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Messages - Brad

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I usually tell people not to spend a lot of time on the claims and usually most non-patent people don't write the claims properly to begin with.  However, writing the claims in a PPA serves a valuable purpose though because it forces you to focus and cover the key aspects of your invention.   So I would suggest writing these out in at least bullet point format and you can include them in the Brief Summary of the Invention section but don't really need to file them as "claims" in the PPA or spend time trying to word them in "legal speak" to make them look like proper claims.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PPA - How much detail is too much?
« on: April 21, 2019, 09:13:10 AM »
Usually having too much details is better than leaving something out so it sounds like you are doing everything properly.

If I had to guess Google Patents is not able to properly calculate the expiration of patents outside of the US and even calculating a proper US expiration date can be challenging as some patents can have "patent term extension" added onto the end of their 20 year period.

One other website you may want to try is:

Other than that the safest bet would be to figure out which countries you were most interested in and hiring a patent attorney in each country to research this for you (note each country has their own patent rules around expirations which is why Google is not always a reliable source)

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Expired Provisional Patent
« on: April 07, 2019, 08:06:53 PM »
Hi Ashraf,

You can only re-file your provisional patent application if your idea is either:
(1) Still secret, or
(2) Was made public or offered for sale less than 12 months ago.

If you can satisfy either items 1 or 2 from above you can likely re-file your provisional but there are some risks associated with this.  Here is my standard warning I send to people that want to re-file:

*WARNING - the risk of re-filing a provisional patent application again and again is that each time you start with a brand new filing date and you cannot link the applications together.  Most of the time this is okay, however, there are times when your competition may invent an identical or similar device and may be able to "jump ahead of you in line" at the patent office or possible block your patent from being allowed.  For example, if you filed your first provisional in March 2013 and it expired in March 2014 and your competition invented a similar device in April 2014 and started selling it online, then if we re-filed your new provisional application in June 2014, the the patent office could use your competition's April 2014 invention to block you from getting a patent because your filing date would be seen as June 2014 (i.e. after their invention).

One other risk is that if your idea was made public or offered for sale prior to us re-filing the provisional, you will probably lose the option to file in countries outside of the USA because they have more strict rules on "absolute novelty" when compared to the US Patent Office. 

We can sometimes file your provisional patent application "as is" without any review or input from us for a fixed fee of $250 + USPTO fees of $70-$140 for most people.   (note I am leaving on vacation through April 22, 2019 and will not be able to help you until I return).


If one part of your invention is not allowed you can still try to get the other part of your invention allowed, even if they are both listed in the same application.

In your non-provisional you would have some claims to the method and some claims on the device.   If the method claims are rejected and the device claims are allowed you would just cancel/remove the method claims and your patent would be approved on the device only.      This is fairly common.

If the invention was made public or on sale more than 12 months ago you could not try to patent the same thing now.   If you changed the formulation or added to it that new formulation may be eligible for a patent as long as your changes were new and non-obvious.

Sorry I don't really have a good, clear answer to that but in general you cannot patent something that is already out there.


Yes - the non-provisional can include the changes and updates.   Just as long as you know you will only get "credit" for the new stuff based on the date when you file the new non-provisional.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Lawyer cost
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:49:32 PM »
You can try searching by location either here:

or here:

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.

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.

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. 

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:

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:

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. 

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.

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. 

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:

*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:
(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).

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)

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