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Protect Your Visionary Idea!

Nationwide Patent Lawyers & Trademark Attorneys

Have an Idea, Prototype, or Invention you want Protected with a Patent?
Looking for the RIGHT Patent or Trademark Attorney to Help You Do it?

Get Started With a Consultation!

As Featured In:

Protect Your Visionary Idea!

Nationwide Patent Lawyers & Trademark Attorneys

Have an Idea, Prototype, or Invention you want Protected with a Patent?
Looking for the RIGHT Patent or Trademark Attorney to Help You Do it Correctly & Efficiently?

Get Started With a Free Consultation!

As Featured In:

Protect Your Visionary Idea!

Nationwide Patent Lawyers & Trademark Attorneys

Have an Idea, Prototype, or Invention you want Protected with a Patent?
Looking for the RIGHT Patent or Trademark Attorney to Help You Do it Correctly & Efficiently?

Get Started With a Consultation!

As Featured In:

NASA’s reusable space shuttle was first patented in 1974 and was in service from 1981 to 2011
Make History, Be First, Be Bold

Protect Your Bold Idea

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WHO WE ARE

We Enable Visionaries to
Improve Our World

“No one’s last name is “Bold” at Bold IP. We’re a law firm that believes in breaking barriers, and putting our clients first, because they are the Bold ones, they are the ones taking the risk.

When starting a business, it is paramount to be risk averse ensuring that you hedge your bets and only invest as needed.

Bold IP’s team of business-minded patent attorneys and lawyers double as United States’ trusted patent consultants and work one on one with inventors to help them fully understand the patent process, determine their goals, and think strategically about how technology can be leveraged to turn their idea into reality.

It is so easy to get lost in the technical details of invention and improvement and forget to take a step back and evaluate the market readiness for certain products or services.

It’s the powerful combination of patentability and marketability that makes for a truly successful invention.

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BOLD INVENTOR PROCESS

Patentability Search

  • Takes 4-6 Weeks
  • Answer on Patentability/Scope
  • Recommended Path Forward

Initial Consultation

  • Eligibility Issues
  • Discuss Opportunities
  • Inventorship/Ownership
  • Long-Term Business Goals
Provisional Patent Application

  • Takes 6-8 Weeks
  • “Patent Pending” Status
  • Develop Enabling Disclosure
  • Specification & Drawings

Non-Provisional Patent Application

  • Takes 8-10 Weeks
  • Update Specification/Drawings
  • Draft Claim Language
  • Formal Submittal to USPTO

Note: Submittal of the Non-Provisional Patent Application “C” must be done within 1 year of submittal of the Provisional Patent Application “B” date to secure the early Provisional Priority Date.

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WHAT WE DO

Patent Eligibility Opinion & IP Assessment

Patent Eligibility Opinion & IP Assessment

If you’ve developed a unique idea, you might be wondering if it’s patent eligible. Whether you’re an individual inventor or representing an idea for a business, most people start their inquiries here. Our registered patent attorneys offer inventors an affordable analysis to determine if patenting is the right avenue of protection for them. Sometimes, other areas of IP need to be addressed in parallel, including: trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright law. Your Bold patent attorney will help you assess all areas of IP related to your invention in the context of your business goals.

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Patentability Search & Legal Opinion

Patentability Search & Legal Opinion

Once you have determined that your idea is patent eligible, you will need to do a comprehensive search to determine whether the idea has previously been developed, published, or patented. A professional search and legal opinion will provide you the advice you really need to be able to make the decision to move forward.

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Provisional Patent Application

Provisional Patent Application

After completing the comprehensive search and getting a positive opinion on patentability, filing a provisional patent application (PPA) is the best next move. A PPA provides you with the highly coveted “patent pending” status. This will allow you or your business to begin marketing the idea and seeking a secure investment.

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Non-Provisional (Utility) Patent Application

Non-Provisional (Utility) Patent Application

Once your provisional patent has been filed, you must seek a non-provisional patent application (NPA), also called a Utility Patent Application, within a year in order for your patent to be granted. If the year passes without an NPA  being filed, the security of your idea or invention will be at risk. This is also the time to consider expediting examination and/or filing internationally. Most hardware products have both design and utility patent protection.

