The firm does not offer free consultations. However, the firm maintains a list of frequently asked questions and invites you to browse through these, prior to requesting a consultation. This section is updated periodically. Please note this is section is still under construction. We apologize if your question is not listed here yet.
Select a category below to display its FAQs.
A patent is a right, for a set period of time, to prevent others from making, using, or selling an invention. A patent does not grant you the right to brand your goods, and should not be confused with a Trademark.
As soon as you are awarded an application number by the USPTO (usually immediately upon filing of your application), you should feel free to claim “patent pending.” However, please note that “patent pending” only means that you have filed an application and it does not give you any exclusive rights until a patent is actually granted.
Generally, no. Patent pending only means you have a patent application pending with an appropriate government agency. While you can place a party on notice that you have a patent pending, you cannot claim exclusivity until an actual patent is granted.
A design patent protects the ornamental aspect of an invention (it has nothing to do with functionality of the invention). A utility patent, as the name suggests, protects the utility/functionality of an invention (it has nothing to do with the aesthetics of the invention). A utility application can be filed as a provisional (temporary) application or as a non-provisional (non-temporary, that is permanent) application. Non-provisional applications are examined, provisional applications are not!
A provisional patent application is a patent application that is not examined by the patent office, but has the effect of reserving your filing date (also known as the priority date). A provisional application needs to be followed up by a non-provisional filing (within one year), which is examined by the patent office. A provisional application has no formal filing requirements, but still needs to be in as much detail as possible.
While there are no formal requirements to file a provisional patent application,it is important that a patent attorney strategizes and plans before filing drafting the application. The advantage of a correctly filed provisional application is that the non-provisional application (when filed) can piggyback to the filing date of the previously filed provisional application. Be aware: a mediocre provisional patent application filing can do more harm than good and can even cause invalidation of a patent if one is granted (see New Railhead Mfg., L.L.C. v. Vermeer Mfg. Co., 298 F.3d 1290, 1294 Fed.Cir.2002).
A utility application can be filed as a provisional or a non-provisional patent application. A non-provisional patent application is the “main” application filing which is examined by the patent office. Once a non-provisional application is filed, no further substantive changes/amendments can be made to the application.
At an average, it takes 2-4 years to get a patent granted (after filing the non-provisional application), so filing the application is just the beginning of the process. Needless to say, it takes a lot of time and energy to draft a non-provisional application and selecting a qualified professional is important. Statistically, a non-provisional patent application that is not well written will most probably get abandoned during the examination phase.
I don’t know anything about patents. What is the process involved and how does one receive a patent?
A detailed answer is presented at this link: The Patent Process
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy (since each matter is different), we have provided a detailed posting here: Filing a provisional or non-provisional utility patent application
It is advisable that you schedule a consultation to discuss the exact strategy that can be employed in your situation.
In one sentence: You get what you pay for!! We encourage you to read our posting on this subject here: Selecting a Patent Attorney.
SOFTWARE BASED INVENTIONS
Yes. We have patented numerous software based inventions. Please see our portfolio for examples.
In order to procure a software patent, the invention needs to be described with technical detail and process information so that a software developer can replicate your invention without having to make any substantial/meaningful decision on their own. This means your disclosure should provide a technical road-map on how to implement the invention.
At the current state of law, without technical details the patent office will consider your invention as an “abstract” idea; there is a good chance your application would get rejected without procuring a patent.
I have an idea for a software based invention, but no technical expertise. Can you write the technical details for me?
While we understand software code and can easily fill in the blanks, it is highly advisable that you have a technical/ software developer in your team to provide us an initial disclosure.
Alice applies on all software based patent inventions. The Alice case provides a framework which includes exceptions to inventions that can be granted a software patent. If you strongly believe that your software invention is outside the realms of Alice, please be prepared to justify your rationale to us during a consultation.
A trademark is a insignia, logo, or any sign that represents your goods or services that are offered in the “stream of commerce.”
While you can initiate the process by simply letting us know the desired trademark and a category (also known as a class) where it is being used (e.g., shoes, website, t-shirts, etc.), to successfully register the trademark you’ll need to provide proof that your product or service is being offered for sale.
A class is a category under which your trademark will be registered. If your product is related to clothing, the trademark will be registered under International Class (IC) 25. If you are in the business of providing advertising services, IC 35 may be appropriate for you. Similarly, education and entertainment services are registered under IC 41.
You can register a trademark under one or more classes as well. For example, if you provide advertising services under a trade name, and also provide promotional T-shirts, you may register the mark under IC 25 and 35. Fees are calculated based on number of classes. Please request a quote to learn more about our fees.
Yes, software code can be copyrighted. Copyrighting only protects the literal work of art, and copyrighting software would thus only protect your code “as-is.” That means, if someone steals your exact code (as in copy-paste) to make it part of their own then you may have rights to sue the infringer of your copyright.
However, if you want to generally protect your idea (regardless of how you wrote the code), you should consider augmenting your protection with a software patent application. A software patent application can be filed in conjunction with a copyright.