ATTORNEY CONFIDENTIALITY- INTERVIEWS

Is it necessary to obtain a signed non-disclosure agreement from an attorney prior to disclosing your invention ? The clear answer is no. A non-disclosure agreement is not required.  Attorney confidentiality applies. Communication made by the potential client to the attorney in a confidential setting for the purpose of securing legal services (as well as…

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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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WHAT IS A PATENT?

Introduction What is a patent?  Simply stated, a patent is the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention or things made using the invention. Surprising?  See the following discussion. Discussion Technically, a patent does NOT give you the right to make use or sell the products of your invention since…

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Documenting Inventions

Introduction Since 2013, the United States has been a “First to File” jurisdiction.  Prior to 2013, the US patent law awarded patents to the first inventor, rather than the first inventor to file.  Previous to this change, it was accepted practice that researchers/inventors maintain documentation of their development efforts.  Documenting inventions however remains important. Typically, documentation involved maintaining…

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Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

Introduction The following is a brief summary of each tool for protecting intellectual property (IP). The tools discussed are Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights. Patents Patents protect an idea (invention) that is embodied in a device or method.  This is different from Copyright and Trademarks. The vast majority of patents are “utility patents”. There are also plant patents…

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PATENT APPLICATION FLOW CHART

  Introduction The following is a simplified description on one possible chain of events that occur in the patenting process.  This is a hypothetical patent application flow chart.  See my article on “Behind the First to File Rules“.  Also review my article regarding “Patent Application Elements“. Pre-Filing Outline Document invention in writing, signed and dated…

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Prior Use Defense: Trade Secrets v. Patenting II

Indroduction This blog is a clarification of my prior article entitled Trade Secrets v. Patenting.  In my prior article, I stated that a party using a technique or method in manufacturing as a trade secret would lose the right to continue practicing the trade secret if the secret technique or method became subject of a patent by…

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103 Obviousness Rejections II

Introduction I am following up on my recent post Section 103 Obviousness Rejections pertaining to the 2018 USPTO Guidelines issued to USPTO examiner.  Recall that in 2007, the US Supreme Court broadened the basis for an examiner to reject a claim of a patent application on the assertion that the development subject of the claim was obvious…

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Section 103 Obviousness Rejections

Introduction Continuing with my discussion yesterday regarding rejection of patent applications based upon the examiner’s assertion that the claimed development is obvious, I am exploring the USPTO updated guidance to examiners published in early 2018.  An invention can not be patented if the development would have been obvious to a person skilled in the art at…

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Clarifying What are Patent Ineligible Abstract Ideas

Introduction: Intertwined with the long ambiguity of the scope of patent eligible software has been the difficulty in defining what are patent ineligible “abstract ideas”.  Recall 35 U.S.C. Section 101 states that all things invented by man are patentable subject matter except laws of nature, natural phenomena or abstract ideas.  These three items are referred to below as…

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