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Design Patent Applications

Design Patent Applications

With most hardware or tangible goods inventions, the shape of the product, with its specific design is incredibly important in marketing and promotion. With a design patent, the look and feel of your invention is protected, securing the design features of the invention that make it uniquely yours. Most hardware products have both design and utility patent protection.

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Patent Infringement & Validity Opinions

Patent Infringement & Validity Opinions

If you have been falsely accused of patent infringement or if another party has infringed on your patented IP, we are fully equipped to analyze the situation and provide you with concrete astute legal opinions to confirm or deny infringement, patent validity, or both.

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Trademark Registrability Opinions and Applications

Trademark Registrability Opinions and Applications

Our Bold Attorneys will conduct the research necessary to confirm that a certain word or design mark will be eligible for trademark registration, and what the likelihood of success will be if filed at the federal level. Then, we, and help craft an ideal trademark application before the USPTO and prosecute it all the way through to final registration.

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Trademark Infringement & Validity Opinions

Trademark Infringement & Validity Opinions

Has an individual or business unfairly accused you of infringing on a trademark? Alternatively, has someone infringed on your trademark? Our team is here to offer you assessment of the relevant legalities to ensure that your intellectual property and rights are protected.

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And More...

And More...

We also provide a wide range of other services to secure and protect your IP, including plant patents, international applications, patent office actions and appeals, and much more. For more information, schedule a free session today!

Book a Free Session

If you’ve developed a unique idea, you might be wondering if it’s patent eligible. Whether you’re an individual inventor or representing an idea for a business, most people start their inquiries here. Our certified patent attorneys offer inventors an affordable analysis to determine if patenting is the right avenue of protection for them. Sometimes, other areas of IP need to be addressed in parallel, including: trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright law. Your Bold patent attorney will help you assess all areas of IP related to your invention in the context of your business goals.

Once you have determined that your idea is patent eligible, you will need to do a comprehensive search to determine whether the idea has previously been developed, published, or patented before. A professional search and legal opinion will provide you the advice you really need to be able to make the decision to move forward.

After completing the comprehensive search and getting a positive opinion on patentability, , filing a provisional patent application (PPA) is the best next move. A PPA provides you with the highly coveted “patent pending” status. This will allow you or your business to begin marketing the idea and seeking a secure investment.

Once your provisional patent has been filed, you must seek a non-provisional patent application (NPA), also called a Utility Patent Application, within a year in order for your patent to be granted. If the year passes without an NPA  being filed, the security of your idea or invention will be at risk. This is also the time to consider expediting examination and/or filing internationally. Most hardware products have both design and utility patent protection.

With most hardware or tangible goods inventions, the shape of the product, with its specific design  incredibly important in marketing and promotion. With a design patent, the look and feel of your invention is protected, securing the design features of the invention that make it uniquely yours. Most hardware products have both design and utility patent protection.

If you have been falsely accused of patent infringement or if another party has infringed on your patented IP, we are fully equipped to analyze the situation and provide you with concrete astute legal opinions to confirm or deny infringement, patent validity, or both.

Our Bold Attorneys will conduct the research necessary to confirm that a certain word or design mark will be eligible for trademark registration, and what the likelihood of success will be if filed at the federal level. Then, we, and help craft an ideal trademark application before the USPTO and prosecute it all the way through to final registration.

Has an individual or business unfairly accused you of infringing on a trademark? Alternatively, has someone infringed on your trademark? Our team is here to offer you assessment of the relevant legalities to ensure that your intellectual property and rights are protected.

We also provide a wide range of other services to secure and protect your IP, including plant patents, international applications, patent office actions and appeals, and much more. For more information, schedule a free session today!

Patent Services

A patent can give your business a jump start on your competition. A patent attorney from Bold Patents can explain the costs and benefits of obtaining a patent. Our lawyers can then walk you through the process of obtaining that patent. Armed with knowledge, you can make an informed decision about whether you should file a patent application.

Once the patent application is filed, Bold Patents can provide legal support, including things like a patentability, and provide guidance though all of the necessary steps to obtain a U.S. patent.

What Do Patent Services Entail?

