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Messages - Brad

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It really depends on your invention.   If its a device or physical product you should describe all of the details and features about it but you don't have to disclose things like how much it will cost to manufacture it, where you will source the parts from, who the customers may be, etc.  All of those things are more relevant for a business plan (not the patent) so I would keep them out.

A good rule of thumb is that if someone can buy your product, anything they can easily see and figure out for themselves is not really something you can keep secret anyway so you can feel okay including in your patent.   More of the "behind the scenes" type information that people cannot figure out easily from looking at your invention may be something to consider keeping out of the patent.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PPA Cover sheet
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:59:26 AM »
Either form is acceptable and I have used both without any issues. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: rubik cube's uses
« on: November 27, 2017, 08:33:04 AM »
The original rubiks cube technology (mechanism) should no longer be covered by any active patents as its more than 20 years old.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PPA active
« on: November 27, 2017, 08:31:37 AM »
Your patent should be pending the day it was filed (not when you get the receipt).  However, to play it safe I like to wait until I get the receipt because this will tell you if you did anything wrong.

For example, I had a client that filed his own application but forgot to attach some of the figures so in his case he was not really protected until the date when the patent office received the figures from him.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: mistake in my PPA
« on: November 22, 2017, 02:26:55 PM »
Does the figures show the proper radial location?   If so, it should be a big deal and you can just wait until you file the full non-provisional to correct this. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Identical elements description
« on: November 22, 2017, 08:24:21 AM »
To play it safe I would describe each of them in separate paragraphs but you can pretty much copy/paste from your first description. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PATENT on 3d printer
« on: November 21, 2017, 08:34:45 AM »
It is not possible to answer this question.  You would have to look at all of the patents which are currently active and cover 3D printing, then, look at each claim in those patents to see if your new printer infringes on any of those claims.

There are patent attorneys who will do this work for you and give you a "freedom to operate opinion" but they can be expensive (usually $1,000+ depending on how many patents they have to review).

Yes the frustrating thing about patents is that often the attorney or person writing the patent will include a lot of statements and things that they don't have any evidence or data for but it can still be used by the examiner to block your own patent.   I don't know of any easy way around this unless you can somehow prove that what they first patent was proposing would not work as intended or could not be combined or modified to work the same as yours.

Yes it would be very hard to get a new patent approved if you are just changing the sizes or dimensions.  You could try claiming these different size ranges and sometimes the examiner will agree with you but usually they push back and say it would be "obvious" and produce an expected outcome. 

One other strategy I have seen people use is try and claim the specific benefit.  For example, if your table with 4 legs has a "stability factor of X" while the prior art with 3 legs only has a stability factor of half X you may be able to put language like that into your claims and then argue the prior art was not able to produce the same result as what you are claiming.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Two devices as an invention
« on: November 06, 2017, 09:22:20 AM »
If they are only useful together I would include them both in the same application.  If this is only a "provisional" application it should not really matter but in the future at the non-provisional stage if the patent examiner thinks you are trying to claim more than one invention he/she may ask you to split them up into separate filings called "divisional" patent applications.

Although the second one does not negate the first (i.e. you can have two co-pending provisionals), your first provisional will expire after 12 months.   If its been longer than 12 months since you file the first provisional you only have one pending provisional which is the more recent one your filed.   

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Improving a patented device
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:22:08 AM »
I have to be very careful here as this is NOT LEGAL advice as I have no idea what product you are talking about.

In general, if there is a patented product and you make a minor improvement that may not be enough of a change to get around the original patent.  You would have to (1) make sure the original patent is still active and enforceable (if its more than 20 years old it may be expired) and (2) compare the claims of that older patent to your product to see if your improved product still copies each feature from their broadest claims.

For example, if I added a non-slip back to an iphone and started making iphones in my garage and selling them that is likely not enough to get around Apple's 1000s of patents covering different aspects of the iphone and they could likely enforce their patents against me.

You would really need to hire an attorney to review your product and compare it to the claims of any issued patent on the original product and give you a "freedom to operate opinion".

On the other hand, if its a very niche and small market and it does not make sense for a company to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a patent enforcement suit then some people may make the business (risk vs. reward) decision to just proceed without doing a proper freedom to operate search knowing full well you may later get in trouble.

They will only make you divide if you have multiple inventions in your claims.  It does not matter how long your application is.

So in your case one option would be to have a very large application but just try to limit your claims to only one type of invention and this should not trigger a restriction. 

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