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Robert Philip Cogan

Robert Philip Cogan

Continuum Law
  • Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks...
  • California, District of Columbia, Ohio
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

Extensive experience in patents, high tech business, all software matters, and international transactions. Providing established companies and startups with clear legal advice on which sound business decisions may be based. Extensive in-house experience working with line and executive management to solve operating and strategic problems. Operating management experience. Frequent lecturer before professional groups and CLE classes.

Practice Areas
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Business Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Computer Law
  • Government Contracts
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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District of Columbia
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Professional Experience
Continuum Law
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art
Undergraduate Degree | Electrical Engineering
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George Washington Univ LS
Law Degree
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Professional Associations
California State Bar # 225193
- Current
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United States Patent and Trademark Office
Legal Answers
143 Questions Answered

Q. Hi, Can I use the words 'Muck boots' in a business name? For example - Women Muck Boots
A: The general criterion for deciding if a name should be used is whether the use will cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace as to the source of the goods. The conflicting mark need not be the same as the new mark. A search would have to be done and an attorney would have to interpret the effect of any prior marks based on the statute, court decisions, and other factors.
Q. Some employees refuse to use company software - instant messaging - how can they be disciplined/forced to use it?
A: There is a middle ground between firing people and letting them sabotage your system. An attorney can provide rules and procedures that can be set up and provided to employees. Rules can be enforced without firing people. Firing employees who perform their tasks, except for the ones they don't feel like doing, usually does more harm than good. However, they actually can be fired. Firing cannot be done indiscriminately, but there are procedures to follow which will achieve the desired end with minimal risk to the employer. If you actually do fire someone, you do not want them to collect unemployment.
Q. Is the patent on the locking system or the way it fixes to the support bar? Or on the actual design of the bag?
A: It would help to know the number of the patent you are talking about. If this is important to you, consult an attorney. Providing detailed legal advice goes far beyond the scope of Ask a Lawyer.
Q. My patent was stolen by another employee. What legal actions can I take against him?
A: The answer hasn't changed since the last time you asked this. You still need to know if you had an employee patent agreement. Witnesses can attest that you worked on the product. It is highly unlikely that witnesses know what the invention is. The invention is what the attorney wrote in the claims at the end of the specification. You could sue, but it would be necessary to see what you could sue for, what you might recover, and what it would cost you to maintain the suit. If this is important to you, you should consult an attorney. The situation appears to require detailed legal analysis going beyond the scope of "Ask a Lawyer."
Q. Is It possible for a PC with a MD director and P.A., for an esthetician to hold shares through joint venture or other?
A: If you mean a medical practice PC, probably not. However, the question is unclear. What is it you want to do? Just mentioning "holding shares through a joint venture" does not give much of a hint about what legal solution might be appropriate.
Q. I rented a car w/out showing my license, credit card info, or address. Just online w name,email,phone. Do I have to pay?
A: That is one way to look at the issue. The rental company might rephrase the questions as follows: The customer reserved a car knowing full well that car rentals are not free. The customer undertook to pay for the car rental. A contract was formed. Rental company provided the services that were promised. Customer now owes the money. Customer now wants to [breach the contract] [stiff us] [steal the services] (pick one). Customer is hoping not to get caught and hopes that the rental company will be unable to identify customer even though it has the customer's name, email, and phone number.
Q. My patent was stolen by a director at a previous employer. What legal actions can I take against him?
A: In most cases the company owns any inventions produced by the employee within the course and scope of employment. Did you sign a patent and proprietary agreement when you became an employee? Aerospace companies that get large contracts use these agreements. It is possible you have no rights. It is usually the case that an individual cannot just insert his name onto a patent application. In the normal course of events the individual must ask the patent attorney to add a name and the patent attorney needs to find legal support to add the name before doing so. Based only on the limited facts above, there does not seem to be a case.
Q. Could I publish a book about vocal experts' opinions on a topic, taken from interviews/info online, without permission?
A: In the absence of careful legal planning, this book could run into a number of legal problems. A disclaimer is a good way to avoid presenting a misleading picture. However, disclaimers and attributions in bibliographies do not avoid copyright problems. There are issues of derivative works and fair use. The project seems to be feasible based on the limited facts above. However, it would need to be written in a way that accounts for copyright issues.
Q. Is the claim for a cooling and heating product under patent??
A: See
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San Diego, CA 92101
Telephone: (619) 338-0400
Fax: (619) 259-5200