Some of the services that our patent attorneys provide include:

Patentability Opinions- Inventions must meet specific statutory criteria to be patentable. These criteria include:

  • It must relate to an eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101
  • It must be shown to be useful under 35 U.S.C. § 101
  • It must be shown to be novel under 35 U.S.C. § 102
  • It must be shown to be non-obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103

We perform prior art searches through U.S. and international patents and publications and provide our clients with a realistic assessment of whether their inventions are patentable or not.

Lastly, a legal opinion is delivered, which provides a clear answer as to whether a patent should be filed or not.

Patent Drafting- A patent application includes three main sections:

  • Drawings
  • Written specifications
  • Claims

To write a provisional or regular patent application, a patent lawyer must understand the features that distinguish the invention from any prior art. The lawyer must then explain these features in the patent application specification and drawings so that a patent examiner will appreciate the differences.

Finally, the lawyer must write claims that set out the boundaries of the invention and identify the elements that cannot be used by competitors.

Patent Prosecution- Once a patent application is filed, a patent attorney must shepherd the application through the U.S. Patent Office. In most cases, a patent application will receive at least one office action rejecting or objecting to the application. This is a normal part of patent prosecution and allows our lawyers to work with the patent examiner to focus on the patentable features of the invention.

If the examiner persists in the rejection, our firm can:

  • Make amendments and/or provide legal arguments to overcome the rejections.
  • Appeal the rejection
  • Add new material and re-file the application
  • Request further examination of the application

If our lawyers persuade the examiner to agree to the patentability of the invention, the patent will be issued.

International and Foreign Patent Filings- Nations and regional unions administer independent patent systems. Although the U.S. is a member of international patent treaties, inventors need to file separate patent applications for each nation in which patent protection is sought.

We can coordinate with local law firms and regional unions in these countries to file patent applications and secure exclusive rights.

Patent Licensing- Under patent licensing, you grant permission to a licensee to make, use, sell, offer to sell, and/or import your patented invention. In exchange, the licensee pays you license fees (also known as royalties).

Our firm can introduce you to our key patent licensing referral partners once you have reached at least patent pending status.

Patent Litigation – If your invention achieves success, copyists will most likely begin to emerge. If these copyists appropriate the patented features of your invention, they infringe upon your patent.

Patent litigation is one of the most complicated forms of litigation. It combines an area of law that is unfamiliar to most judges and jurors with cutting-edge science and engineering. As a result, most civil litigators cannot successfully litigate patent infringement.

Our firm will refer clients to the right patent litigation firm and support our clients by providing claim charts and key opinions on infringement and validity, which are the main points that are argued in federal court patent litigation.

What Protections Do Patents Provide?

Patents are property. They provide the patent owner with the exclusive right to exploit the invention. If another person or business makes, uses, sells, offers to sell, or imports the patented invention, your issued patent can be used to fight back.

Reasons to Hire Bold Patents for Patent Attorney Services

Even though the patent office allows inventors to file applications pro se (without legal representation), they strongly advise against doing so.

A patent lawyer must have qualifications that most lawyers — and most inventors — simply do not have. They must have a law degree and an engineering or science degree. They must also pass the Patent Bar examination.

As a result of this training, our lawyers have special knowledge of patent law and training in the ways to navigate the Patent Office’s procedures. This provides major benefits to you when you partner with the team at Bold Patents for patent law services.

Trademark Services

Trademarks serve businesses and consumers who want to identify the source of goods or services. Trademarks can help your business to develop a brand that consumers will use as a shortcut to remember the quality and reputation of your goods and services.

Our trademark lawyers can walk you through the costs and benefits of registering your trademarks. We can also help you to understand how to use your trademarks to improve enforceability. When it comes time to register your trademarks, Bold Patents will provide comprehensive trademark law support throughout the process.

What Do Trademark Services Entail?

Some of the trademark services our trademark attorneys provide include:

Registrability Opinions- The U.S. Trademark Office registers trademarks if they are:

  • Inherently distinctive or capable of acquiring distinctiveness
  • Not confusingly similar to any mark already registered or in use

We assess registrability when conducting a trademark search and analyze the similarity between any marks uncovered and your mark.

