Patentability

Can I Patent a New Way of Using an Existing Product?

Lately, we have had several inquiries about whether it is possible to patent a new way of using an existing product.  The answer is “yes”.  This type of patent is typically called a “method of use” patent.”  A method of use patent has claims that recite a sequence of steps, and in some cases, the…

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Patentability Searches versus “Right to Use” Searches

Clients often ask us to perform patentability searches to determine whether it’s worth seeking a patent for an invention. The focus of a patentability search is to determine if an invention is novel, i.e., whether all of its features have been disclosed in a single prior art reference. The purpose of a patentability search is…

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Drastically Increase Your Chances of Getting a Patent

Today, we want to discuss something you can do in your patent applications to drastically increase your chances of getting them granted as patents. In order to get a patent, an invention has to be novel, and it has to be non-obvious.  An invention is “novel” when no single piece of prior art discloses all…

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Patenting New Methods of Treatment Using Known Compositions

One question that comes up from time to time is whether you can get apatent on a new method of treatment (sometimes called a new “indication”) using an existing chemical composition.  The answer is “possibly.” If a chemical composition is known, you cannot obtain a patent to the chemical composition itself.  The US Court of…

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Patenting Computer-Implemented Inventions May Have Gotten Easier

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to patent computer-related inventions such as those concerning smart phone and web applications or even more specialized computer programs used in industry.  The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been applying the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208,…

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Some Key Reasons to Conduct a Patentability Search

When we first meet with a client who is interested in getting a patent, we ask whether they have conducted a patentability search and whether they wish to do so before incurring the expense of preparing a patent application. Many are reluctant to do so because they think they “know” the market for their invention….

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Dangers of Discussing New Inventions at Industry Meetings or Conferences

Companies often want to discuss some of their latest innovations at industry conferences to establish their technical prominence and build their brand. Inventors who are academics often want to describe their work to their peers to develop their reputations in their chosen fields. While such activities are commonplace, they need to be coordinated with patent…

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The America Invents Act: This Isn’t Your Father’s On-Sale Bar

With the implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States went from a first to invent to a first inventor to file system of determining priority of patent rights. However, that was not all that changed with the implementation of the AIA. The AIA includes some significant changes to the on-sale bar which…

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Software Patents Continue to Take a Beating in 2014

This has not been a good year for software patents in the United States. Since the Supreme Court issued its decision in June in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014), the Patent Office has been aggressively rejecting software patent applications and the courts have been invalidating issued software patents for lack of…

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Patenting Improved Articles That Use Proprietary 3rd Party Materials

Under U.S. law, improved articles of manufacture may be patentable if they are novel and non-obvious. Sometimes, an inventor comes up with a new article that is faster, stronger, more flexible, more rigid, lighter, etc. by using new materials to make the article. If the article has never been made with those materials, and if…

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