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Messages - atouk

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Patent Questions and Advice / Timing Is Everything, Or Is It?
« on: May 26, 2017, 09:45:12 AM »
Now that I have a Provisional Patent, I've already figured out an improvement on the original design.  So the question is:

Should I wait until near the end of the current 1 year timeline to file a additional Patent (Provisional) and cite my previous one as Prior Art, and get the extra year, or;

File immediately so that the improvement is also granted protection, even though the original Patent would (should?) protect the original design, with or without the added improvement.

The functionality or usage of the design is not changed with the improvement, but it does add value to the end user as well as adding another distinct marketing feature.  Does the 1 year clock make the design change moot since the actual usage of the product is unchanged, and only the improvement would be covered under the new application?

What are the pros and cons of doing it sooner as opposed to later?

General Non-Inventing Discussion / Big Thanks to Brad
« on: May 25, 2017, 04:55:31 PM »
I'd like to give Brad an internet High Five and thank him for the FREE guidance and advice available here.

I received my OFFICIAL LETTER Of PROVISIONAL PATENT and Gilded Certificate suitable for framing from the USPTO.

OK, that may be an exaggeration.  It's a pretty bland 3 page letter with lots of legal speak and language meant to confuse and confound mere mortals.  But it's MY 3 page bland letter full of legal speak.

A few tips for those ready to tread these deep and mysterious places run by bureaucrats in dark and musty offices.

Double check everything.

My first attempt on online application included me attaching a blank PTO/SB/15A (Certification of Micro Entity Status), instead of the filled PDF.  Keep your blank and filled forms separate. Murphy thrives in paperwork, and his laws are absolute.  If there is a possibility of error, errors will happen.

This caused a Notice To File Missing Parts Of Provisional Application.  OK, fine.  They sent 2 copies of the letter with instructions to return one copy with the missing paperwork.  Seemed simple enough.  So I just printed out a new properly filled copy of PTO/SB/15A, stapled it with the copy of the Notice letter, stuffed an envelope and affixed TWO stamps (can't be too careful, error tend to compound themselves when nobody is looking).  Off to the Post Office, and done.

Oops, not so fast.

I receive yet another letter, Notice of Incomplete Reply.  What??  What was incomplete?  In this letter, I get informed of a $15 surcharge for late filing fee.  Double check previous letter and nope, not mentioned.

The actual Notice had a list (in bullet points) or the missing parts.  First was the" Surcharge as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(g) was not received."   The second was asking for a "Provisional Application Cover Sheet under 37 CFR 1.51(c)(1) which may be an Application Data Sheet (37 CFR 1.76).  Going back to the original online application, I'm positive I filled something similar out.  No problem, again.  I'll just find the appropriate form online and send it in.

Moment of confusion time.  Trying to find forms on the USPTO site is not for the faint of heart.  But after a hearty cup of coffee, success!  I will give whoever designed the PDF for this one props.  If any required information is left blank, it will let you know.  Since this is an 8 page form, and not all entries may apply to you, this is above and beyond for a Government Agency.

For the sake of thoroughness, I printed the Application Data Sheet, Made a copy of the Notice of Incomplete Reply, included another copy of the Certification of Micro Entity Status, and with my best handwriting, penned a check for Fifteen Dollars and 00 Cents.  And back to the Post Office.

The entire process gave me a new found appreciation for (certain) lawyers, and a deeper mistrust of that guy named Murphy.  All of the above could have been avoided by simply double checking that the proper forms were initially sent as attachments.

Now as to the actual Patent Application.  6 pages, and 4 illustrations.  I worried and fussed over every single word and punctuation mark.  I double checked spelling.  I tried to think of every unknown known and known unknown.  The illustrations were done with Adobe Fusion, a free 3D rendering package.  So doing everything yourself on the cheap is possible. I made sure that descriptions matched Illustrations.  As for the actual item being Patented?  Well, now the fun part starts.  Deciding on how/where/who to market it with, and getting them to understand how much money it will make them.  But all in all, the help available here got me this far, so future millionaire or not, many thanks.

One last bit of advice - Check Your Forms Before Hitting Send!

For my prototype, I downloaded Autodesk Fusion 360 (free for 30 days), created the model and STL files that I sent to Shapeways and had 4 pieces 3D printed in a couple different materials (plastic) and colors.  Used their coupon code for free shipping.

Total cost about 20 bucks, and turnaround less than 2 weeks.

Got lucky and the design was actually dimensionaly perfect.  Got it done in one.

Then I used the same model in Fusion to created the drawings for the PPA.  Fusion will output to PDF.

Learning curve is a bit steep if you've never used a 3D modeling program before, but there are tons if YouTube videos by Autodesk and others to get you started.

Bonus:   I saw that Shapeways could 3D print in precious metals, so I designed a piece of jewelry for the wife and had it printed in sterling silver.  That got me lucky, too.

Marketing, Licensing, and Selling an Invention / Re: Product Name
« on: March 18, 2017, 09:24:32 AM »
Thank's for the quick reply.  Also, the free advice here goes above and beyond.

That being said, I look forward to being a pain in the ass in the future with more questions.  ;D

Marketing, Licensing, and Selling an Invention / Product Name
« on: March 17, 2017, 06:21:28 PM »
If the invention or device is given a unique name in the PPA and the item is shopped around for a partner or distributor using that name, does the PPA extend any copyright or trade name protection?

Patent Questions and Advice / Description of Invention and Variations
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:51:19 PM »
If the Detailed Description of the device or invention specifies that while the original Provisional Patent application is for an add-on or accessory to be used on an existing product or technology, it also states that the change or improvement can be also incorporated to the target product line at time of manufacture, would this actually require two separate PPA applications, (one for the stand alone device, and one for the improvement to the existing standard device in use), or would the single application cover both uses?  Further, would the statements in the DD actually provide further protection, or be considered to overreaching?

EXAMPLE:  While WIDGET A is the current industry standard WIDGET, the addition of the DEVICE shown in Illustration A by simple double sided adhesive pads, epoxy or other means would enhance it's functionality by allowing Automatic Molecular Deconfabulation by the process described herein, it could also be machined into the industry standard WIDGET at time of manufacture.

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