Patent Lawyer Charlottesville, VA
The Patent Process
Many people who have an intellectual property they want to get a patent for are unsure if they need to retain the services of a patent attorney or not. At Dale Jensen, PLC, our patent lawyers have been representing clients in obtaining patents and defending and litigating any legal action that arises because of that intellectual property for more than 10 years. If you are considering applying for a patent, it is critical to understand just how time-consuming and complex the process can be.
The Patent Process
Patents grant intellectual property rights to the individual or individuals who invented it. It allows those parties to bar anyone else from producing or distributing the invention for a certain time period. All applications and approvals go through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPTSO).
The process of obtaining a patent can be a long and arduous one. It is not uncommon for the application to take a few years between the time you apply to the time it is finally issued. In most cases, it can take a minimum of one to two years after the application is filed before it finally begins the patent prosecution process. Patent prosecution is much different than criminal prosecution. It is also not the same as patent litigation. Patent prosecution is the part of the patent process that involves any communication between the patent examiner, the inventor, and the inventor’s legal representative.
It is fairly common for a patent to initially be rejected by the patent examiner. In fact, approximately 85 percent of patent applications are rejected. The good news is that more than half of those applications will eventually be approved.
One of the most frequent reasons why a patent is initially rejected is because the patent examiner feels that the patent application is trying to patent more than one invention in the same application. When this happens, the application will be labeled with a restriction requirement and the inventor is required to choose one invention in order to continue the application process. The applicant does have the option to file separate patent applications for the other inventions removed from the original application. If this is done, the UPTSO will allow those applications to have the same filing date as the original one.
It is crucial for an applicant to respond to any communication from the UPTSO in the required allotted time. Failure to do can also result in the application denial.
When a patent is approved, the UPTSO will issue a Notice of Allowance, which also requires a fee that needs to be paid within three months of that issue date. The inventor and their patent lawyer should also carefully examine the documents from the UPTSO to ensure there are no errors which could cause issues in the future.
If the patent application is denied, the inventor has three possible choices:
- File a request for reconsideration;
- File a request for continued examination, requesting the examination of the invention to continue;
- File an appeal of the rejection; or
- Give up on obtaining a patent.
Contact a Charlottesville, VA Patent Lawyer for Assistance
If you need assistance with a patent application, contact a patent attorney from Dale Jensen, PLC today. This process is complicated and requires the legal expertise of an attorney who has extensive experience in trademark and patent law.
Call a patent lawyer Charlottesville, VA clients recommend today for a free consultation.