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Minneapolis Patent Law Blog

You’ve invented a creative new product. Now what?

A lot of hard work and thought go into inventing new products. However, it is important for inventors to remember that there is still much work to be done after coming up with a new invention if they hope to get income streams from it. Simply inventing a cool and creative product doesn’t guarantee the product will yield financial benefits.

Rather, what an inventor does next can have some very big impacts on how successful their invention proves to be for their goals. There are a variety of big decisions that can come before an inventor following coming up with a new product. How much thought and care inventors put into these decisions, and the steps coming out of them, can have big impacts.

What is the one-year bar?

Introducing a new invention to the public can be a very exciting moment for an inventor. It can also be a very impactful moment from a legal perspective. This is particularly the case if the inventor is thinking about pursuing a patent for the invention. A public disclosure of an invention starts the clock on a major deadline when it comes to patents.

This is due to a patent rule here in the U.S. known as the one-year bar. This rule makes it so, once an inventor makes a public disclosure of their invention, they have one year to submit a patent application for the invention.

Intellectual property preparations can be important when starting a side business

Starting a new business doesn’t always involve immediately throwing off one’s old job and bringing up the business to full-scale right away. Some aspiring entrepreneurs opt to start things off on a smaller scale. For example, some keep their current job and start a business on the side.

Being such a “moonlighting entrepreneur” can take up a lot of a person’s time and energy. Balancing a full-time job and the running of a new business can put a lot of demands on a person. In the midst of dealing with all these demands, there are certain things it can be important for a moonlighting entrepreneur to not forget to give appropriate attention. A recent Entrepreneur article went over some of these things.

Study: Research productivity has been trending down in the U.S.

Has it become harder to come up with big new ideas? A recent Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research study suggests that, here in the U.S., it has in the research and development world.

The study looked at research productivity in the United States. This is the amount of innovation being generated per scientist/inventor. The study found that, over the past several decades, research productivity has gone down significantly in the country. Meanwhile, there has been a significant increase in the number of people involved in research and development efforts over this same period.

What constitutes patent infringement?

Once have your issued patent, you must be diligent in enforcing it. Other individuals or companies may infringe upon your patent. According to U.S. patent law, no one can make, use or sell a patented invention without proper authority. But what exactly constitutes infringement? How do you enforce your patent?

Patent enforcement can seem confusing, and you probably have several questions. Keep reading for a quick guide to enforcing your patent. 

Getting your invention ready for market

You’ve come up with a wonderful new invention that you are thrilled about. You now want to put it out on the market to try reap some financial benefits from your efforts and to get your new invention out into the world.

Now, an important thing to be mindful of when in such a situation is the importance of properly preparing an invention for market. Failing to properly prepare could pose significant roadblocks to an invention’s entry into the market going the way an inventor hoped and having the effects they hoped.

Business owners and protecting the fruits of embracing change

For business owners, change can sometimes be a scary thing. There are all kinds of fears and concerns an owner may have in relation to making big changes in the way their company operates.

However, while change can be intimidating, embracing change can sometimes prove incredibly important for a business. The marketplace can be a constantly shifting place. When companies cling to what they’ve always done and don’t adapt to changing circumstances, they could end up at a big disadvantage. Openness to change, on the other hand, could open up opportunities for a business.

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.

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