Filing and Prosecuting Trademark Applications- Our lawyers will work with you to prepare a trademark application for your marks. Once your application is filed, the Trademark Office will assign the application to an examining attorney.

Examining attorneys frequently issue office actions that reject the application. In response to an office action, our lawyers can present arguments and evidence to secure the registration of your mark. If the examining attorney issues a final office action, we can help you to appeal the rejection.

International Trademark Registrations –Each nation and regional union maintains a separate trademark registration system. A key requirement of foreign trademarks is the use of the mark in the jurisdiction.

As your products or services expand around the world, Bold Patents can help your business to secure foreign trademark registrations.

Trademark Licensing –Trademark licensing is a very tricky process. However, as you expand the reach of your goods or services, you may require trademark licenses, franchise agreements, or other business relationships to exploit your brand.

What Protections Do Trademark Registrations Provide?

Trademark registrations provide the exclusive right to use your mark for your goods or services. More importantly, you can prevent confusingly similar uses, even if the mark, goods, or services are not identical to yours.

This creates space between your brand and your competitors’ brands, allowing customers to clearly distinguish which products and services are yours.

Reasons to Hire Bold Patents for Trademark Attorney Services

Our trademark attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge in trademark law that a general business attorney will not have. We file trademark applications in the U.S. Trademark Office routinely. We know the laws they rely on and the procedures that they use to issue trademarks.

Turn to the Team at Bold Patents

Our attorneys provide high-quality legal advice and act as trusted patent consultants to our clients. We work one-on-one with inventors and entrepreneurs to help them to fully understand the steps to secure their IP.

Throughout the process, we help inventors and entrepreneurs to realize their business goals. IP assets require an investment and IP owners should expect a return on that investment by monetizing their IP.

We are truly invested in our clients and their success. Our dedicated team of attorneys, patent agents, paralegals, and staff members maintain direct communication with each client throughout the entire patent and trademark process.

At Bold Patents, our firm provides free valuable resources to our clients to help them understand how to protect their visionary ideas in the marketplace. To learn more about our free resources or to schedule a free screening session, contact us.

MEET OUR TALENTED TEAM

Experienced Attorneys, Professionals, and Staff
Serving Inventors Nationwide

Since Patent Law is Federal, it allows us to serve inventors, and hire our talented team from anywhere in the US. Modern video conferencing allows us to connect personally and effectively with our inventor clients, and stay connected as a team.

Bold Patent’s strive to offer the most trusted patent service by hiring patent attorneys who have experience working with examiners and understand how to craft the perfect application to get you patent granted status the fastest.

Our attorneys have assisted neurosurgeons with innovate medical brain technology, truck drivers with unique gadgets, corporate employees with software processes, and more.

No idea or technology is too difficult for Bold Patents to handle. We specializes in patents and helping protect & bring to market your visionary idea.

Learn More About Us

TRUSTED NATIONWIDE BY…

…Scientists, Doctors, Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Investors, and More

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We Get Patents℠

What is a patent?

A patent is the core legal protection for inventors and their inventions. The purpose of this protection is to provide an inventor with the necessary time and space to make, use and sell his or her invention without the threat of competition. In essence, it is the right to exclude others, for a specified time period, from simultaneously building, using or selling that particular invention in the marketplace.

Reference:

Why should I obtain a patent?

A patent gives the inventor the right to stop others from making, using, selling or importing the patented goods or services without permission of the patent holder; allowing you to retain exclusive commercial rights, which is a big deal for when you look to monetize your invention. Additionally, there is the altruistic reasoning for patents, and that is as a contribution to the world at large, participating in the advance of technology as a whole.

Reference:

What qualifies for a patent? Am I eligible?

According to the patent statute “Any person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine manufacture, composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.” This gives us the four main categories of patents.

  1. Process: A set or series of acts, in a certain order and sequence.
  2. Machine: The apparatus itself. The sum of various physical parts that carry out a process.
  3. Manufacture: An assembly or system of apparatuses.
  4. Composition of Matter: The combination and mixing of substances that form a chemical union, and changing them at the atomic level.

Reference:

What is a patentability search?

For a client that wants to know what patents or publications (known as prior art) are already out in the public. This helps answer the basic question of novelty: “Is my invention or improvement really new?”

