PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS

Introduction Provisional patent applications can be of great benefit in protecting innovation. They must be used, however, with a full understanding of the limited protection provided. Discussion A provisional application is a patent application. It is a type of a utility patent application. It may be thought of as a temporary application good for only…

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MICRO-ENTITY DISCOUNTED FEES

Introduction The America Invents Act of 2012 is best known for establishing “the First Inventor to File” system.  However it also created or defined “Micro-Entities”.  Patent filing fees for micro-entities are discounted.  The discount is  75 percent of the fees paid by non small entities, i.e., entities have more than 500 employees.  Unfortunately the definition…

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Expediting Patent Examination

Introduction I typically estimate that the patent examination requires 2 or 3 years from filing to allowance of a patent.  However the duration of patent prosecution is often longer for applications pertaining to business methods, e-commerce and document processing. There are procedures to expedite or accelerate patent examination. The USPTO provides two options intended to expedite…

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AMERICA INVENTS ACT PART II

One of the new provisions of the America Invents Act is the new category of applicants termed “micro-entities”.  The principal advantage of meeting the classification of a micro entity is that the USPTO fees are discounted 75%.  The operation of the micro-entities provision is effective immediately (unlike many of the provisions of America Invents Act…

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