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Messages - Brad

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Unless you are using the glass for a completely unique and almost wacky application it would be near impossible to get a "new use" patent application approved.   I know there are websites and even some patent attorneys who still say you can get a patent on a "new use for known material" but in my experience they are very hard and expensive to get approved and anyone who tells you it is possible should be willing to show you some recent examples of patents they got approved for a new use of a known material (I would bet they cannot). 

For example, if your use of Gorilla glass was a new type of bone implant for humans that may have a chance but the use of a protective glass for phones being used as a protective glass for automobiles or other applications is a fairly easy obvious rejection for the patent examiner to make. 

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Public Disclosure
« on: April 20, 2022, 08:46:39 PM »
In your case the "on sale bar" may be more relevant.  You only have one year from your first sale or offer for sale to get your patent filed:

If I remember correctly, even secret or non-public sales can still count against you. 

In your case you may need to think of some new improvement or new feature that was not part of the original sale and file a patent that focuses on the new/improved machine with the new feature.   Ideally you can still get that patent approved but the risk/downside is that your original machine (without the new improvement) can still be made and sold my your competition. 

Yes or label them 350A and 350B and note in the spec. where they are located. 

If the pieces are the same I would leave the numbering the same, even if they appear in more than once spot.  Ideally you have a way to identify them and their location such a "a first panel 450 is located on a top side XXX of the body YYY".

Here XXX and YYY should be labeled in your figures.

We have also sometimes used the suffix A and B such as panel 350A and panel 350B.

Yes that is a tough decision.   When someone has a pending patent application it is smart for them to change the claims to try and capture the best commercial use of their idea.

How likely is it that the inventor will see your idea online?  It is a big world with a big internet and I have found most inventors are not very good at finding similar ideas online.  Sometimes they are scared to look, sometimes they don't know how to do good searches on Google. 

You will need to decide what is more important:
1. Publishing now to give the idea way as soon as possible, or
2. Waiting for the other patent to be approved.

 Note that there is a good chance their patent may never get approved so maybe option 1 is best.

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Level of description/claim detalization
« on: February 03, 2022, 10:59:53 AM »
Sounds to me like you are trying to patent a concept.  Concepts are not patentable, only "inventions" are patentable.   An invention has definition and boundaries.   In your wheel example, you have to define the shape and structure of the wheel.  I would argue the round shape is needed (in practice nobody wants to use a square wheel) so I would start there.  Then think of the other areas that are essential for the wheel like a centrally located connection point.

Claim drafting is not easy.  There is a reason why patent attorneys can charge $500+ per hour to think through these things carefully.   Once you have your claims properly drafted, you can use those as your framework to write out the entire application and describe each of your claim terms.


My understanding is that a CIP application would count against your limit.  This is a lifetime limit not per year.   Best resource for this is here:

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Provisional Application Process
« on: January 26, 2022, 10:01:04 AM »
Once the USPTO has accepted your provisional, there is nothing else they will do.   The next step is when you will file the full non-provisional application.  Please read this:

Sorry I don't really like to take over applications as they are usually a bit of a mess.  Just like a licensed electrician would not want to take over wiring a house after the homeowner did most of it and covered up the walls. Too much risk and headache with very little money/reward.

To answer your specific question, you should call the examiner to see what they suggest.  Sometimes they will review an amendment after final if you are only making minor changes or doing something they suggested in their last response.  Otherwise they don't have to review anything as prosecution is technically closed at this point.   If you think you are close to an allowance with just minor tweaks I would call them and see if they will let you file the reply with an After Final 2.0 request:

It is really up to you to keep track of the dates.  If your final rejection was mailed January 1, 2022 you have until April 1, 2022 to file a response (without an extension fee) or until July 1, 2022 to file a reply but pay a late fee (extension of time fee). 

Most firms will make a note to file your response after final within the first two months and then set a reminder to check on it every week.  If you don't hear back from the examiner with a Notice of Allowance by the first deadline then file your RCE or Continuation at that time before the first due date to avoid the extension of time fees.

There is a small chance that if you don't take what they allow, they can re-run their search and offer new rejections.

I once had all 20 of my claims allowed, I paid the issue fee, and then it went to some quality control person at the patent office who sent the case back to the examiner to start the examination process over.  We were not happy but nothing we could do. 

For this reason it often makes sense to take what you can get when you can get it and then file a continuation for additional claim coverage.  As you noted this increases this cost though as you have to maintain two patents instead of one. 

You should be able to file an RCE but in this case it may make sense to:

1. Take the allowed claim and get your first patent issued (patent #1),
2. Before your first patent issues, file a "continuation" patent application that links back to your first application and keeps your priority chain active.
3. Try to get claims approved on your continuation application.  If successful you will then get a second patent issued (patent #2)

This is only slightly more expensive than the RCE path but ensures you will at least get one issued patent out of all this plus buys you some goodwill with the patent examiner.

You really have three options:
1) Amend your claims to include a feature (structural feature or arrangement of features) that is not found in any of their cited patents.

2) Provide arguments why it would not be logical to combine the cited art and explain how it would actually "frustrate" the purpose of the cited art (e.g. ice cream needs to be kept cold, therefore it would frustrate the purpose of an ice cream machine to add a heater)

3) File a Notice of Appeal to appeal over the examiner's head.

Most of the time a combination of 1 and 2 is all you need.  A phone call with the examiner is also helpful as they will sometimes tell you what they want to see in order to get the case approved.

I am not fully certain I follow your question, but, you only have 12 months from the filing of your FIRST application to file a PCT.

In your example where you filed your US non-provisional on February 1, 2022 you would need to file your PCT on or before February 1, 2023.   This assumes your US non-provisional was your first application.

If you filed a US provisional on October 1, 2021 then filed your US non-provisional on February 1, 2022 you would need to file your PCT on or before October 1, 2022.

PatentFile Website Questions and Reviews / Re: NDA?
« on: December 04, 2021, 09:20:23 AM »
On this site we can sign an NDA and have ours posted.
(note:  once you sign your name in at the bottom it will automatically fill it in at the top section)

However, in general most larger law firms and attorneys will not sign NDAs with solo inventors and it is not really needed.  Before you work with anyone you need to make sure they are registered by the US Patent Office here:

If they are registered, they have very strict rules and ethics requirements.  Stealing a clients idea would not be worth it because they would lose their entire patent license.   

That is tough.  Generally methods of treating humans without a technology component or device would be hard to get approved.  The patent office may consider them to be "abstract" and therefore not patentable.   Even if you would put them on a standard website or app that may not be enough to get it passed this abstract filter.

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