0
Legal Issues for
Startups and
Businesses

@plain_legal
www.plainlegal.com
Koffsky  LLC	
AIorneys  at  Law	

Only  The  Paranoid  Survive	
	
Provisional  Patents  in  the  First-­‐‑Inventor-­‐‑to-­‐...
“The  Farnsworth  Invention”	
•  See  trailer  at    

hIp://www.farnsworthonbroadway.com/trailer/
The  First-­‐‑To-­‐‑Invent  Era	
•  Before  March  16,  2013,  a  patent  was  awarded  to  the  first  

inventor  even  i...
The  First-­‐‑Inventor-­‐‑To-­‐‑File  Era	
•  Beginning  on  March  16,  2013,  a  patent  is  awarded  to  the  

first  i...
Provisional  Application  Changes	
•  If  Farnsworth  files  a  proper  provisional  application,  he  

can  still  get  h...
Non-­‐‑Provisional  Applications	
•  Non-­‐‑provisional  applications  include  two  portions:	
•  Specification:    text  ...
Specification  v.  Claims:  Differences	
•  Once  filed,  the  specification  is  assigned  a  filing  date  and    

its  cont...
What  is  a  Provisional  Application?	
•  A  provisional  application  is  a  wriIen  record  of  inventive  

activity  ...
Benefit  of  a  Provisional  Application?	
•  A  provisional  application  can  be  used  to  establish  an  

earlier  fili...
“Described”  and  “Enabled”	
•  The  determination  of  whether  a  provisional  application  

“described”  and  “enabled...
Pitfalls  of  Provisional  Applications	
•  A  provisional  application  can  lead  to  a  false  “sense  of  

security”....
Multiple  Provisional  Applications	
•  Use  strategic  multiple  provisional  applications  to  preserve  

filing  dates ...
What  Not  to  Include  in  a  Provisional	
•  When  filed,  provisional  applications  are  confidential.	
•  Once  a  pate...
Koffsky  LLC	
AIorneys  at  Law	

Questions?	
	
Mark  I.  Koffsky	
Koffsky  LLC	
349  Fifth  Avenue	
New  York,  New  York  1...
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PlainLegal - Provisional Patents for Businesses

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Mark Koffsky, a patent lawyer with over 15 years of experience, shows how recent patent law changes affect innovators' rights. Under the new "first-to-file" system, the only thing that matters now is who filed first with the Patent Office. That means getting applications to the Patent Office quickly is crucial to preserving your rights.

This presentation discusses this and provide tips on the strategic use of patent applications to protect your rights. You'll learn about provisional applications, when it makes sense to file multiple applications, and what to never put into an application.

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Transcript of "PlainLegal - Provisional Patents for Businesses"

