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Messages - Brad

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The good news is that the provisional patent application should focus on the technical information.  The main job of the provisional is to serve as proper "support" for later filed applications so it is important you have good technical information included.

In order to answer your question, you need to first determine what is the most innovative and important components for your system.   Then pretend you had a patent that covered those components and their arrangement and see how someone else could try to get around your patent by changing the design.   Make sure your figures and text that you include in the PPA do a good job of showing your primary system plus the next best alternative.   

No need to waste time on explaining common features that are well known. 

You can sell or license a pending patent application after it has been filed.  Good luck.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: query about
« on: November 01, 2023, 08:46:35 AM »
Based on your example I would file it as one application.  Normally things like choice of material or manufacturing process are not that important when you are trying to claim a new device like a pencil case.   

You cannot add new material to any patent application after it has been filed so you cannot update it.  You should file a new application.  We sometimes have 2-5 PPAs that we later merge together into a full non-provisional utility application. 

If you did not pay the fee you will get a letter from the patent office telling you how to make payment.  However, in this case it would be safest and easiest for you to file your application again as a new PPA and make sure you pay the fee online this new version. 

Unfortuently you cannot get that from the patent office.  If your patent cites old_patent_123 and then your patent is allowed that just means that the patent examiner thought your idea was different enough from old_patent_123 that it could be its own invention.  It does not mean that you are clear and not infringing on old_patent_123.

Another simple example would be a bicycle.  If old_patent_123 claimed a bicycle with two wheels and you made a bicycle with three wheels you may get your own new patent approved because it was different than old_patent_123 with two wheels.  However, your three wheel bicycle also includes two wheels plus a third wheel so the owner of old_patent_123 may enforce their patent against you because your bicycle has two wheels.  the fact that you have three wheels does not matter because your three wheel bicycle also has two wheels (2+1=3). 

Only the true and first inventor can file the patent.   If you did not create this then you cannot apply for a patent.


1.  This means your invention was classified into those classes.  More on classes here:

2.  This is the processing group.  It goes there first and then to an Examiner.

3. and 4.  In your case they are expecting the report from the examiner in 7 months from the date you accessed that page.  So this will be around September 2023.

Please send me an email or request a quote using this link:

Thank you,

No those would be two different things.   Remember, the patent office only cares if you are claiming a new idea.  They don't have the authority (or ability) to look at things like infringement.

Here is a crude example.   I could possibly get a patent on a new iphone case if my case is new but that does not mean I can start selling iphones with my case because Apple likely has 100+ patents on different areas of the iPhone. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: What's the best Petition
« on: November 11, 2022, 09:12:40 AM »
Very sorry to hear that.  I would read this post:

For specific questions about your case you can call the USPTO for free:

Private conversations with friends and family is NOT a public disclsure.   If the public was not invited or able to attend these conversations they are not public.

An example of a public disclosure would be pitching your idea on Shark Tank or presenting your idea at a conference. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Expired patents
« on: July 28, 2022, 11:55:10 AM »
In general once a patent expires it is free for anyone to use and there is no way to "obtain" it.   Its essentially dedicated to the public at that point.

A patent does not give you permission to make or sell your product.   A patent is a defensive tool that lets you stop other people from copying you.  Please read this:

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PPA Application
« on: June 01, 2022, 10:43:15 AM »
Hi Louis,

I think there are few big misunderstandings on your part.  I am not trying to "upsell" you here but I think a $150 consultation with me or another qualified person would be beneficial to help walk you through different strategies and ideas based on your goals.  It is a complex process with many potential pathways.     

The biggest thing is that a patent application or even a fully issued patent does not give you permission to sell anything.  It is a defensive tool used to stop others.  That is a huge difference that most people don't realize.   Just because you file your patent first does not mean you have some clearance to launch a product.   See this post here:  and this one

The main reason you would file your PPA is to lock on your priority date.  You full (non-provisional) can then link back to your provisional.  Because the upfront cost of the PPA is so much less, if done properly, a PPA can be extremely powerful for relatively little cost.    In one example, lets say you file a good PPA for $2,000.   Ten months later your competition files a full non-provisional using an expensive Boston law firm for $15,000.   You later file your non-provisional and link it back to your provisional.   Because your applications have an earlier priority date (based on your PPA date), you can block the other company from getting their patent approved because you have the earlier date.   

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Claim confusion
« on: May 28, 2022, 08:55:10 AM »
These are called "functional limitations" that are sometimes added to a claim.   From the USPTO MPEP:

Features of an apparatus may be recited either structurally or functionally. In re Schreiber, 128 F.3d 1473, 1478, 44 USPQ2d 1429, 1432 (Fed. Cir. 1997). See also MPEP

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