Teach Enablement

INTRODUCTION If you have read any of my previous posts, I have habitually urged that any patent application “teach enablement”.  This is the sole and critical requirement of any provisional application.  Please recall that I recommend filing a DIY provisional application if you elect not to seek guidance of a qualified patent attorney.  My simple logic is that…

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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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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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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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BEHIND THE FIRST TO FILE RULES

Introduction As you are probably aware, the USPTO rules changed March 16, 2013 to make the first inventor to file eligible to obtain a patent. (Prior to this change in law, patents were awarded to the first person to invent, regardless of whether another (later inventor) first filed an application.)  Implementation of this “first to…

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Who is the Inventor?

Introduction Often, participants in a startup venture wish to confirm the “ownership” or participation status be seeking to be named in a patent application as an inventor of the patent.  These participants may be making valuable contributions to the venture, but they may not have technical backgrounds and have not contributed to the inception or creation…

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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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Monetizing Your Idea

Introduction Good ideas can have great value.  However monetizing your idea by transforming into property that can be sold or licensed is problematic.  It will be appreciated that sales and licensing of patents are the common ways to document valuable ideas that can be transform into cash.  How can an idea be converted into a patent?  What is required…

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