Patent Preparation and Prosecution

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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How to Get Technical Help Without Losing Your Patent Rights

I want to talk to you today about how to get technical help for your business without losing your patent rights. I want to start out with a quiz. Let’s say you have an employee and that employee does some technical work and ends up developing a patentable invention. Who owns the rights that patentable…

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The Power of Continuation Practice

One very powerful aspect of US patent law is its continuation practice.  The patent statute allows applicants to file an additional patent application based on an earlier still-pending application and pursue different claims as long as those claims are supported by the first application.  The key is that in order to file a continuation there…

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5 Strategies for Valuable Patents

Over the years, we’ve seen what works and does not work for companies who are trying to develop a valuable patent portfolio, meaning one that actually enhances their market share.  We recently published a list of 5 key strategies that we have seen successful companies use to do just that.  If you would like a…

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This is the Time to Get Creative

During times of crisis, innovation tends to rise because unique problems call for unique solutions. In addition, if you are currently not working, you have some additional time to engage in creative problem solving. If you think you have come up with something unique, you may want to consider filing a provisional patent application. A…

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Design Patents Versus Utility Patents

Clients often ask about the differences between design and utility patents. The phrase “design patent” confuses some people because in everyday usage, the term “design” frequently connotes the structure, function, and properties of a product.  Not so with design patents. Design patents protect the “ornamental appearance” of an article of manufacture. Utility patents protect the…

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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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Why Do I Need All These Details to Get a Patent?

Lately we have been working some inventors who are newer to the patent process, and they are often concerned about providing details about the embodiments of their inventions. Their concern is that when we ask for this information, it means we are narrowing the scope of their invention.   However, that is not the case. We…

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It Takes a (Coordinated) Team Effort

Patentable inventions do not arise in a vacuum.  They usually arise in the context of a sales team trying to land an account, often with time constraints and the added pressure of trying to outflank a competitor.  The customer is telling the sales people what it wants, the technical team is trying to figure out…

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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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