A patentability search is a vital part of any IP strategy. Patent searches can help you refine your invention, complete a successful patent application, and fully protect your intellectual property. And, a professional and comprehensive patent search can help you avoid unnecessary expenses and delays. Learn more about patent searches below.

Reference:

What is Provisional vs. Non-Provisional?

A Provisional Patent Application serves to establish a foothold, it is a less formal cursory patent, that once accepted by the USPTO gives you one year to test, build and refine the description and claims of your Non-Provisional application.

A Non-Provisional Patent Application requires a much more in-depth and clearly defined summary of your invention, including technical drawings, Full Claims, description and more.

Reference: 

What types of patents are there?

The three major types of Patents available are:

Utility: Structure, operation or composition of a machine, product or process. This covers the function of the invention.

Design: The Non-functional aspect of your creation, protecting the physical appearance and design.

Plant: A patent awarded for the invention or discovery of an asexually reproduced variety of plant, requiring the creation to be reproducible in a lab setting without the aid of mother nature.

Why work with Bold Patents?

Bold Patents prides itself on being one of the leading patent firms in the country. We specialize in patents and providing business advice.

  1. 1-1 Counseling: Knowledgeable, licensed, registered patent attorneys communicating with you directly throughout the process.
  2. Geographically Diverse: With our virtual network of Attorneys, we have a physical presence and foundation in most major cities across the country.
  3. Unmatched Convenience: Instead of driving downtown and making you wait in large Handle the whole process from home
  4. Transparent Pricing: With our flat-rates and clear fee schedules, there is no guessing or surprise monthly bills
  5. Lean Patent Service: We’re lean and mean. Our patent attorneys are all industry-experienced and have the scientific training to get to know you and your invention quickly and efficiently.
  6. Broad Bold Network: We rely on our internal team for most everything, but when special situations arise, we have a broad network of contract and of counsel attorneys to help our clients with anything.

Let’s have a conversation! Click here to book a free consultation today! 

Do you really understand my technology?
  1. Not Yet: We have a very comprehensive invention disclosure process that will allow any inventor to fully disclose their invention such that any of our attorneys can fully grasp the inventive concept behind the invention.
  2. Value of NOT Knowing: We know the law, that’s our job. There comes a vast array of values that come from working with a Patent Professional. One of those is having a technical writer that does not know your particular invention yet. This will benefit you because we will not overlook any detail, or assume anything about your invention (which someone in your field might).
  3. Technical Attorneys: Each of our USPTO registered Patent Attorneys has at least a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD in a STEM or Science field, has passed a rigorous Patent Exam and gone to Law School as well as passed a State Bar. This background of intensive learning, both technical and analytical, will no doubt be of great help to understanding your invention fully
  4. Sometimes Better than You: Yes, I said it. We probably know more about your invention than you do. It’s part of our training actually, and it’s a wonderful thing for you. As you will see – in our process, our Attorneys will actually help you broaden your scope of invention to include other applications that you might not have even considered when you first disclose your first version of your invention.
  5. Research is Included: Because it’s our job to fully articulate and properly claim your invention – some technical research may be necessary. However, you will not be charged any additional fees for this research – it’s part of the job!

Resource: 

Will I get an ROI for my money invested in this patent process?
  1. It’s up to You: Patents are a very valuable asset to any company. However, you need to be able to find a market need in order to monetize them. We provide you with the legal tools enabling you to be successful. Ultimately, you are responsible for marketing your invention. We recommend doing a patentability search with us before filing an application to determine the likelihood of your invention receiving a patent
  2. And then some. You’ll find that through the invention process, it will open up your eyes to a multitude of innovation spin-offs that stem from one core technology. You want to get a patent not only for the immediate technology you’ve developed, but also to secure your place in emerging markets related to that technology.
  3. Liability Avoidance: Going through the patent search process, will enlighten you to a landscape of enforceable patents that others own, and will guide your path into the market to avoid infringing someone else’s rights
  4. Money, Money, Money: Patents bring most of their financial benefit by preventing competition (for a limited time). This means that you are the only one able to make, use, sell or import your invention into the US. Patents can also be transfered, like any other piece of real or tangible property in order to reap a license royalty or through a lump-sum sale.

