How to navigate the winding road to patent success?
The world of Patent Law and Intellectual Property (IP) protection can be very confusing even to those with law degrees and years of experience. As a new business owner just getting started, it’s hard to know where to start.
Before you hit that brick wall, Patent Insider® is here to offer you a proven approach to get your IP house in order. We bring our Patent Insider expertise gained from years inside the US Patent Office learning the ins and outs of the what it really takes to get a patent granted, what paths are dead ends, and where to truly find patentability. This way, once we have identified your goal destination, we can set you on the proper path and guide you along the way.
At Patent Insider, we have simplified the patent process. You will need to know what you want to do, how long you plan to work towards this goal, and how much you have budgeted in terms of time and resources. It is also essential to know what successful outcomes you need at each step along the journey so that we can help you measure and track your path towards success throughout the process.
When building your business, a patent is something to consider but it is not the only thing. Our mantra here at Patent Insider is “the patent is not the business.” Not to be confused with patents are unnecessary, as failing to properly protect your intellectual property can quickly put you out of businesss or risk all the intellectual property assests you have invested in while building your company (Ask Clubhouse how important trademarking your trendy app name is before a big valuation…or better yet as the Clevland Indians Major League Baseball Franchaise that rolled out a planned name change campaign to the Cleveland Guardians without doing their due diligence on the trademark availability of the name). Needless to say, while building a viable and sustainable business, developing or recruiting a killer sales and marketing team, generating a profit, no matter if you are bootstrapping or a well funded machine, researching the secret sauce that is fundamental to the success of your product, technology, software, ingenious idea, or magic formula and making an investment in protecting intellectual property is critical.
Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting the Patent Process
1. What type of intellectual property (IP) protection do I need?
Do you even need a patent? There are four basic different types of IP protection:
- Copyrights – protect authorship, works of art, publications of software, music compositions, published works, images, content, etc.
- Trademarks – protect brands, slogans, logos, company emblems, brandnames, and certain types of designs or trade dress
- Trade Secrets – protect private secret information: i.e. the secret sauce, the KFC eleven herbs and spices, the Coca Cola formula, formulas, business plans, etc.
- Patents – “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title” (35 U.S.C.§ 101).
2. Is my invention “new, useful, and non-obvious?”
Does my idea qualify as a patent?
- TO BE ENTITLED TO A PATENT, AN INVENTION MUST BE:
- A. NOVEL (35 U.S.C. § 102)
- B. NON-OBVIOUS (35 U.S.C. § 103)
- Searching the relevant prior art is how we determine whether or not your idea is new. Have you searched the marketplace? Have you seen your idea out there? Have you researched the patent databases? Have your seen your idea there?
3. Do I have everything I need to apply?
Navigating the patent process, you have several options.
- DIY: Do it yourself (Pro Se). Oftentimes this path is prone to unintentional self inflicted errors due to ignorance of the law. However sometimes this may be an immediate option to get started with the process. Go to www.uspto.gov and get started.
- Hire a professional when you need it but still do as much as you can on your own. This happens when there is enough to start but not necessarily complete the process with a professional. This is more of an ad hoc, pay as you go method. While this may be a starting point for some, is this really what you want to do?
- Let the professional manage the process end to end for you. This is the smart option. Hire Patent Insider as your in-house counsel to conduct an IP audit on your business and determine the best course of action, start to finish for the entire patent process.
- If you really want to add rocketfuel to your process, you build or hire a superstar team to help you succeed across the board. In this instance, Patent Insider is more than just your in-house patent counsel, we are family. We are part of your team working seamlessly with your C-Suite, investors, advisors, key personnel, and stakeholders to ensure that our patent strategy is wholly aligned with your vision and goals for your company’s future. This is the stellar option.
4. What kind of patent do I need?
Patents are either design patents (shape and aesthetic), utility patents (use and function), or plant patents (agriculture). Determining what you need is part of our Patent Insider IP strategy.
Patent Insider’s Four Phases of The Patent Process
Phase 1: Patentability Search & Assessment (PSA)
During this phase, Patent Insider conducts the neccessary due diligence concerning your intellectual property. This includes performing prior art patent research. Then our former patent examiners apply their deep Patent Insider expertise to perform a novelty assessment and obviousness analysis in a type of mock patent examination. This gives us the appropriate independent data analysis (the Patent Insider’s that perform our PSAs do not draft the patent applications, their only concern is conducting the proper and best due diligence for you), thereafter allowing us to develop the most appropriate IP strategy for success.
Phase 2: Patent Drafting & Filing (PDF)
Drafting and Filing the appropriate patent application with the appropriate domestic and/or international Patent Office in line with your customized Patent Insider IP strategy happens during this stage. We will only file the application after creating high quality patent illustrations and crafting the best legal claims strategy to accomplish your goals. This is where we our team really digs in to give you the best we have to offer. This is where the magic happens.
Phase 3: Patent Examination & Patent Prosecution (PEPP)
During this phase of the process, Patent Insider manages the formal patent office correspondence including but not limited to responding to Office actions, presenting legal arguments, conduct interviews with Patent Examiners, Office officials, Patent judges, etc. This process is where the bounds of the invention are legally refined.
Phase 4: Patent Grant & Maintenance (PGM)
Voila…Patent Granted! At least this is typically the desired point of resolution for each and every patent application. While this is the goal, we also are keen to prepare for alternative outcomes: abandonment of the patent application, a potential post patent grant challenge, a possible 3rd party challenge, etc.. As we approach this phase, we develop contingency plans and subsequent IP strategy including further building and developing your IP portfolio to bolster protection.
At Patent Insider®, we help companies streamline, manage, and increase profitability of their patent portfolios. Patent Insider represents companies of all sizes, ranging from funded startups to Fortune 500 companies. We are a skilled team of patent professionals focused on protecting the intellectual property assets and developing the patent portfolios of companies in a variety of industries, including software, consumer products, mechanical devices, medical devices, robotics, electrical signal processing, and electronic and computer technologies and more. Patent Insider® also provides patent prosecution support for intellectual property law firms assisting with their patent matters. Schedule your consultation at www.patentinsider.co
Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed herein are his alone and do not represent the opinions of any other person, firm, or company. None of the information provided herein should be construed as legal advice. You should always consult with a licensed attorney to discuss any legal concerns you might have. Please know that if you are interested in legal or consulting services no services will be provided or representation undertaken except after a fully executed engagement letter and the payment of the required retainer.