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Patents

The Patent process is challenging and may be intimidating. Novelty, nonobviousness, clarity, USPTO rules, these are all real challenges you will have to contend with. However, the end result - an issued patent - is a worthwhile benefit in the form of intellectual property ownership that can carry tremendous value.

Patent lawyers in Las Vegas

We offer one of the best patent lawyer services in Las Vegas, NV. If you need any assistance filing for a patent or a trademark, please go to the contact form and send us your query. Or call us at (702) 347-1221 (www.iplaw.world).

A patent confers exclusive rights in the invention to the owner of the patent. A patent’s life is typically 20 years from the date it was filed. During this period, the patent-owner can stop others, i.e. cheaters or infringers, from making, selling, or practicing the invention. A patent, therefore, can be an effective offensive and defensive tool for your business.



Initial Consultation with Patent Attorney

The patent process begins with your initial consultation with a patent attorney. This initial consultation is free.

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CONFIDENTIALITY:

Our Registered patent attorneys are licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”). They are legally bound to strict confidentiality regarding clients’ disclosures. We will not share or use a client’s invention-related materials in any manner without the client’s prior permission.

The patent attorney will need to understand the details of your invention, its advantages and benefits, etc. Based on this initial consultation, the patent attorney will advise you of your options. You should then be able to make a decision on how exactly you wish to proceed based on your budget and your level of interest.

Patentability Search

A patentability search is an optional step before filing a patent application. Many inventors choose to get one because it helps reveal what else is out there. The search results can help the inventor decide whether to spend the time and money pursuing a patent. The search results can also help the patent attorney in his efforts to achieve the broadest patent protection for the invention.

The Patent Application

Preparing the patent application is arguably the most significant step in the patenting process. This is where the patent attorney’s skills are critical. This is perhaps the most significant part of a patent attorney’s IP law practice anywhere in the world.

a) Specification - A patent application’s specification must meet certain legal criteria, but its essential purpose is to describe the invention in detail, identifying how to practice it, and citing its advantages. The detailed description typically includes professional drawings. The specification must meet certain legal standards, which the patent attorney will ensure are met.

b) Claims - The claims define the intellectual property rights, or IP law rights, granted by the patent to the patent owner. Drafting claims is a complex art and experienced patent attorneys are skilled at it. It is important that the claims be drafted to maximize the intellectual property rights that the invention is lawfully entitled to.

The Patent Examination Process

The USPTO assigns patent applications to Examiners who examine each patent application. An Examiner typically issues an Office Action advising reasons, if any, why a patent application is not eligible for allowance. The applicant can respond to the Office Action through his patent attorney with amended claims and arguments to overcome those reasons or ‘rejections.’

Eventually, the Examiner either allows the patent application to issue as a patent or finally rejects it. The applicant can appeal the rejection, although an appeal is an expensive and lengthy process.

Provisional vs Non-Provisional patent applications

When filing a new patent application, the applicant may file a provisional or a nonprovisional patent application.

A) Provisional - A provisional patent application is a comparatively cheaper option to achieve a filing date, or priority date, for an invention while also gaining the right to use ‘Patent Pending’ for the invention. Although a provisional patent application has lower requirements, it must disclose the details of the invention and support the claims for a future non-provisional patent application.

A provisional patent application needs drawings to support the details of the invention, but the drawings can be informal. A provisional application does not need claims, however. These informalities help reduce the cost of filing the patent application, which can be helpful for new entrepreneurs or businesses that want to test the commercial viability of a new invention before spending money to protect it.

A provisional patent application is not examined by the USPTO, and it has a life of only 1 year. The applicant must convert the Provisional application to a Non-Provisional within that 1-year period, or else it expires. If a Provisional application expires, the applicant must file a whole new patent application and get a new filing date, the priority date of the initial Provisional application is no longer valid.

It is important to note that a Provisional patent application will never issue as a patent. It must be converted to a Non-Provisional during its 1-year lifespan and examined by the USPTO in order for it to issue as a patent.

B) Non-Provisional - A Non-Provisional patent application is a complete patent application, with formal drawings and a proper set of claims. It is formally examined by the USPTO.

If and when the claims of a Non-Provisional patent application are deemed patentable by the USPTO, the Non-Provisional patent application issues as a patent.

Design Patents versus Utility Patents

There are 2 types of patents issued by the USPTO, utility patents and design patents.

A) Utility Patents - Utility patents are the most common type of patent applications filed with the USPTO.
A utility patent covers the functional aspects of an invention. They usually result in broader protection for the invention than a design patent.

B) Design Patents - Design patents cover the ornamental design of an invention. They do not protect any functional aspect of the invention. As a result, design patents generally provide narrower patent protection.

Design patents are not too common. They are much cheaper to prepare and file as compared to a utility patent, and they are examined or processed by the USPTO much faster than a utility patent. However, inventors prefer filing a utility patent because of the narrower patent protection of design patents. That is, unless, the ornamental design of the invention is what the inventor seeks to protect.

Patent Issuance and Maintenance

When a patent is granted, the USPTO requires an issuance fee. Additionally, periodic maintenance fees must be paid during the life of the patent. A patent attorney can assist with more details about your particular patent.

Notice of the patent to the public

When your patent application is filed, provisional or nonprovisional, you can begin marking your product as patent-pending, sometimes abbreviated as ‘Pat. Pend.’

After your patent issues, you must mark your invention with its patent number to give notice to the public that it is protected by a patent. This is done by marking the item ‘US Pat. No. xxxxxx.’

However, some items are too small to be marked with the patent number, or cannot be marked for another reason. In such cases, you may mark the item’s packaging. Note though that you must mark the item with its patent number or else you lose the right to collect damages against an infringer.

Foreign patent coverage

Inventors seeking patent protection overseas must apply for a patent in each respective country. There is no such thing as an international patent where an invention receives patent protection globally.

Seeking patent protection in foreign countries can be an expensive and time-consuming process. For that reason, the applicant must carefully choose desirable countries. The patent application will need to be prosecuted separately in each respective country, often requiring assistance from local patent counsel in the respective country

An alternative for US applicants seeking overseas patent protection is the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). PCT applications can be filed in the USPTO, which gives the applicant 30 months for foreign filing in other countries. The applicant can designate a certain country’s IP office to do the search, such as the USPTO, and then file national patents in the foreign countries of his choice. Those foreign countries must be members of the PCT, which has new countries joining all the time.

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