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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Trade Secrets vs. Patenting

The Continuing Dilemma: Trade Secrets (Hidden Use) vs. Patent (Disclosed Monopoly) Disclaimer: I am biased against protecting know-how as a trade secret.  I participated in a 3 years chase of ex-employees turned competitors utilizing a trade secret manufacturing technique.  The burden of establishing the fact that the technique (consistently held behind the curtain and protected as the…

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PRIORITIZED EXAMINATION

Introduction The USPTO is sensitive to the time delays experienced in the prosecution of patent applications.  Prosecution of a utility application can exceed two to three years.  The Patent Office has tried various methods to accelerate the process.  For example, certain medical applications, environmental applications, and elderly inventors can receive priority.  The Patent Office now…

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PATENT APPLICATION

Introduction There are three (3) types of patents. The most common and most valuable is a utility patent. There are also design patents and plant patents. This article discusses utility patents. Utility Applications for Patents A utility patent application contains a large quantity of written text, often supplemented with drawings, that are specific to the…

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ACCELERATED EXAMINATION

The procedures for filing an application under the Accelerated Examination program are discussed elsewhere in this blog.  The result of this program can be impressive.  The work load in preparing an application for Accelerated Examination, however, can be burdensome. To give a more complete picture, I filed an application (including support documents) under the Accelerated…

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