Posts in Inventors Information

Trademarks Create Valuable Assets

Earlier this month Activision filed a trademark registration for “Guitar Hero Modern Hits.”  Guitar Hero is the massively popular video game that allows you to try and keep up with the music and play like a legend.  According to Wired, 90% of children surveyed want Guitar Hero for Christmas.  So obviously it makes sense for Activision to file trademak applications…

Confidentiality After Filing a Patent

I am frequently asked whether it is necessary to get a confidentiality agreement signed after a patent application has been filed.  As with many legal matters, the answer really cannot be summed up into either a YES or a NO, but rather is somewhat complicated.  The short answer, however, is that you are always better off getting a confidentiality agreement…

The Top 5 Things Inventors Do Wrong

    An updated version of this article is available at: http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2012/08/04/27128/id=27128/    

Defining Computer Related Inventions

The code itself and how it is written is protected via copyright, if at all, not through a patent. So when you are trying to define the invention so that it can be described adequately in a patent application you do not need to detail every language that could be used, and you do not need to provide an outline of the routines or subroutines, but what you do need to provide is enough information so that the computer programmer could translate your description into code, so you want to provide enough to allow the computer programmer to create the outline themselves, understanding that the actual approach employed by the computer programmer will be as unique as they are.

When to do a Patent Search?

QUESTION: I have done a lot of research on the patent process and believe using the Invent & Patent System will be most helpful at this point.  Also at what point do I need to have a patent search done and what needs to be submitted for a search.

Getting Started for New Inventors

QUESTION: I am new inventor. I have a couple of products that are new .  The problem is that I have no idea where to start other than a patent. ANSWER: We do hear this from inventors a lot, but I have spent my career working with independent inventors.  There is a road map that you can follow to move…

Patent Self Help Now More Difficult

On August 14, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office decided to profoundly changed the rules that govern patent attorneys and patent agents may do when working with independent inventors who are seeking advice but not full representation.  In a nutshell, the Patent Office has decided that patent attorneys and agents can no longer provide limited consulting to inventors, but rather if an…

New US Patent Office Fees

Effective October 2, 2008, the United States Patent Office fees will once again be changed, which is a yearly or bi-yearly event. The filing fee to the Patent Office for an individual inventor or a small company that qualifies for small entity status (i.e., companies with fewer than 500 employees) is now $165.00. For those who are familiar with the…

Writing Software Patent Applications

When you sit down to collect the information necessary to create the “design document” you have to keep three things in mind. Any good patent application that covers a software related invention will need to put forth three specific pieces of information. First, you need to describe the overall computer architecture of the system within which the software will exist. Second, you need to prepare a single flowchart that depicts the overall working of the software. Third, you need to prepare a series of flow charts that show with painstaking detail the various routines and subroutines that together connect to create and deliver the complete functionality of the computer system as enabled by the software.

PTO Kills Invention Promotion Business

UPDATE: See Sadly, Invention Promotion Alive & Well The United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it is adopting new rules relating to a variety of issues that impact who can engage in representation of clients before the PTO, both on the patent and the trademark side of the Office. These new rules, which will go into effect…

What to Expect when Calling a Patent Attorney

Over the years I have received quite a number of e-mail inquiries and telephone calls from inventors who are looking for information and advice. Typically, the initial communication starts off with the inventor saying that they have an invention that they know will be well received in the market and that they are looking for a patent attorney who can…

Inventors Need to Have Inventions

I am frequently asked the same or similar question with respect to patent applications by independent inventors — How much information do I have to include in a patent application?  Sometimes this question is prefaced by something like — I have the concept but I am no scientist and I don’t know how to actually create the invention. The first…

Beware Invention.net

Over the years I have written quite a bit about invention scams, and in fact one of my most popular pages is The Truth About Invention Promotion Companies, which typically comes up in the top few sites in Google and Yahoo when a search is done for invention promotion companies. It is sadly true that there are a lot of…

Should Inventors Draft Patent Applications?

It is not at all uncommon for inventors to want to attempt to draft and file patent applications on their own.  This is in no small part due to the fact that if an independent inventor goes to a patent attorney the attorney will typically require somewhere from $5,000 to $10,000 up front prior to commencing representation.  This is a…

Independent Inventors Conference @ PTO

The 13th annual Independent Inventors Conference will be held on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia August 8-9. A pre-conference workshop, for anyone interested in learning about the basics of patents and the importance of intellectual property protection, will be held on August 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The workshop is…

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