technical designs and products.

Practice Areas
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Intellectual Property
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Washington
Professional Experience
Patent Attorney, Founder
Alloy Patent law
- Current
Alloy was established to help artists and inventors protect their IP. We are a small practice, offering the absolute best representation by highly qualified lawyers, at prices that individual inventors and artists can afford.
Education
Seattle University School of Law
J.D. / Law, Intellectual Property Law (2013)
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Honors: Magna Cum Laude, top 5% CALI Award for Top Grade in Contracts CALI Award for Top Grade in Advanced Copyright Law CALI Award for Top Grade in Individual Income Tax
Activities: Intellectual Property Law Society Intellectual Property Inns of Court Moot Court
Seattle University
B.S. / Mechanical Engineering (2005)
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Awards
Excellence in Copyright Law
CALI
Awarded for the top grade among all students in Advanced Copyright Law
Excellence in Income Tax Law
CALI
Awarded to for the top grade among all students in Individual Income Tax Law
Excellence in Contract Law
CALI
Awarded for top grade among all students in Contract Law
Professional Associations
Washington State Bar Association # 47361
Member
- Current
USPTO # 73544
Patent Attorney
- Current
Certifications
Registered Patent Attorney
USPTO
Websites & Blogs
Website
Alloy Patent Law
Legal Answers
13 Questions Answered

Q. Can a non trademarked character be remixed and sold for profit?
A: This would be a copyright issue. The case is also fact-specific, meaning that without more information, it will be tough to speculate about whether infringement is likely. If you would like to assert a copyright, you will need to register it. Copyright registration is straightforward, and can likely be done yourself, although many people also choose to have a lawyer do it for them. Once registered, you should talk to an copyright attorney. Copyright law can provide for lawyer fees, so it's a little easier to find a lawyer to take the case than some other types of law. Good luck.
Q. Can I use X name if it's being used in another country(s)??
A: Trademarks are specific to product/service type and location. You establish the type of product/service by sales or by choosing the type during registration. You establish location either by sales or by registering in a given state or country. You would infringe Apple's trademark by using the name to sell electronics, among other things. It is unclear whether your example is hypothetical or not, but there is an additional part of trademark law that would apply. Trademark dilution applies to famous brands, and Apple would certainly qualify, and it allows trademark owners a cause of action to forbid others from using it in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In the example you gave, you would run into issues using the Apple trademark in connection to any goods or services whatsoever under dilution.
Q. I want to offer freelance software development services under the name "office 365 developer"
A: Trademark infringement is determined by the "likelihood of confusion" test. This test inquires whether a reasonable consumer is likely to be confused about the provenance of a given product or service. It seems there is a good chance that consumers would be confused about whether the service is being provided by Microsoft.
Q. What does Status 641--non-final action--mailed mean for a trademark?
A: Unless you choose to handle this yourself, you will need a lawyer to handle the prosecution of your trademark application. Application prosecution is the process of responding to objections and rejections by the trademark office. A non-final action means that there is something about the application that needs to be addressed by you or your lawyer. Many lawyers (myself included) offer free initial consultations. I would recommend speaking with a lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case to figure out how to move forward. As an aside- it is unfortunate that your lawyer is now unavailable. He should have contacted you with a referral both out of curtesy and possibly ethical reasons. He should also have informed you that prosecution would likely follow application, and that there would likely be additional cost on top of the initial application. With that said, I don't want you to feel like he took the money and ran. Almost all lawyers charge separately for application and prosecution. I hope this helps, and best of luck to you!
Q. If two provisional patents are filed. Does the second have any rights if it was filed prior to disclosure of the first?
A: I agree with Peter's answer to this one. I would like to add one important element that is often overlooked when considering the first-to-file question. Patents may or may not claim exactly the same thing. There is a huge amount of case law that informs patent lawyers on whether two inventions are the same, obvious in light of one another, or distinct, and whether that distinction would be patentable or not. Perhaps the first patent was filed, but there are material differences that would allow the second to mature to a patent, even if it results in a narrower patent than originally envisioned. Essentially- it is still important to look at exactly what an earlier-filed patent discloses and claims before giving up on your own application. A lawyer can help determine whether your application is still valuable.
Q. I have an idea to modify a patent. Should I contact the inventor/assignee?
A: There are two important relevant pieces of law here. First, you are able to patent an improvement on an existing patent. There is no need to ask permission of the underlying patent-holder to file for that patent. Second, a patent merely grants the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented invention. It does not necessarily grant the owner of a patent those rights, it only grants the ability to exclude others. Therefore, you can patent an improvement on another person's patent. However, if it is only an improvement, then you would need the underlying patent owner's permission to practice your invention. At this point, you would need to contact the owner or their representation to get permission through a license. It would not be a good idea to discuss the idea with the owner before securing rights through at least an NDA, but a provisional patent application would be better still. If you share the invention with the owner before securing some sort of protection, you would risk losing rights over the invention.
Q. if I was to start a music label could I use the name Universal Digital Group or would that conflict with Universal music
A: The test for infringement under Trademark Law looks at the likelihood of confusion for an ordinary consumer. You would ask whether an ordinary consumer is likely to be confused over the provenance of a product or service. Trademarks are product-specific, which is why there can be a Klein Honda as well as a Klein bicycle brand without there being a likelihood of confusion. In your case, however, it seems as though you would be in the exact same product space, and it would be very likely that a consumer would be confused.
Q. Is my idea for a fact compilation database protectable by patent, copyright or neither?
A: Original code is protectable by copyright. The protection would be extremely limited, however. Copyright would not protect the function of the code, only the actual written expression. It is unlikely it would be worth pursuing. The platform itself might be patentable. This is a question that requires a legal opinion and a fair degree of research in order to render a useful opinion. The questions would be whether the platform's base idea is novel and nonobvious in light of the existing technology. Patent protection is a possibility, but more research is required to get a good determination. Trade secrecy law might also offer some protection. A trade secret is information that gives a competitive advantage to its owner. It has commercial value because it is secret. Most states have statutory protection for trade secrets, which require the owner to take reasonable precautions to keep the information secret. Typically this is done by requiring nondisclosure agreements prior to sharing the information with others. It is unclear from the question whether this is possible based on the setup of the service. I would suggest consulting with a IP attorney to determine whether patent or trade secrecy protection is possible for your database.
Q. Would it be Illegal to sell a hockey jersey that does not have the NHL logo or the name Reebok anywhere on it?
A: The key question in trademark law is whether there is a likelihood that a consumer would be confused about the source of the jersey. There are a bunch of parts of a jersey that might indicate its provenance, including the design, the team name, any logos, team colors, etcetera that could all be used to inform a consumer where the jersey came from. If the jersey looked exactly like a team jersey, but it was missing the Reebok and NHL logos, a consumer might still be confused about the source of it. The question is whether there is a likelihood of confusion for an ordinary consumer.
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