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Messages - Brad

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1
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Lawyer cost
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:49:32 PM »
You can try searching by location either here:
https://www.napp.org/find-a-practitioner

or here:
https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/practitionerSearchEntry

Another trick may be to call up any university in your area that has an "office of technology transfer" and ask them who they suggest for a good local patent attorney.




2
It should all be fine.

The firms like to "docket" the filing of the CIP to be done before the payment of this issue fee in order to play it safe.  In reality you can file your CIP up to the date your older patent actually issues which can often take 5-6 weeks after payment of this issue fee.

I don't think your firm did anything wrong other then maybe not communicating clearly about what they are doing and why.


3
Sorry I have no idea what form you are asking about as I have never seen that specific language before?   Patents are always issued on Tuesdays so are you certain this form came from the patent office and is not spam or someone trying to get money out of you?

I would call the USPTO help center and they can look up your application number and tell you how to proceed. 
Toll-Free: 888-786-0101

Also note that if the deadline says February 6 you should have until 11:59pm EST on February 6 (tomorrow) to file your reply.   Most deadlines at the patent office are extendable. 

4
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Patent question
« on: January 29, 2019, 09:15:05 AM »
This is actually an interesting (and challenging) question.

Without doing a lot of research on this my initial response would be "no".  A logo cannot be patented and instead you should look into a trademark or service mark:  https://www.logomaker.com/blog/2014/05/13/comes-logo-design-patent-copyright-trademark/

Furthermore, the general idea of using QR codes is no longer patentable using a "utility" patent, even if your code is unique and looks different from other codes.


However, there are cases where you can patent "computer generated icons" using a design patent but generally these have to be displayed on a computer or phone screen:  https://www.bitlaw.com/source/mpep/1504_01_a.html


So to give you my quick (free) non-legal opinion - if you are talking about printing a tee shirt or or some "article" and as part of your new design you want to include a unique QR code I would say "maybe" this could be protected by a new design type patent (not a utility patent).   If however you are just thinking of ways to protect your brand/logo I would say a patent is not used for that purpose and instead look at trademarks. 

*Sorry I don't have a clear answer for you but without doing some real research here (which costs time and money) this is just a best guess. 

5
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Dimensions in a patent
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:54:08 AM »
In most cases we do not include dimensions in our figures or patent claims.   This is because:
1) it would be really easy for someone to to slightly change the sizes or dimensions to get around your patent, and
2) the patent examiner does not really care about sizes or dimensions and instead will only focus on the actual utility and structural features of your invention

So unless there is something really special about the size or dimensions of your product I would not include them in your figures.


6
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Overseas Patent or US only or both?
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:51:33 AM »
A US patent would let you stop other people from importing or making or selling the product in the US.   So a patent lets you stop others (it does not give you rights to do something).

Without really researching this further I would think you should choose whatever option makes the most business sense for your product and only file a patent in countries or areas where you think other people may try to sell and compete with you. 

7
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Help me understand this?
« on: January 13, 2019, 09:04:22 AM »
Sorry I did not mean to modify your post/question which was basically asking if we offer a patent search.    I tried to re-create it above. 

We do offer a search + opinion package here: https://patentfile.org/packages/#patent

*Please note that we are not a professional patent search firm and only have access to free searching websites and tools so I can almost guarantee will will not find all of the most relevent patents out there.  Usually this search will tell us if it makes sense to drop it or it it warrants keep moving forward with the patent.

If you need a more detailed search I would suggest someone like Walsh IP:
http://www.walsh-ip.com/services/patentability-search/
(but with their search you will just get a list of results and may still need to hire an attorney or agent to go through the results to give you an opinion on how patentable it may be).

8
Marketing, Licensing, and Selling an Invention / Re: broker patents
« on: January 12, 2019, 08:33:16 AM »
Sorry I don't know of any firms that can help you with that.   Most likely you will have to do the work yourself (i.e. finding the right people within the automobile companies and trying to contact them yourself)


9
Marketing, Licensing, and Selling an Invention / Re: broker patents
« on: January 11, 2019, 09:41:08 AM »
The only legit broker I know of is Ocean Tomo: http://www.oceantomo.com/pdf/OceanTomo_ScopeOfServices_Web.pdf

There are plenty of firms that advertise and claim to act as a patent broker but most of them have awful track records (less than 1% of patents licensed and they make their money from inventors paying them).   https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0184-invention-promotion-firms


10
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Help me understand this?
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:42:24 AM »
If your initial goal is to figure out if something is patentable you may want to meet with a patent attorney or agent near you and show everything to them.    Note that some firms offer free consultations with inventors and some do not.  Make sure whoever you are working with is registered with the US Patent Office (link to search USPTO is below).   Expect to pay at least $500 for a quick search and opinion and up to $2,000 for a full patent search and patent opinion.

In either case you will never find an attorney willing to say "yes this is 100% patentable" or "no this is 100% not patentable" but usually you can get a good idea of how easy or difficult it would be to patent.

Also note that you must file your patent within 12 months of any public use or public disclosure so if you have put your invention on the internet or shown it to the public for example it may be too late for you to file your own patent.

You can also do your own free search on https://patents.google.com/ and just regular Google.com.   If you see others have done the same thing as you in the past then you cannot get a patent on the same invention. 


Search for local patent attorneys or agents here:
https://www.napp.org/find-a-practitioner
or
https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/practitionerSearchEntry



11
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: USA Patents in the UK and Europe
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:26:49 AM »
Each country has their own patent office.   In Europe you can file and have your patent examined in the central European Patent Office but eventually if you want protection in each individual country you have to pay a fee to nationalize your patent in each country (UK, Germany, Italy, etc.)

Sadly there is no global or international patent office.   

There is something called a "PCT Patent Application" which is a process (not a patent) to file a single application that acts as an international placeholder of sorts, essentially buying you up to 30 months to later file your application in each individual country.  More on this here:  https://patentfile.org/how-to-turn-your-provisional-patent-application-into-an-international-patent-application/



12
Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Help me understand this?
« on: January 09, 2019, 10:27:16 AM »
All of the above.

I would love nothing more than having inventors all post here and interact with each other but so far its mostly been a help page where I post responses to patent questions.

If you know of any way to help increase the actively here and increase posts from inventors I would be open to that.

Thanks.


13
Thanks!

Making your application "special" will get you a faster examination.   Usually it takes the patent office 1-2 years before they will exam your case but if your application is special that will move you ahead and often get your case examined in 6 months or less.

*Note this is only for the non-provisional application.  There is really no benefit that I know of for using this process in a provisional application.


14
As long as its a closed group and the public cannot access it or Google cannot crawl it that would not be a public disclosure.


15
That is a tough one.   In general moving to "off the shelf" components vs. custom built electronics is not enough of a move to warrant getting a new patent approved so your instinct to focus on the software/firmware sounds reasonable.


If your plan is to get outside investment I can almost guarantee they will want to see some type of patent application filed so it may make sense to at least file a PPA to "please the investors" even if we think it has a low chance of being approved.

As PPAs are not published, there is little downside risk (other than the cost) to filing the PPA and seeing how much you can get done during the 12 month window.


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