Resources:

Do I really get protection from a patent?
  1. Absolutely: You get protection in the sense you have a right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States.
  2. Preventing Infringement: US Patent Laws enable rights holders to prevent those infringing activities AND collect a reasonable royalty OR your lost profits from the infringement
  3. Exclusivity for Improvements: You can continue to develop your technology and make improvements within the claimed scope of the patent while others would need to license it from you.

Reference:

Why can’t I just license my product without patents?
  1. Without a Patent, there’s nothing to license: The idea of “licensing” is providing to one or more party some subset of your rights you own; without havnig documented IP ownership, there is essentially nothing to license.  
  2. Know when to Patent: If your invention, once sold on the open market, can be reverse engineered, you need a patent if you want to continue to monetize it. Otherwise, disclosing your invention for manufacturing without a patent could lead to it passing into the public domain. Then you would have no intellectual property rights to your product!
  3. Beware of Sharks: There are many invention brokering companies that will tell you “you don’t need a patent” to do a deal…but be VERY wary of these organizations. Without a patent, there is NOTHING keeping Kevin O’Leary from stealing your product and selling it without your permission – not so “wonderful” is it?
  4. Protection Outside of Patents: Don’t worry if your product isn’t patent eligible, we might be able to secure intellectual property protection under copyright or trademark.

Resources:

Why shouldn’t I just do this on my own?
  1. Cringeworthy Disclaimers: Inexpensive Legal Provider disclaimer: “Inexpensive Legal Provider is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this site or any site linked to this site, whether from errors or omissions in the content of our site or any other linked sites, from the site being down or from any other use of the site. In short, your use of the site is at your own risk. 
  2. Not for your “Baby”: There may be a time for using bargain legal services, but protecting your intellectual property is not one of them. A subpar/unskilled drafted patent application likely claims less protection than a properly drafted patent from a patent attorney
  3. Patent Attorneys, not merely Agents: Many low-budget patent operations are comprised of Patent Agents (those technical writers that do not have law degrees). Without law degrees, an understanding of recent case law and how patents should be crafted to broaden scopes and avoid rejection/issues down the road is invaluable.
    1. We are specially trained professionals who focus on securing intellectual property protection for our clients and supporting their business needs.
    2. We know the law – recent cases, decisions, and latest updates on how examiners will review claims
    3. We know the lingo of the examiners at the Patent and Trademark Office.
    4. We know legal nuances and rule exceptions that can get a difficult/complicated/ patent application approved and issued.

Patent and Trademark Services from Bold Patents

Go Big Go Bold ℠

Bold Patents is a virtual intellectual property (IP) law firm focused on helping inventors and businesses seeking patent protection. We focus our practice on patent law, which allows us to serve first-time inventors and small to medium sized businesses alike. We love educating and counselling entrepreneurs and inventors of all walks that are trying to make a difference in the world.

Aside from Patents, we know that ALL businesses have brands they are developing through their products and services. Thus, for our inventor and business clients, we also proudly counsel on Trademark research and acquisition to secure their niche in the market.

However, we know that securing protection on your inventions and brands is not enough, and so much more goes into being truly successful. Therefore, it’s a priority here at Bold Patents to get to know our clients’ business goals, so that we can not only serve them well in law, but to provide key referrals and introductions to other business professionals or resources to help our clients make that next step toward achieving their dream.

Patent US Law Services from Bold Patents

A patent attorney must have both technical and legal qualifications to practice before the U.S. Patent Office. The reason why is because a patent application requires both a deep technical understanding of a client’s invention and the legal expertise to satisfy all the statutory requirements for patentability.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an exclusive right in an invention that is granted by the U.S. government. The right gives the patent owner the legal ability to prohibit others from producing, utilizing, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention.

A patent is not:

  • Required to manufacture or sell a new product.
  • A guarantee against infringement
  • The only way to protect your products from being copied.

Why Get a Patent?

The purpose of patents is to enable inventors to profit off of their inventions as a reward for their inventive efforts. Specifically, during the 20-year patent term, the owner of a patent has control over the use of a patented invention regardless of whether the patent owner practices the invention.

