Is My Idea Patentable?

Any person who has invented or discovered a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter may obtain a patent for it. This also includes any new or useful improvement on a past invention. Laws of nature and theories are not patentable. This requirement is outlined in title 35 of the United Stated Code, Section 101 (abbreviated as 35 U.S.C. 101). You do not need to have actually constructed or used your invention to get a patent on it. Having a good idea of how your invention is made and used is sufficient.

In general, the basic principles of patentability could be based on two questions: “Is the invention useful?” and “Is the invention new?” To determine if an invention is new, we turn to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. Section 102 requires that an invention must not be disclosed (or “anticipated”) by any prior patent, publication, or used prior to the time of patent filing. Section 103 requires that an invention must not be an ‘obvious’ combination of existing elements.

What constitutes an “anticipated” or “obvious” invention must be proven by the Patent Office during Patent Examination. The inventor (or an experienced Patent Attorney) may present arguments contradicting a finding of “anticipation” or “obviousness.”

You may obtain a Patentability Opinion from a Patent Attorney who will determine if your invention qualifies for patent based on the nature of its subject matter and its comparison to a Prior Art search.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

How Can I File a Non-Provisional Patent on My Idea?

In order for an invention to be granted a patent, an inventor must disclose and claim his invention in a patent application filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Properly describing and claiming an invention in a patent application is a highly technical legal practice with a vast amount of formalities and filing requirements.

The three primary requirements for a patent application are as follows:

1. The inventor must describe how to build and use the invention in enough detail such that ‘one of ordinary skill in the field of the invention’ would be able to recreate and use the invention based on the description,
2. The inventor must disclose the best way he knows how to build and use the invention,
3. The inventor must clearly and concisely claim what he represents to be his invention, and
4. The inventor must include figures and drawings that illustrate what he claims as his invention.

The filed patent application must then undergo a stringent examination process at the USPTO. This process is tedious, long, and costly. If an inventor files for patent, but does not have the resources or understanding to comply with the examination procedure, he may risk legally abandoning the rights to his invention.

An examiner at the USPTO will determine if the invention claimed in the patent application is patentable. If the examiner rejects an application for patent, the inventor is offered opportunities to amend his claimed invention or argue against the examiner’s rejections. The examiner, in turn, reviews the amendments and/or arguments and may either maintain his rejections or allow the patent application to issue as a patent. If the examiner maintains the rejections, the inventors may continue to amend their claimed invention, argue against the rejection, or appeal the rejection to a federal Board ñthis cycle may repeat indefinitely (so long as the inventor is willing to pay the continuation fees!).

Should the examiner deem the invention to be patentable, the inventor is granted a certificate of patent and his invention is published in a formal patent document, thereby placing the public on notice of the inventor’s patent rights.

This broad overview of the patenting process excludes the many paths and intricacies in obtaining a patent. It is highly discouraged that an inventor attempt to patent his invention on his own.

To better understand if your idea qualifies for a non-provisional patent take advantage of SmartUp’s free consultations with a patent attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

How Do I Disclose My Idea?

As you may know, our patent laws changed last year – the law now gives patent priority to the first person to file a patent application on an idea. Before, the law allowed inventors to prove the earliest date that they conceived an idea (in this way, even if the inventor wasn’t the first to file a patent application on his idea, he could submit evidence of conception dating back before the earlier patent filer). Unfortunately now, in order to preserve your patent rights, you must be the first one to the patent office with your idea.

So, for those who are serious about pursuing their idea, it is my recommendation to file at least a provisional patent application before beginning any public disclosures. The USPTO (Patent Office) created the provisional patent application for inventors to easily and quickly obtain “patent pending” status. In turn, the provisional application serves to secure their spot in line for the patent rights to their idea for 1 year. During that one year period, the Patent Office never discloses your idea to the public – it simply saves your spot in line for a full non-provisional patent application. Within that 1 year, the inventor must follow with a non-provisional application or lose his spot in line.

Provisional Applications are relatively cheap to secure. We charge from $600-$1500, depending how much support you need from us. The provisional application gives you the peace of mind to go about promoting your idea, obtain partners and investors, and give your idea a trial run – knowing that your spot in line for the patent rights are secured.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

The Importance of a Provisional Filing with the New Patent Laws

Our new patent laws grant the first inventor to file for a patent priority to any patent rights available to that invention. Before, our laws allowed an inventor to prove his date of conception to gain priority to the patent rights, even if the inventor was not the first to file for a patent on the invention. Now, the only factor that is considered when granting priority to patent rights is the filing date of the inventor’s patent application. The inventor with the earlier filing date wins the rights to the patent, even if another inventor can prove that he or she came up with the invention first.

