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Messages - Brad

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Patents are supposed to be a trade off.  You are giving up your secrets in exchange for the government giving you a limited (20 year) monopoly on your idea.    In some cases that is a fair trade such as in high tech. where your invention will likely be outdated in 20 years but in other cases it may not be a fair trade such as keeping the secret recipe for Coke.

Basically its a business decision.   If you are okay with making the deal and giving up your secrets then file a patent.  If you would rather not give up your secrets you can consider keeping the invention as a "trade secret":

The last items in the dropdown box should be "transmittal or new application" or something like that.   I usually select that for the coversheet and its worked fine for the past 7+ years so you should be fine doing that.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Patent Protest per MPEP
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:16:03 AM »
Sorry I have never done a protest before and am hesitant to comment on this rule because its worded very strangely staring off with the word "except".    I have had good luck calling the UPSTO and you can sometimes speak with their attorneys or people who help draft the rules to ask for clarification.   

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Drawing requirement
« on: August 03, 2017, 06:47:16 AM »
If people of ordinary skill know what an actuator is and how it works it should be enough to just draw and label an "actuator" and in the description you can say "in preferred embodiments the actuator is an electric actuator"

There should be a form on this page where you enter your name and email address.

If that does not work send me an email and I can email it to you.   My emails is:

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Design Patent Question/Advice
« on: August 01, 2017, 02:27:50 PM »
It could be both.

If it functions in a new/different way then it would be more of a "utility" patent.   For example, if you invented a new iphone case that had a neat wavy pattern to it but worked the same as other cases the only unique thing about that would be the way it looks so a "design" patent would be your only options.

However, if your case also had a fold-out section that you could use to stand the iphone up on its side that may be a new and different function for the case so a "utility" patent would be best.

I dont have time to read the rules right now as I am on vacation this week but please read this section of the MPEP:

My initial guess would be example 3 looks correct. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Design Patent Question/Advice
« on: August 01, 2017, 08:36:09 AM »
Usually exact sizes and dimensions will not matter as long as the layout, shape, curves, edges, etc. all look the same as in your patent.

Sorry I don't know the trademark rules.  I will leave your question posted here in case someone else can answer it.


1) A "business method" patent would fall under the umbrella of a "utility" type patent.   The claims you would write for this would be either (or both) method or system claims so I guess you could call it a "utility method" patent but thats not a term I hear often.   See this video for types of patents:
then read this:

2)  No patent application will "prevent" a company from doing something.  Only a valid and issued patent can be used to stop someone from copying you.   So if you wanted to stop someone you would have to file a full non-provisional, see it through to issuance (which can take years and several thousand dollars), then sue someone which could cost 100k or more.  See this post:

In my opinion its worth the extra $65 to file an updated provisional with the updated drawings.

Sorry.  We do not (and cannot) provide any legal advice here.  If you are worried about possible infringement of another patent you should hire an attorney to review your product and any related patents and give you a "freedom to operate opinion" or a "clearance opinion"

If you have any questions about patenting your own product we would be happy to try and answer those here for you.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Patent Prior art
« on: June 22, 2017, 05:42:12 AM »
You can try to challenge their patent in something called Post Grant proceeding:

You may also be able to prove that you invented and were selling the product before they filed their patent which may cause their patent to be invalidated.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: 12 month grace period in the USA ?
« on: June 22, 2017, 05:39:47 AM »
Yes.  The inventor has a 12 month grace period to file their patent in the USPTO.  This is not true in most other countries.

There should be a form you fill out in the middle of this page:

If you don't see it, please send me an email or contact me through this page:

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