This gets to the business reasons for obtaining a patent on an invention. A patent is a business asset that can be monetized. Common ways to monetize a patent include:

  • Exploit directly: A patent owner makes and sells the patented invention and uses its exclusivity to keep competitors from producing the same product or process.
  • Licensing: A patent owner agrees to allow a licensee to make and sell the patented invention in exchange for the payment of license fees (sometimes called royalties).
  • Defensive: A patent owner obtains the patent to prevent competitors from making and using the patented invention.

How do Inventors Get Patents?

Patents are property rights that are obtained from the U.S. government. To obtain a patent, an inventor must file a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office and the patent must be granted.

The patent office allows an inventor three options for filing a patent application:

Pro se: An inventor can write and file a patent application without assistance. This is called a “pro se” application.

US patent agent: A patent agent is an engineer, scientist, or other technology expert who has passed a test administered by the U.S. Patent Office called the patent bar examination. A patent agent can draft and file a patent application for an inventor, but cannot render legal advice to the inventor.

US patent attorney: A patent attorney must have a law degree and technology qualifications, such as a degree in engineering or science, and must pass the patent bar examination. A patent attorney prepares and prosecutes patent applications before the patent office and can also provide clients with legal advice and services, such as patent litigation and patent licensing.

The Patent Process

Most patent applications follow the same broad steps, regardless of the invention.

  • The client analyzes the business case for seeking patent protection for the invention. A patent lawyer can assist this process by conducting a prior art search and rendering a patentability opinion. An invention must be novel, non-obvious, useful, and comprise statutory subject matter to be patented.
  • The US patent lawyer drafts and files a patent application for the invention. The scope of the patent application’s claims are informed by the patent search so that the application covers as much ground as possible without overlapping with the prior art.
  • A patent examiner with the US Patent Office examines the application and, in most cases, will issue an office action containing objections and rejections. The client and lawyer work together to present amendments and arguments to the examiner to overcome the office action.
  • If the examiner determines that the invention is patentable and the application meets the statutory requirements, the patent is issued. If not, the examiner issues a final rejection.
  • Final rejections are not truly final, since an applicant and the applicant’s lawyer can file a request for continued examination, a continuing application, or an appeal to continue to pursue a patent.

Trademark Law Services from Bold Patents

A trademark lawyer helps a business secure and protect the legal rights associated with the identifiers for the products and services associated with the business. Trademarks and service marks help customers identify the quality and characteristics of products and services by distinguishing them from one another.

What is a Trademark?

Businesses use many different identifiers to help consumers distinguish products and services from one another. For example, a business could distinguish its brand with:

  • Names: Apple or Pepsi
  • Designs and logos: The “golden arches” design or the “swoosh” logo
  • Taglines and slogans: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”
  • Colors: Pink fiberglass insulation
  • Scents: The smell of Play-Doh
  • Jingles: The three notes played on NBC
  • Packaging: The shape of the Coca-Cola bottle
  • Product design: The blue flowers on Corningware dishes

Trademarks are identifiers applied to goods and service marks are identifiers applied to services. The purpose of these identifiers is to prevent consumer confusion and the diversion of business that confusion causes.

Why Register a Trademark?

Some trademark rights arise from exclusive use of the mark. These common law rights protect the mark’s owner where the mark is actually used.

However, registering a mark provides greater geographic and legal rights than common law use. By registering a trademark with the U.S. Trademark Office, a business gains:

Evidence of its first use. This can be crucial since trademark rights are granted to the business that used the mark first.

Constructive use. Constructive use allows a trademark registrant to enforce the trademark anywhere in the US.

Damages for infringement. US trademark law provides statutory categories of damages for infringement and entitlement to attorney fees and enhanced damages in extraordinary cases.

The right to file before first use. US trademark applications can be filed on an intent-to-use basis. This allows the business to establish a foothold in the trademark office before the product is released or the services are rendered.

