Patent Application Process Overview


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An overview of the procedures and legal requirements for applying for and obtaining a patent.

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Patent Application Process Overview

  1. 1. Introduction to Patents Bryan C. Bryner, Esq.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Is my idea patentable? </li></ul><ul><li>When should I apply for a patent? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I apply for a patent? </li></ul><ul><li>But first . . . </li></ul>So you’ve got an idea . . .
  3. 3. What is a patent? <ul><li>What is a patent? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written document that describes what your invention is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be approved by U.S. Patent & Trademark Office </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patent rights granted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing your claimed invention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Term of Patent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20 years from date you file your patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership of Patent Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inventor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignment </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Is My Idea Patentable? <ul><li>5 Requirements for a Patentable Idea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate Subject Matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Novel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not-Obvious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enablement </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Is My Idea Patentable? (cont’d) <ul><li>Appropriate Subject Matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Anything under the sun made by man” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Machines / Mechanical apparatus </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Methods to make something </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Methods to use something </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Composition of Matter </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements on existing technology </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not appropriate: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Naturally occurring objects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Living organisms </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Natural discoveries </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Perpetual Motion Machine </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Is My Idea Patentable? (cont’d) <ul><li>Useful </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capable of being useful to mankind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very easy requirement to satisfy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Is My Idea Patentable? (cont’d) <ul><li>Novel </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Means “New and Never Done Before” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only applies to what you claim is your invention (described in the claims) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to check if your idea is “Novel” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issued Patents </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Magazines & Scientific/Engineering Journals </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existing products for sale </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Is My Idea Patentable? (cont’d) <ul><li>Not-Obvious </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even if idea is Novel, it can’t be just an obvious change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to check if it is obvious </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Somebody with technical experience would think of making the change; OR </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two or more written sources (patents, magazines, articles, etc.), when considered together, would lead somebody to make the change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Is My Idea Patentable? (cont’d) <ul><li>Enablement </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea must be developed enough that you can describe it in sufficient detail to enable somebody with technical skill to make and use the invention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Requires detailed written description, and usually drawings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t need to actually make your invention, or have a prototype built </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Example <ul><li>Claim 1: A chair comprising: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a triangular seat; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>three legs attached to said seat; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a back attached to the rear of the seat; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one armrest. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How Do I Apply for a Patent? <ul><li>Process for Obtaining a Patent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicant prepares and files patent application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USPTO examines application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USPTO issues office action(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicant responds to office action(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USPTO denies or approves patent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time for Application Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>18 months – 3 years </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. When Should I Apply for a Patent? <ul><li>Required: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within 1 year after it becomes public knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On sale </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advertised </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Displayed or explained at a public event (science fair, tech show, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Described in a public writing (journal, magazine, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggested </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before going public with it (selling, advertising, displaying, publishing, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When working with companies to manufacture or develop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating for financing </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Other Types of Patents & Patent Applications <ul><li>Provisional Application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not issue into a patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lasts for only 12 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must file a regular patent application within 12 months </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design Patent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers artistic and ornamental designs that are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Applied to physical objects; OR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporated in the design of the product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Plant Patent </li></ul>