Our patent attorneys secure patents for our clients by drafting, filing and prosecuting patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Our patent lawyers also license patent rights, litigate patent infringement matters and defend against charges of patent infringement.  A preliminary patent search provides insight into the potential scope of patent protection of an invention because the invention, to be patentable, must be new or novel and non-obvious in light of all prior art or pre-existing technology.  Right to use searches and opinions, patent validity opinions, and patent infringement opinions enable business owners to assess the risk of infringement.  Some samples of our patent attorneys’ work are listed in the Patent and Trademark Library. To contact a patent lawyer now, please Click Here.

General aspects of patent law are discussed in the following sections:

1. General Definition

A patent is a grant from the government of an intangible property right, permitting the inventor or the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention. Inventors commonly seek two types of patents, utility patents for any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or  composition of matter and design patents for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.  Plant patents protect certain types of reproducible plants.

2. Utility Patents

Patents protect important discoveries relating to machines, manufacturing processes,  business methods deployed over computer systems, computer programs and software which transform or monitor physical elements or intangibles such as money (financial product patents), chemical compositions, chemical processes and improvements thereof. For more information, Click Here.

3. General Conditions for Patentability

To be patentable, the invention must be new (novel) and non-obvious in light of all prior art or preexisting technology.  The patent must describe all aspects of the invention such that a person of ordinary skill in the art can make and use the invention.

4. Design Patents

Design patents protect ornamental designs or the exterior look of the product.

5. Rights Granted Under the Patent

A patent owner can stop a competitor from infringing the owner’s patent right during the term of the patent.  Infringement is the making, using, offering for sale, or selling the patented invention without authority.

6. Term of the Patent (How long is the patent enforceable)

A utility patent typically expires 20 years from the filing date.  A design patent expires 14 years after issuance.  Once the patent term expires, or a patent is declared invalid by a federal court, anyone can use the off-patent technology or design.

7. Public Domain or Off-Patent Technology

After the patent expires or is declared invalid by a federal district court or the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the patent appeals court), the technology and design is then in the public domain.   As a result, patent libraries represent a wealth of technology which can be exploited without fear of infringement.  For more information, Click Here.

8. Technology Fields

We have broad technical experience in such diverse fields as computer hardware and software, Internet-based computer systems, financial transaction computer patents, video image processing, telecommunications systems, fiber optics, radio, cellular and mobile phone communications, electrical, mechanical devices, biomedical devices, pacemakers, defibrillators, catheters, laproscopic instruments, ultra-sound systems, nuclear reactors and reactor control systems, and jet aircraft engines. For more information, Click Here.

9. Forms

The patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret forms on this web site may assist you in organizing your Intellectual Property assets.  Before you rely upon any “form agreement” in our Resources Library, you should consult with an I.P. lawyer to fully protect yourself and your I.P. assets.  Our Resource Forms Library includes a simple Employment Agreement for securing I.P. rights, a Consultant’s Agreement, a Confidentiality Agreement or NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and a simple Copyright Transfer Agreement.  For more information and helpful forms, Click Here.