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How To Apply For A Patent

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Thursday, February 27, 2014



How To Apply For A Patent
Patent

A “Patent” is a bundle of exclusive Intellectual Property Rights granted for an invention. An invention can be: a product (e.g., Edison’s electric light or Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman); a process that is either a new way of doing something (e.g., a new process for bonding metals) or uses new technology to solve a problem (e.g., reducing acid mine water by removing metals and sulfate from mine water); an ornamental design; or an asexually reproduced variety of plant. A patent gives the inventor/owner sole rights to make, use and sell the invention himself/herself and to allow or exclude others from making, using and selling the invention, all for 14 – 20 years, depending on the type of patent.

Patents are granted in the United States by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an arm of the Department of Commerce. Patent application is a highly complicated, daunting task; the fee schedule, alone, is confusing for a first-timer.

First, use the USPTO’s online resource centers, found here: http://www.uspto.gov/products/library/ptdl/index.jsp These can familiarize you with the process and forms for patent applications.

Secondly, consult/hire a lawyer who specializes in Patent Law and is licensed to practice before the USPTO. The USPTO maintains a database of patent attorneys here: https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI

Third, with your lawyer’s assistance, review whether your invention is patentable. Is it: a process; a machine; an article of manufacture; a composition of matter; an improvement on any of those? Is it an ornamental design of a manufactured article? Is it an asexually reproduced plant variety? It is: novel; nonobvious; adequately described or enabled for someone of ordinary skill in that art to make and use the invention; and clearly, definitely claimed by you as the inventor? Your attorney will know the legally pertinent meanings of those questions and of your answers.

Fourth, with your attorney’s assistance, conduct a search of the USPTO’s databases for existing patents or applications that might impact your patent, via this link: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search

Fifth, prepare and file your application for a patent. A non-provisional application includes: a written document of specification (description and claims); any necessary drawings; your oath or declaration; filing, search and examination fees, according to the schedule found here: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee010114.htm A provisional application, which is designed for some lower cost first-patent filings, and can give you up to 12 months to file a non-provisional application for patent, can be prepared with the assistance of your attorney and filed with the filing fees. These applications can be filed electronically here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance/index.jsp
or by mail at the address and appropriate mail stops found here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/mail.jsp#heading-1 After receipt of your application and filing fees, the USPTO will commonly: approve it for publication; publish it for opposition; sometimes grant an extension of time to oppose it; and/or issue a notice of allowance.

Sixth, you can check the status of your patent application here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/index.jsp

Seventh, if you wish to amend your petition before the USPTO takes one of the above actions, use the form found here: http://teas.uspto.gov/office/pra

Eighth, if you wish to amend your petition after the USPTO takes one of the above actions, use the form found here: http://teas.uspto.gov/office/ppa/

Ninth, if your patent application is denied, you can appeal here: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/bpai/prps.jsp

Tenth, if your patent is granted, your Intellectual Property Rights in the invention are protected for 14 – 20 years, depending on the type of patent.

As you have probably gathered, this explanation is so simplistic that it is designed to merely give you a basic idea of the patent application process. In this area of law, an attorney licensed to practice before the USPTO is worth his/her weight in gold and should be consulted/hired as early as possible in the application process.



DO’S AND DON’TS

DON’T be intimidated by the process or the people.

DO use the USPTO’s online resource centers, found here: http://www.uspto.gov/products/library/ptdl/index.jsp

DO consult/hire a lawyer who is licensed to practice before the USPTO, and can be found here: https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI

DO review whether your invention is patentable.

DO conduct a search of the USPTO’s databases for existing patents or applications that might impact your patent, via this link: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search

DO prepare and file your application for a patent, whether provisional or non-provisional, with fees according to the schedule found here: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee010114.htm

DO file electronically here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance/index.jsp
or by mail at the address and appropriate mail stops found here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/mail.jsp#heading-1

DO check the status of your patent application here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/status/index.jsp

DO amend your petition before the USPTO takes action, with the form found here: http://teas.uspto.gov/office/pra

DO amend your petition after the USPTO takes action, with the form found here: http://teas.uspto.gov/office/ppa/

DO appeal a denial here: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/bpai/prps.jsp

By Kathy Catanzarite

[Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither HandelontheLaw.com, or any of its affiliates, shall have any liability stemming from this article.]


Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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