In view of our new patent laws, provisional patent filings have become the primary way an inventor can prove he or she was the first to come up with an invention without actually going through the expensive patenting process. A provisional application for patent serves as an official notice to the Patent Office to hold the inventors place in line for a patent. From the filing a provisional patent application, the inventor has one year to follow with a formal, non-provisional filing not to lose his or her spot in line. During that one year period, the inventor can continue to work on improving the invention, gain investment, and best of all, promote the invention as “Patent Pending” without fear of someone else filing for his or her patent rights.

The provisional patent application was created as an inexpensive means to reserve patent priority to the invention while, for example, accumulating the resources to file for a formal non-provisional patent. With the new first-to-file standard, corporate entities have the economic resources to quickly file for patent protection. A provisional filing puts the startup/solo-inventor on equal ground.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

What Is the America Invents Act (AIA) – Patent Reform?

With the passage of the “America Invents Act” (AIA), the United States government has decided to conform its patent laws to the international “First-to-File” standard. Essentially, this standard awards the inventor who first files his idea or invention to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As long as the innovation was not previously published or otherwise made available to the public by anyone else, this first-filer gets priority patent rights to the innovation.

On March 16, 2013, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) switched U.S. Patent Law to a “First-to-File” standard. From that point forward, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) no longer recognizes inventors who were the first to conceive of their idea or invention, but were not the first to file a patent application to the USPTO.

For instance, before the enactment of the “First-to-File” standard, an inventor could take his time to experiment and further develop his idea before filing for a patent. So long as the inventor kept good dated records of his progress prior to patent filing (known as the “Poor Man’s Patent”), the USPTO would allow the inventor to use these records to back date his invention’s priority date. In this way, even if another inventor filed for a patent on the same idea before the first inventor could do the same, the first inventor would be allowed use his dated records to prove his earlier conception of the invention.

The AIA no longer recognizes the “Poor Man’s Patent”. Since first inventors (though not first patent-filers) are no longer be granted protection by the new “First-to-File” standard, all inventors are encouraged to file for patent or provisional protection as soon as they can. Fortunately, the patent filing fees for solo inventors and startup entrepreneurs have been tremendously reduced. Nevertheless, Patent Attorney’s fees have remained the same. It is for these reasons that SmartUp®, in conjunction with experienced Patent Attorneys, created an affordable platform to secure a priority date for inventors.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

What Does My Free Consultation with a Patent Attorney Include?

SmartUp® is an organization committed to promoting the development and progress of inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-ups across the nation. To show our commitment, every Patent Attorney affiliated with SmartUp® agrees to provide you with a free consultation – you don’t pay a dime. We respectfully ask that you limit your discussions to the specific question you submit through our platform.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

What Is a Patent?

A patent is a document that discloses an invention to the public. In exchange for disclosing the invention to the public, the U.S. government grants the inventor rights to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention claimed in the patent for a period of 20 years.

There are a few types of Patents: Utility Patents, Design Patents, and Plant Patents. Utility Patents protect “new and useful” inventions or discoveries, while Design Patents protect “non-functional, ornamental designs”. Plant Patents protect man made genetic variations of plants and their seedlings. Most inventions and discoveries are protected as Utility Patents.

Still not sure if your idea is patentable?  Ask a patent attorney for free:

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal

What Does SmartUp Provide?

Our online platform guides you in preparing the documents you need to secure a patent and then connects you to a patent attorney who will optimize, formalize, and file these documents for professional patent pending coverage. The online platform takes care of all of the administrative formalities in the patenting process so that attorneys can focus their time on optimizing your patent protection.

Properly drafting a patent application to secure enforceable patent protection is something very few entrepreneurs and inventors have time to learn on their own. Guidelines issued by the Patent Office come in thousand of page volumes, and, contrary to what other online patent filing services would have you believe, there is no template that could properly prepare you for securing patent protection that you can one day enforce.

SmartUp® set out to design a platform that would take the inventors through the basic steps of preparing a patent application. However still, we recognized the fact that no patent application should be compiled automatically and each should receive the personal attention of an experienced professional. So, SmartUp® went on to develop their Attorney-Client Collaboration platform.

Once you’ve completed the basic steps of preparing your patent application, SmartUp® connects you to a patent attorney that will personally examine and optimize your work through our easy to use Attorney-Client Collaboration platform. The platform enables efficiency in communication, provides ease in collaborative document creation and revision, and, more importantly, informs and empowers the inventor to control their Patent Attorney’s progress in patenting their innovations.

What are the results? Legally sound and precise patent protection at a fraction of the traditional costs – Patent Attorneys spend less time on administrative formalities, and more time on optimizing the scope of your patent protection.

Our online platform guides you in preparing the documents you need to secure a patent and then connects you to a patent attorney who will optimize, formalize, and file these documents for professional patent pending coverage. The online platform takes care of all of the administrative formalities in the patenting process so that attorneys can focus their time on optimizing your patent protection.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

yuri

Source: Smartup Legal