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Messages - Brad

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The answer depends on what you mean by "protected".

Yes - publishing your invention should stop other people from getting their own patent on the same idea, but, if you don't have your own patent you cannot stop them from making or selling the idea themselves.

The only way to stop people from copying you and stop them from making or selling the same product is to file your own patent and go through the patent approval process.

If you only care about stopping others from getting their own patent and don't really care if other people make or sell the product than you can skip the patent process and just publish the work. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: can a PCT patent be used as CIP in USA?
« on: December 10, 2018, 11:42:41 AM »
You can file a PCT as long as its within 1-year of the first application but you have to be a little careful here as you can only claim priority one-level deep per invention for PCT and non-US cases.

So your PCT may have two priority claims:
-priority claim 1 goes to the January application and invention X
-priority claim 2 goes to the February application and invention Y

Only claiming priority to the February CIP may be problematic so I would suggest filing your PCT before January and making sure to include both priority claims.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: who will take the priority?
« on: December 09, 2018, 10:52:36 AM »
Yes Person A because they have an earlier priority date. 

I don't know for certain but I do not think this is possible.  You can usually only request a refund of fees if you are abandoning the application completely and only then just some of the fees are refundable.

I would call the USPTO on Monday and ask them directly:  Toll-Free: 800-786-9199

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Two Patents Exactly the Same?
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:58:24 AM »
Those are pretty darn close.  I am not an expert in design patents but the fins on the front of the grill seem a bit different between those two patents which is maybe why the second one was approved. 

Design patents are easier to get approved than utility patents because if you just make a small tweak or change to the appearance of the device you can likely get your own design patent approved.  The downside to this is that people may be able to make a small tweak or change your design to get around your patent.

I am not sure what you mean by "safe"?

Most patent offices have a strict novelty rule which means if they can find your invention existed before you filed your patent application they will reject your patent even if the prior invention was from a different country.

More about the PCT Patent Process:

PCT applicants do not "fail" or get "rejected" like a normal country specific application, however, PCT applications do have a search and opinion that is generated so the worst that would happen is the PCT gets a negative opinion which is then passed down to each country where you file.

Note that if any patent office finds prior art in any other country around the world your patent will still be rejected.  For example, if the US Patent Office finds prior art in China they can still use that to reject your US patent. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: patent strategy in our case
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:06:18 PM »
Hi James,

I will leave this post open to see if anyone else wants to answer it.   

This is getting a bit too specific and detailed for me to feel comfortable answering and we would usually charge for our time to review and respond to something this case-specific. 

In general to be a "public" disclosure the public must be able to view and access your information.  Presenting to investors in a private room or sending an email are not public so they are not public disclosures.

Putting something on your website or publishing a white paper on the idea would be a type of public disclosure.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: why provisional ?
« on: November 26, 2018, 10:41:59 AM »
Probably the main reason is upfront cost.  Assuming you are hiring a firm it could save you a few thousand in upfront cost (but you may end up paying the same or more in the grand scheme of things if you later do the non-provisional).

Another reason would be if you are still tweaking your idea.  Once you file the full patent application you are essentially "stuck" with what you included so if you are still working out the details of your invention filing a cheaper provisional first to at least get some of the idea on file may be smart and then when it comes time to filing the full non-provisional you can make sure all of the final details are included in that. 

I usually tell people if you (1) have the money to pay for the non-provisional and (2) are about 95% sure you will not be making any further changes to your invention it probably makes sense to jump right into the full non-provisional and just skip the provisional stage.

It is too late to file in other countries.   You only have one year (12 months) from the first filing to file in different countries.

If someone sells the product in other countries I do not know of anyway to stop them using the patent system. 

Very generally "yes" your statements are correct.   If possible it is usually best and strongest to get protection on the core elements or pieces of the system rather than the entire system.

This is interesting and the first I have heard of this.   Trying to read between the lines here, it sounds like this statement is trying to "sell" people on filing in Canada first instead of the USA provisional.   Their argument seems to be that in the past it may have been better to file the USA provisional first to establish priority but now after AIA you also have the option to file in Canada first.

To answer your question, "yes" you can file directly in Canada first and then within 12 months file in the US.   You could also do the reverse which is file in US first and then within 12 months file in Canada.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: How to refile a PPA
« on: October 15, 2018, 02:45:43 PM »
You do not reference or link between PPAs so you would just follow the same procedure as your first time. 

As you already know there are some risks/downsides to re-filing the PPA.  I wrote a post on this here:

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