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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DIY Provisional Applications

Introduction I talk to many start-up entrepreneurs regarding protecting their IP.   Typically they do not have a lot of time or money to seek patent protection.  However Congress created the provisional application for patent procedure for the benefit of just that group of entrepreneurs. Although I do not recommend filing your own provisional application without assistance of a…

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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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Sharing Patent Ownership

Introduction Participants in a new business venture that incorporates a concept subject of a actual or intended patent application, often to seek to document their mutual participation in the venture by joining as co-inventors.  This is not a good idea. As I mentioned in my earlier blog “Who is the Inventor”, the law provides that each…

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Secret Sale is Prior Art

Introduction The US patent code states that a person is entitled to a patent if the invention is novel, non-obvious and has utility. An invention product sale, including a sale made under a confidentiality agreement, can lose patent rights. See article Patent Elements. 35 U.S.C. Section 102(a) “Novelty; Prior Art.” states:              “A person shall be…

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FUNDING YOUR INVENTION

Introduction For many small businesses, the costs of developing their invention to a marketable stage may be one of the largest obstacles. Patenting an invention is an additional obstacle and investment.  Funding your invention can be problematic. Each funding requirement, timing and situation is different. The initial source of capital is typically from one or…

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PATENTABLE INVENTION

Introduction As mentioned in Patent Application Elements, a development must be novel, useful and non-obvious to persons skilled or knowledgeable in the applicable technology or art.  The following descriptor the elements of a patentable invention. Novelty To comply with the requirement that the development be novel, the invention must not have been known or used…

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