Portfolio Development and Innovation

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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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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Developing an IP Strategy

With many businesses closed or having scaled back operations, now is a good time to revisit your intellectual property strategy. One good starting point is to look at how you distinguish yourself from your competitors. Here are some key questions to ask: 1. How does your company create value and differentiate its products or services…

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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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The Hazards of Joint Development

It is very common for companies to work with their customers or suppliers in developing products. For example, if you are a supplier, you may work with a customer to provide a component that fits and meets the needs of that customer’s products.  The auto industry is full of these types of interactions.  A supplier…

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