I am unsure whether or not I would lose my micro entity status if i licensed my product. If so, would I be charge with small or large entity fees, or would I lose the rights to my patent all together?
Micro entity status should be used with care. A good place to start your research is http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/77fr75019.pdf. There may be a lot of "gottchas" in this. For example, each inventor must qualify as a micro entity. Also, you may need to determine that you remain a micro entity each time you pay the micro entity fee. Except under unusual circumstances, my recommendation to my clients is to pay as a small entity, not a micro entity.See question
I have come up with 2 app ideas for Iphone and Android. I have found reputable developers to work with me to build the apps. Do I need any form of intellectual property protection before the app is sold in the Iphone and Android stores?
You should definitely protect your idea, but "protection" is not static. At this point, you may want to consider contract rights (e.g. nondisclosure, confidentiality, . . . agreements), copyright (any code or graphics, or even any write ups on your invention), and trademark (if you have words or marks that you "intend to use" you may file an "intent to use" trademark application).
Filing a provisional patent application MAY be better than nothing. Since you are still developing your idea (that is why you would be hiring developers), you may not have an enabling disclosure for your invention. It may be worthwhile to discuss this with a patent attorney to determine if your idea is developed enough to have any value.
One other important point. Although technically software (including apps) is probably still patentable, you should be aware that it is much more difficult to get a software patent now than it was in the past and there is always the possibility that the laws will change and software will no longer be patentable (in most of the rest of the world, software is not patentable). Recent cases (e.g. CLS Bank International, CLS Services Ltd. v. Alice Corporation Pty Ltd., 2011-1301 (Fed. Cir. May 10, 2013)) have done little to clarify this. (As a result of this case, the PTO has stated that there was no change - see http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/exam/clsbank_20130513.pdf.)See question
I have an idea for a potential product. I have seen a ton of ads on tv from Inventhelp and others. Am I best to take my idea directly to a patent attorney or utilize one of these companies? I have read stories about these companies charging a huge...
Before you use ANY information promotion firm (and I personally advise clients that they should avoid this firms), you should check out http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/scam_prevention/index.jsp. I often help (or try to help) inventors who have gone through these companies and are VERY unhappy with the results.See question
My neighbor has invented something that could change the way computers are used and I suggested getting a paten on it first. Before trusting a programmer
If you want to meet with a local patent attorney or agent, check out www.nwpatentnetwork.com.See question
Is there hidden fees for a deseign patent?
I filed three design patent applications on the same day in roughly the same subject matter. One has already issued (under a year). The other two are still being processed (about a year and a half to date), although both have subject matter indicated as allowable. I would say that the range would be about 1-3 years.
With design patent applications you always pay the filing fee. You may want to have an assignment prepared and then there would be an assignment recordation fee. There is an issue fee that you may pay once your patent application has subject matter that is indicated as allowable. Technically, like a utility patent, there may be additional costs if your application requires an RCE (request for continued examination), although these are rare for design applications. There are no maintenance fees for design patents. Please note that if you use an attorney, there will be attorney fees that are separate from those listed above.See question
one of the main disadvantages of reel mowers is that they can't make hi cuts. but i have found if i pull my mower backwards i can raise the height of the cutting blades to do so (up to 9" on my reel) but the frame bounces up & down relative to t...
Assuming that you were asking a general question about "what is patentable," my general answer is going to depend on how the invention can be characterized in the claims. This means that you might be able to characterize your invention as a "method" (manufacturing or using). But how to claim an invention is so highly dependent on the specifics that it would be impossible to do any analysis.
A proper analysis should take into consideration would determine the "obviousness" (which is a patent term) of your invention in view of the prior art. For example, if window cleaner could also clean tile, it would probably be considered obvious to claim "using window cleaner to clean tile" since the tile and the windows are very similar. On the other hand, "drinking window cleaner to cure cancer" might be patentable if claimed correctly.
As a separate matter, you should also be careful not to disclose your invention (including publication). Under current law, certain types of disclosure (including publication) start a one year period during which you must file the application or you will lose your right to do so. Under legislation that was recently enacted (although it has not gone into effect), any disclosure will start this one year period.
You really should speak with a patent attorney on this issue.
Good luck on your future endeavors.
I hired an attorney to do a prior art search and prepare the patent app for a simple cosmetic devise. My app was rejected because of several prior art conflicts. Should I amend my application with the same attorney or hire a new one? Should I j...
Most applications (90% plus if you exclude design patent applications) have all the claims rejected in the first Office action. This is at least partly because of the way Examiners get credit in the USPTO. For new applications they can get a total of two points - one for a first Office action and one for "disposing" of (allowing or finally rejecting) the case. If the Examiner grants a first Office action allowance, he only gets one point for that case.
Because of this point system there is also an incentive for the Examiners to issue more restriction requirements (dividing applications) and final rejections (to for a continuation application which can get more points (although no longer two full points more).
Unless there is something else, sticking with the same attorney is generally preferable for the reasons James mentioned.
I wish you best of luck on your future endeavors.
what the cost to patent a product or idea? What are the costs involved? are there lawyers that take case on percentage bases?
Generally the cost is highly dependent on the invention and the work that nees to be done. I have a calculator that allows you to calculate the fees for FILING the applicaiton (although not the downstream costs. This can be found at www.oregonpatent.com/calculator.
Most patent attorneys do not take percentages.See question
I'm trying to patent a product and need to know do i need to preform the extensive patent or trademark search, or does the patent attorney do that.
I agree with Mr. Ballard that you should do some initial searching. Please see http://www.patentattorneyoregon.com/searching.html for some suggestions on types of searches and some hints on how to search. Even inventors at large companies tend to do some type of searching to determine if their ideas are new - the results of those searches must be provided to the attorney.
I also wanted to add that there are two types of searches: patentability and infringement. Please see http://www.patentattorneyoregon.com/pat&infringe.html for an in depth discussion of these very different concepts. When you are searching you would look for ANY prior art (anything that came before you) to determine if your invention is patentable. Even if your invention is patentable, however, you should determine whether your invention infringes an enforceable patent (this is an actual issued patent that has been maintained and is valid). To give you an idea of the distinction, assume you invented an new awning for a chair where the chair could be any chair. You might be able to get a patent on the awning if it met all of the requirements for patentability. On the other hand, if you were going to make a chair and sell it with the awning, it is possible that your chair would infringe someone else's patent. On the other hand, if the patent that you "infringed" had expired or had been abandoned, you would not incur any liability.
When you take your search results (including all prior art - not just patents) to the attorney, they should first look at your search results. Then, it is a reasonable business decision for you to ask the attorney to perform either an in house search or, better yet, for him to engage a professional search agent to perform a search at the USPTO. You should remember, however, that no search is perfect as some prior art is simply not findable or is not findable in the limited amount of time devoted to a patent search.
I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors!
Karen Dana Oster
Just like yahoo, google, and ming all do search (an idea) and return a result. From the outside, all I can see is their arrangement of results and pages. This suggests to me that, though the "idea" is the same, the computer or code algorithm that ...
What a patent "covers" is determined by the "claims" of the patent. These are the numbered "sentences" at the back of the patent. In addition, sometimes more than one patent covers the same invention. Reviewing patent claims and your intended product/process is a specialty that takes many years to learn.
Before you begin undertaking any of the activities that would constitute infringement (e.g. making, using, selling), I highly recommend that you seek patent counsel skilled in preparing non-infringement opinions.