The Bakken Is Producing Not Only Oil But Also Creative Juices

July 2012

The Bakken--a 200,000-square mile area of subsurface rock extending across parts of North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan--represents the largest oil boom this country has seen in decades. The Bakken is named after Henry Bakken, a farmer in Williston, North Dakota, on whose land the formation was initially discovered. The Bakken formation is widely considered to be the largest oil deposit in the lower 48 states. Although estimates of total reserves vary greatly, some estimates place the Bakken reserves as high as hundreds of billions of barrels.

While much of the country is still reeling from the recession, the Bakken has stimulated economic development in the Williston Basin area and beyond. Where people congregate, so do ideas--and the Bakken has been a wellspring not only for economic activity but for intellectual property and innovation.

Although we are not at liberty to share with you the subject of unpublished patent applications filed by our firm, we can tell you about our clients' issued patents. The patents discussed below represent significant innovations in the oil and gas industry:

All of these patents are available on the "patents and published applications" page of our website:

The Bakken has also engendered trademark activity--there are eleven federal trademark filings for marks that include the word "Bakken." The marks ROCKIN' THE BAKKEN (, TALKIN' THE BAKKEN and GATEWAY TO THE BAKKEN have all been registered. Although "Bakken" is a geographic term that cannot be owned by any one person, when combined with one or more other non-descriptive words or a graphic element (such as in a logo), it can be part of a federally registered trademark.

There are eleven federal copyright registrations with "Bakken" in the title, the most recent being an electronic file called "Bakken Gold" and registered as visual material. This registration is owned by the National Information Solutions Cooperative, Inc. of Mandan, North Dakota.

We feel fortunate to be located in our new offices in downtown Billings, Montana, at a time of economic opportunity and growth for this region. Our firm is the most prolific intellectual property firm in this part of the country, and we look forward to continuing to serve our clients by protecting and defending their intellectual assets.


Amicable photo of Toni

Antoinette M. Tease, P.L.L.C.