Are you an inventor looking to patent your new idea? Gerben Law Firm offers a range of patent services for every step of the application and enforcement process. We conduct patent searches and assist you with completing your application. We will also manage Office Actions from the United States Patent and Trademark Office throughout the registration process. In addition, we offer patent enforcement services to protect against possible infringement once your patent has been approved.
Contact us today to learn about how we can help you register your patent.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, will not grant an inventor patent protections if the patent has already been registered. Therefore, conducting a patent search prior to filing for a U.S. patent is an important first step in the application process. You may learn, during the course of the search, that your patent has been registered by someone else. If it is determined that your patent already exists, you can work with your patent attorney to see if a path to registration may still be available. Failing to complete a thorough patent search prior to filing your application may lead to lost time and money if you need to rework and refile your patent at a later date.
Gerben Law Firm can conduct a patent search on your behalf. Contact Us Today!
Tips for conducting a patent search:
- Work with a registered patent attorney.
- Complete the search before you begin the application process.
Office Actions and Amendments
The United States Patent and Trademark office, or USPTO, may issue Office Actions regarding your patent application. Office Actions occur when the USPTO has a concern with your application or finds a reason to reject all or a portion of your application. Every Office Action is unique, and based on the specifics of each patent application. You may be requested to provide additional information or better drawings of your patent. You may also receive an Office Action to notify you of rejection of your application.
It is critical to respond to these Office Actions appropriately:
- Follow the specific guidelines outlined by the USPTO, responding to each concern or objection. This is best done with the help of an experienced patent attorney.
- Be sure to meet the deadlines given. This is of utmost importance, because failing to meet an Office Action deadline with the USPTO could result in the abandonment of your patent application.
If your patent application was issued an Office Action, contact Gerben Law Firm today. We can review your application and create a plan to respond in a timely manner.
The USPTO recognizes two main types of patent applications, a design patent application and a utility patent application. Each application seeks protection for different aspects of an invention.
- Design Patent Applications – Design patent applications seek to secure protection for non-functional, ornamental, or aesthetic aspects of an invention. These essentially represent how the invention looks. The inventors of a new running may wish to file a design patent application for the unique look of the shoe, which has nothing to do with how the shoe performs.
- Utility Patent Applications – Utility patent applications focus on the utility aspects of an invention, which directly relates to how the invention works or functions. The running shoe inventors, for example, may wish to patent the revolutionary sole of the shoe, which helps runners go longer distances, or its unique laces that won’t come undone while running.
Utility patent applications also fall under two main categories: provisional and non-provisional. Provisional patent applications allow inventors to quickly and inexpensively obtain a “Patent Pending” status. The application is much more basic, the requirements fairly loose, and the provisional patent is never examined by the USPTO. Provisional patent applications, however, automatically expire exactly one year from the filing date. Inventors filing a provisional patent application will need to file a non-provisional application within one year of the provisional application filing date to avoid expiration and move toward examination.
Most inventors begin with the provisional patent application, which can serve as a place holder in the USPTO queue while they fine tune the specifics of their inventions. Non-provisional patent applications are much more detailed. These applications are typically not used until a provisional application is set to expire, or an inventor has a completed product and manufacturing already in place.
When filing a patent application, it can be challenging to know which type of application to use. The attorneys at Gerben Law Firm can help you navigate the patent application process. Contact us today for a consultation.
Tips for Patent Applications:
- Work with an experienced patent attorney to determine which type of application is necessary.
- When filing a provisional application, be sure to follow up with a non-provisional application within one year or risk your patent application being abandoned.
You are likely applying for a U.S. patent because you want the legal protections a patent provides. You’ve worked hard perfecting your patent, and you expect to be the exclusive provider of your invention. While the USPTO issues patents, it does not monitor your patent’s use or enforce your rights as a patent owner. That responsibility is up to you. In order to maintain a strong patent, you must actively monitor potential infringement and take legal action when necessary.
Gerben Law Firm can provide patent enforcement services to protect you against possible infringement. If you believe someone is using your patent unlawfully, contact Gerben Law Firm today by completing the form on this page or by Clicking Here.