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Minneapolis Patent Law Blog

Putting oneself in a strong position to respond to patent snags

The patent process has many steps. Sometimes, a snag happens during one of these steps. This could include things like disputes arising over or challenges being leveled against their patent application or an aspect of it.

Whether an inventor is able to successfully overcome such snags can have significant impacts regarding their overall goals for their invention. Many things can impact how strong of a position an inventor is in to respond to difficulties that arise during the patent-seeking process.

When an inventor receives USPTO letters regarding a patent application

Given the complexity of patent applications and the great amount of effort preparing one can involve, an inventor may feel a great deal of relief once their application is filed. However, it is important for them to remember their work isn’t over yet. Once a patent application is filed, there remain some very impactful steps in the patent process. This includes responding to correspondence sent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in connection to the application.

There are a variety of letters a person may receive from the USPTO during the course of the patent process. When a person receives such correspondence, whatever particular category it falls into, responding to it properly can be incredibly important. Among the things that can be very impactful when it comes to a person’s response to such letters are:

The Internet of Things and business innovation

Among the things a business may bring in to try to increase efficiency or achieve other key business goals is new technology. There are many impacts incorporating new technology into a business can have. In some instances, it can spur on new innovations within a company.

One new technology that some companies have been turning to lately is Internet of Things (IoT) technology. This technology involves things such as connected and data-gathering everyday objects.

Innovation in the healthcare sector

There can be many different aims an inventor may have for a new technological innovation they have developed. This includes to address challenges present in a particular field.

In addition to wider goals for their invention for a given field and society, an inventor may have many goals and hopes for what the invention will do for their particular financial situation and future. Among the things that can have impacts on these sorts of goals is whether an inventor is able to get intellectual property protection, such as patent protection, for their invention. So, when an inventor comes up with a new technological innovation, among the things they may wish to talk with a lawyer about are whether their innovation would be eligible for patent protection and what the process of pursuing such protection would entail.

Do you need a provisional patent?

After years of careful research, planning, hard work and sacrifice, you have finally come up with an invention you want to patent. If it is still in the developmental stages and you want first-to-invent rights to it, you may want to consider filing a provisional patent. Many believe that provisional patents are a waste of time and resources. However, there are some ways it can benefit your situation. 

Here are some reasons why you may want to pursue a provisional patent. 

The decision of what patent application to file

Many decisions can come up for an inventor during the process of pursuing a patent. What choices are made in these decisions can have major ramifications regarding how able an inventor is to achieve their goals and aims regarding their invention and the protection of it. So, how accurate of information an inventor has on how good of a fit the various choices available to them would be for their particular circumstances can matter quite a bit when such decisions come up. This is why the advice and representation of a skilled patent attorney can be a crucial thing for an inventor to have throughout the various decisions related to the patent process.

Among the decisions the U.S. patent process presents for an inventor is the decision of what patent application to file. An inventor could either first file a provisional patent application, or go straight to filing a nonprovisional application.

Promoting innovation in a small business

Innovation can play a very important role for a small business. Coming up with new products and services well-tailored to the needs of their customers can help a company with staying competitive in their market. So, the level of innovation at a company can have plenty of financial impacts for it. This can particularly be the case in cutting-edge industries.

Given this, promoting innovation is something that may be a very high priority for some small business owners. There are a range of different innovation-promoting tactics businesses could employ. A recent article on Forbes’ website went over some customer-focused ways of trying to promote innovation within a small business, including:

Can processes be patented?

Patents are often associated with products or devices. However, inventing a product or device is not the only potentially valuable innovation a person could make. For example, they could invent a new manufacturing or technical process. Can processes, like more traditional inventions, be patented?

They can here in America, as U.S. patent law allows for the patenting of processes. Processes are among the things that an individual could apply for a utility patent for. For the purposes of patent law, “processes” include methods, acts or processes for doing things.

The major impacts of inventions

Inventions can bring about a lot of major changes in the world. MidAmerica Nazarene University put out an infographic regarding the impactfulness of inventions that our readers may find interesting. The infographic picks out the “most impactful invention” in each state.

The inventions on this list touch on all different sorts of areas, including: health, communication, transportation, military/law enforcement, sports, entertainment, food agriculture, business and home life. These inventions have had big impacts on people’s lives and, in some cases, major impacts on the economy or society as a whole.

How long does a patent last?

When you find yourself in the position of needing a patent to protect your new product or invention but are new to the process, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. One of the first steps is learning a little bit about the different kinds of patents that are available, what each of them specifically cover and how long they last.

To help you get started, here are some of the basics things that you might need to know about patent types and their term lengths.

Don't risk losing your intellectual property rights by failing to act.

Register for patent, trademark or copyright protection by calling Kaufhold & Dix at 612-216-1161 or 605-334-1571.

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