The Trademark Registration Process

The steps for registering a trademark usually include:

  • The business evaluates the costs and benefits of filing the application for registration. A trademark attorney can help with this evaluation by conducting a trademark search and rendering a registrability opinion.
  • A US trademark lawyer prepares and files the application with the US Trademark Office.
  • An examining attorney conducts a trademark search and determines whether the applicant’s mark is capable of distinguishing the goods or services. Marks that are similar to prior registrations and marks that consist of generic words and geographic names are usually ineligible for registration.
  • The examining attorney may reject the application or allow the mark to register. If the examining attorney rejects the application, the applicant can respond with arguments, amendments, and evidence to overcome the rejection.
  • Evidence of actual use of the mark is required prior to registration. If the mark was filed as an intent-to-use application, the applicant is allowed up to three years after allowance to file evidence of use.

Differences Between Patents and Trademarks

While patents and trademarks are both IP assets, they protect very different business interests. Patents cover the functional and structural aspects of inventions. Trademarks, by contrast, cover the identifiers consumers use to distinguish products and services.

Subject Matter of Patents and Trademarks

There may be some overlap between patents and trademarks at the edges where design patents cover ornamental features and trademarks cover product configurations. However, for the most part, if your product is special because it performs a new function or has a different structure, it probably falls under the scope of patents. Conversely, if your product is special because of the aesthetic appearance, name, or logo, you should investigate trademarks or service marks.

Scope of Protection of Patents and Trademarks

If you successfully obtain a patent, you can prevent others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention. This effectively cuts off competitors from making a product that includes the features that are the subject of your patent.

If you successfully register a trademark, competitors can be stopped from using any mark that is likely to cause confusion with your registered trademark. This allows the registrant to force competitors to stop using any mark that looks, sounds, or has a similar meaning to the registered trademark.

Benefits of Combining Patents and Trademarks

Businesses are not required to choose between patents and trademarks. In fact, many businesses take advantage of the differing purposes of patents and trademarks to obtain both, thereby keeping competitors away from both the patented product and its marketing.

For example, if a business obtains a patent, but not a trademark, competitors would be able to market inferior products in a way that might deceive customers into believing that it was the patented product.

Similarly, if a business obtains a trademark, but not a patent, competitors might copy the product and simply market it under a different name and logo.

By obtaining both a patent and a trademark, a business can prevent competitors from copying either the patented product or the identifiers used to distinguish the patented product in the marketplace.

Patent Infringement and Validity Services

Patent infringement and validity may be necessary in two circumstances:

  • Your business has been accused by a competitor of infringing its patent.
  • You have identified a competitor who may be infringing your business’s patent.

In either case, a US patent attorney can analyze the accused product or process and determine the strength of an infringement claim. To succeed in an infringement lawsuit, the patent holder must show that the accused product or process falls within the scope of the patent.

However, the accused infringer can escape liability if the patent is invalid. A patent is invalid if the invention or the patent describing the invention fails to satisfy the legal requirements for a valid patent. For example, the invention must be novel, non-obvious, useful, and patent-eligible subject matter for the patent to be valid.

Whether a business needs to pursue a competitor for patent infringement or defend itself against an accusation of infringement, a lawyer from Bold Patents can provide the necessary legal analysis.

As you review our services, please keep in mind that this overview does not constitute legal advice or guidance. Reading this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Bold Patents. Every situation is different and you should not act or fail to act based on anything you read on this website.

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Considerations Before a Screening Session with Bold Patents

Bold Patents’ team of analysts schedule screening sessions with inventors and entrepreneurs prior to representation. After screening, a US patent attorney or US trademark attorney will evaluate the situation and allow both the business and Bold Patents to determine whether to proceed.

To facilitate this screening session, inventors are encouraged to consider:

  • Is the invention patent-eligible subject matter? Some things cannot be patented. Laws of nature, algorithms, and scientific principles cannot be patented.
  • Is the invention novel and non-obvious? Inventions must meet both these requirements to be patented. Think through what distinguishes your invention from existing products.
  • Is the invention ready for patenting? An invention must be reduced to practice to be patented. An idea, without the structure to implement it, might not be ready for patenting.

Bold Patents has a dedicated attorney team that maintains direct communication with clients throughout the entire process. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping clients think about, and treat, IP as a business asset that produces a return on investment. Consequently, our attorneys double as trusted patent consultants so that clients understand both the legal and business side of IP and how their inventions can be leveraged to turn their ideas into reality.

Contact us to schedule a screening session to discuss your business’s IP.

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