Posts in Inventors Information

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…

USPTO Online Inventor Chat

Senior officials of the United State Patent and Trademark Office will be available live on-line Thursday, June 26, from 2 to 3 PM (EST). They will be answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the on-line chat will be posted on the home page of the USPTO web site at 10 AM (EST) next Thursday.…

USPTO Hosts Sally Ride TOY Challenge

Washington, D.C. – The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2008 Sally Ride Science TOYchallenge East Coast National Showcase at the USPTO campus on Saturday, May 17. The TOYchallenge is a national toy design competition for 5th – 8th graders designed to introduce girls and boys to engineering. It shows them that engineering is…

Inventors Workshop in Tampa, FL

Product Coach Matt Yubas and Patent and Licensing Attorney Mark Malek are hosting a workshop to help everyday inventors succeed in presenting product ideas to companies for royalties. Matt Yubas (www.Product-Coach.com), author of Product Idea to Product Success, will provide the step-by-step licensing process from idea to receiving royalties. Mr. Malek, an attorney with the firm Zies, Widerman, Sutch and Malek,…

Describing Your Invention in a Patent Application

When you file a patent application it is always necessary to file an application that completely and clearly describes the invention so that others would be able to understand the invention.  For new inventors it is sometimes difficult to understand the so-called description requirement to patentability.  It is not an overstatement to say that the description of your invention must…

No such thing as a Provisional Patent

I am frequently asked about the benefit of filing a provisional patent application.  I am a fan of provisional patent applications and encourage independent inventors and small businesses to start with a provisional patent application, but it is important to understand what a provisional patent application is, what benefits are provided and perhaps most importantly what a provisional patent application…