Services & Areas of Practice
Consultation and Education
The Inventor's Friend Patent Law Firm offers free consultations for all inventors to discuss the protection of their ideas, along with helping to identify the best form(s) of intellectual property protection for their specific needs. Different forms of IP protection could include provisional patent applications, utility patent applications, design patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, and/or trade secrets.
An in-depth patentability search is often a good first step in the patenting process. A researcher will use various resources including, but not limited to, patent databases to determine whether the novel features of the invention have already been described by a previous inventor. This process helps with deciding whether or not to file a patent application and what details should be included when filing.
Provisional Patent Applications
A provisional patent application is typically the first patent application most inventors will file. Patents are generally issued to the first inventor who files an application on a novel idea, and a provisional application is one way to establish that filing date. However, a provisional patent application will not be examined by the USPTO and cannot mature into a patent. An inventor should file a complete utility patent application within one year of the provisional filing date in order to continue the process.
Utility (Non-Provisional) Patent Applications
A utility patent application will be examined by the USPTO to determine whether the application claims a novel invention. The utility application should therefore contain all of the details, figures, and descriptions necessary to demonstrate the novel features of the invention. This includes detailed descriptions of the invention along with professional drawings showing all features. The patent application process is usually best served with a collaborative approach involving both the inventor and patent attorney working together to prepare the most thorough and accurate application.
USPTO Office Actions
The USPTO typically issues a rejection, called an Office Action, for approximately 85% of all initial patent applications. A patent attorney then responds to this Office Action by fighting on behalf of the inventor to get their patent issued. This often involves direct communication with the examiner along with amendments to the claim section of the patent application. However, no new information may be added to the application after it has been filed. Approximately 60% of all patent applications are eventually issued as a patent, although a good patent attorney will have substantially higher allowance rates.
In some rare occasions, a patent examiner may be unreasonable and will continue to reject a patent application, regardless of how novel an invention is. In those rare cases, a patent attorney can file an appeal to a board of independent judges asking them to overturn the examiner's findings and allowing the patent to be issued.
Design patents protect the specific shape and appearance of manufactured goods, and are generally used to prevent competitors from manufacturing goods that look confusingly similar.
Patent Infringement and Accusations
If you believe that a competitor is infringing your patent, or if you have been accused of infringing someone else's patent, call for a free evaluation of your case. Infringement issues can often be resolved with a single letter written by a patent attorney.
If your online sales have slowed due to a competitor selling an infringing product, or if your product has been wrongfully removed from an online sales platform after being accused of infringement, call for a free evaluation of your case. These issues can often be resolved quickly by a patent attorney.
Trademarks are used to designate the origin of goods and services. Registering trademarks can protect your company name and/or logo so that competitors cannot sell their goods or services using your name and logo. In some cases we may refer you to a trademark attorney in your area who can help with registering your trademark.
Foreign Patents and Trademarks
The Inventor's Friend works with foreign attorneys to pursue IP protection for local clients in various countries around the world. This can be particularly valuable when goods are manufactured outside of the U.S. The Inventor's Friend also helps foreign attorneys to obtain IP protection at the USPTO for foreign clients.
The Inventor's Friend provides a wide range of IP services, including services not mentioned on this page. Call for a free consultation on any issues, including comprehensive protection of your IP.