What is a Patent?
A patent is a right granted by the government which allows an inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling his or her invention during a determined period of time, in exchange for the inventor's public disclosure of the invention. In the United States, utility patents are granted for new, useful and non-obvious inventions for a period of 20 years from the filing date of a patent application. U.S. patents are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent laws vary greatly around the world, as each country has specific procedures and requirements in place for securing patent protection. While there is no such thing as a "worldwide" patent, a preliminary patent application can be filed with the Worldwide Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) under the laws of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). A PCT filing serves to streamline the patent process, wherein an inventor can secure a filing date around the world via a single application. At a later date, patent protection may then be pursued in any or all foreign countries which are subscribers to the PCT.
The procedures required to file a patent are highly specialized and require the expertise of a skilled patent attorney. In order to avoid being statutorily barred from filing a patent application, due to prior sales or discloures of an invention, it is imperative to (a) keep your invention a secret and (b) contact a patent attorney immediately.
Before filing a U.S. patent, we'll first need to conduct a preliminary novelty search of the USPTO database and online search engines. If an existing product or process is found which may affect the patentability of your invention, you will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to file. At your request, a more exhaustive search through our professional searching agents in Washington D.C. who will inform us as to whether they find anything similar to your invention. We’ll analyze their findings to determine whether or not any prior patents or publications would be likely to inhibit the patentability of your invention.
Once we determine whether to proceed, we’ll prepare a full patent application, typically 20 pages or more, including a set of claims (a very specific and detailed description of the invention), and a specification (full description of the background art, the problems that exist, and how your invention solves this problem). Any necessary drawings will be done by a professional draftsman. A variety of forms must be completed, including an Assignment, Declaration of the Inventor, Power of Attorney, and a disclosure of any relevant prior art, among others. Finally, we’ll file the application with the US Patent & Trademark Office
All of our attorneys are highly skilled in prosecuting patents with the USPTO, including handling appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. We also have extensive experience in working with foreign agents in filing patent applications in a variety of indrustrialized nations and the PCT.
See more information: AREAS OF PRACTICE