  1. 1. Legal Issues for Startups and Businesses @plain_legal www.plainlegal.com
  2. 2. Koffsky  LLC AIorneys  at  Law Only  The  Paranoid  Survive Provisional  Patents  in  the  First-­‐‑Inventor-­‐‑to-­‐‑File  Era Mark  I.  Koffsky Plain  Legal  Presentation November  11,  2013
  3. 3. “The  Farnsworth  Invention” •  See  trailer  at     hIp://www.farnsworthonbroadway.com/trailer/
  4. 4. The  First-­‐‑To-­‐‑Invent  Era •  Before  March  16,  2013,  a  patent  was  awarded  to  the  first   inventor  even  if  he  or  she  filed  the  patent  application  after   the  second  inventor. •  Example •  Farnsworth  invents  on  April  1,  2011 •  Sarnoff  invents  on  May  1,  2011 •  Sarnoff  files  on  June  1,  2011 •  Farnsworth  files  on  July  1,  2011 •  Result •  Farnsworth  gets  the  patent,  even  though  he  filed  later.
  5. 5. The  First-­‐‑Inventor-­‐‑To-­‐‑File  Era •  Beginning  on  March  16,  2013,  a  patent  is  awarded  to  the   first  inventor  to  file  even  if  he  or  she  invented  after  the   second  filer. •  Example •  Farnsworth  invents  on  April  1,  2013 •  Sarnoff  invents  on  May  1,  2013 •  Sarnoff  files  on  June  1,  2013 •  Farnsworth  files  on  July  1,  2013 •  Result •  Sarnoff  gets  the  patent,  even  though  he  invented  later.
  6. 6. Provisional  Application  Changes •  If  Farnsworth  files  a  proper  provisional  application,  he   can  still  get  his  patent. •  Example •  Farnsworth  invents  on  April  1,  2013 •  Farnsworth  files  provisional  on  April  3,  2013 •  Sarnoff  invents  on  May  1,  2013 •  Sarnoff  files  non-­‐‑provisional  on  June  1,  2013 •  Farnsworth  files  non-­‐‑provisional  on  July  1,  2013 •  Result •  Farnsworth  gets  the  patent,  IF  the  provisional   application  sufficiently  describes  the  invention.
  7. 7. Non-­‐‑Provisional  Applications •  Non-­‐‑provisional  applications  include  two  portions: •  Specification:    text  and  drawings  that  describe  the   invention. •  Example:  A  peanut  and  buHer,  jelly  and  banana   sandwich  on  rye  bread   •  Claims:  “word  pictures”  that  recite  the  legally   enforceable   •  Example: •  1.  A  sandwich  with  condiments •  2.  A  sandwich  with  condiments  and  fruit •  3.  A  sandwich  where  the  bread  is  rye  bread •  Etc….
  8. 8. Specification  v.  Claims:  Differences •  Once  filed,  the  specification  is  assigned  a  filing  date  and     its  contents  cannot  be  changed. •  Filing  date  is  the  key  date  in  determining  whether  a   reference  is  prior  art  or  not. •  In  contrast,  the  claims  may  be  changed,  added,  deleted,   etc.  as  long  as  the  applicant  has  the  money  and  time. •  Claims  must  be  supported  by  a  specification  and  receive  a   filing  date  of  that  specification.
  9. 9. What  is  a  Provisional  Application? •  A  provisional  application  is  a  wriIen  record  of  inventive   activity  that  receives  a  filing  date  from  the  Patent  Office. •  Complexity  of  application  ranges  from  napkin  drawings   to  fully-­‐‑wriIen  patent  applications. •  A  provisional  application  has  no  claims  and  is  not   examined.    It  provides  a  specification  with  a  filing  date. •  Inexpensive:    Filing  fee  is  $260  /  $130  /  $65,  depending  on   business  and  income  status.
  10. 10. Benefit  of  a  Provisional  Application? •  A  provisional  application  can  be  used  to  establish  an   earlier  filing  date  for  a  later-­‐‑filed  non-­‐‑provisional   application,  if: •  The  non-­‐‑provisional  is  filed  within  one  year  of  the   provisional  filing;  and •  the  wriIen  description  and  drawing(s)  (if  any)  of  the   provisional  application  must  adequately  describe  and   enable  the  subject  maIer  claimed  in  the  non-­‐‑ provisional  application.
  11. 11. “Described”  and  “Enabled” •  The  determination  of  whether  a  provisional  application   “described”  and  “enabled”  the  subject  maIer  in  the  non-­‐‑ provisional  application  is  made  by  the  Patent  Office  or  the   courts. •  Subject  maIer  is  “described”  if  it  is  in  sufficient  detail   that  one  skilled  in  the  art  can  reasonably  conclude  that  the   inventor  had  possession  of  the  claimed  invention. •  Subject  maIer  is  “enabled”  if  it  is  sufficient  so  that  any   person  skilled  in  the  art  can  make  and  use  the  claimed   invention  without  undue  experimentation.
  12. 12. Pitfalls  of  Provisional  Applications •  A  provisional  application  can  lead  to  a  false  “sense  of   security”.    Example: •  Provisional  filed  on  4/1/2013  covers  A1 •  Inventor  develops  A2  on  5/1/2013 •  Inventor  files  non-­‐‑provisional  on  9/1/2013  claiming  A1   and  A2. •  Claims  to  A1  have  a  filing  date  of  4/1/2013 •  Claims  to  A2    have  a  filing  date  of  9/1/2013 •  If  there  is  prior  art  disclosing  A2  having  a  date  of   6/1/2013,  then  claims  to  A2  are  INVALID.
  13. 13. Multiple  Provisional  Applications •  Use  strategic  multiple  provisional  applications  to  preserve   filing  dates  and  defer  cost.  Example: •  Provisional  filed  on  4/1/2013  covers  B1 •  Provisional  filed  on  5/1/2013  covers  B2 •  Provisional  filed  on  6/1/2013  covers  B3 •  Non-­‐‑provisional  filed  on  9/1/2013  covers  B1,  B2,  B3,  B4 •  Claims  to  B1  have  a  filing  date  of  4/1/2013 •  Claims  to  B2    have  a  filing  date  of  5/1/2013 •  Claims  to  B3  have  a  filing  date  of  6/1/2013 •  Claims  to  B4    have  a  filing  date  of  9/1/2013
  14. 14. What  Not  to  Include  in  a  Provisional •  When  filed,  provisional  applications  are  confidential. •  Once  a  patent  application  claiming  benefit  of  the   provisional  publishes  or  issues,  the  provisional  is   available  to  the  public. •  Publication  is  usually  18  months  after  filing  of  provisional •  Do  not  include  any  trade  secrets,  financial  projections,   personnel  maIers  in  a  provisional  application.    Stick  to   the  invention  and  be  sure  to  “scrub”  PowerPoint   presentations,  business  plans  and  the  like.
  15. 15. Koffsky  LLC AIorneys  at  Law Questions? Mark  I.  Koffsky Koffsky  LLC 349  Fifth  Avenue New  York,  New  York  10016 (646)  553-­‐‑1590 mark@koffsky.com  
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