A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions. Under certain circumstances, patent term extensions or adjustments may be available.
The right conferred by the patent grant is, in the language of the statute and of the grant itself, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention. Once a patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent without aid of the USPTO.
There are three types of patents:
- Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof;
- Design Patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and
- Plant Patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
Patent Services Offered by Bold IP
Bold Invention Portfolio:
Unsure whether you would like to take the next bold step? For those inventors who are not ready for a full-up patent search (or cannot afford it), the Bold Invention Portfolio includes a cohesive report containing:
- Invention Disclosure
- Layman’s Description
- Preliminary Drawings/Sketches
Prepared to start the patenting process? Bold IP offers a number of services that will fit all of your patent needs! See the list below for our full list of patent prosecution service offerings.
- Patentability Search & Opinion: 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?”
- Portfolio Analysis: Bold IP works with your businesses to gain an understanding of the strategic business goals and prepares an in depth market-centric analysis of your current patents and pending applications to identify which patents and publications should be maintained, reworked or abandoned. Further, the analysis will identify opportunities for innovation and areas which represent a gap in technology that is necessary to achieve the short or long term business goals.
- Invention Harvesting: Our team will come on-site to your business where your research and development team works to do a 1, 2 or 3 day “invention harvesting” workshop. The workshop begins by developing a set of “technology gaps” between the present day and where the company is going 3-5 years down the road. Making Bold Leaps to close the technology gaps will be accomplished through either invention or protection via trade secrets.
- Landscape Report & Analysis: The objective of a Landscape study in a particular technology domain/market area is to provide analysis of existing knowledge on that specific technology and to indicate empty spaces (where there is either an unmet need or a unsolved problem).
- Evidence of Use Charts & Analysis: Evidence of Use (EoU) helps patent owners identify potentially infringing products in the marketplace. Our EoU charts patent claim elements to specific features of identified products and services, and provides an indication of the strength of patent infringement assertion.
- Design Patent Applications: For a client that wishes to protect only the way something looks or appears. This special type of patent application requires a very detailed approach to defining the shapes, orientation and ornamental features of the invention. It is important to note that the protection given by a design patent (once granted) is limited to the ornamental appearance of the invention, not what it does but what it looks like only.
- Provisional Patent Applications: The provisional application provides an enabling written description of the entire invention including the preferred embodiment among many other alternative embodiments and drawings, as needed. The requirements for filing a provisional are few, for example no claims need be filed, nor do certain sections of the application need to be filled out. For this and other reasons, the provisional application is less time-intensive and therefore less costly for the inventor. A big upside to filing a provisional is once it has been officially submitted to the USPTO the inventor may stamp on their product and market to third parties that their invention is “Patent Pending.”
- Utility (Non-Provisional) Patent Applications: A non-provisional application is more formal than the provisional and it must contain all of the detailed sections such as brief description of drawings, summary, background, field of invention and most importantly claims. Unlike the provisional, the nonprovisional application must point out and distinctly claim the invention they are claiming is their own. The language of claims is nearly a language unto its own – and requires a true skill to craft language in such a manner to grant the inventor as much rights as they are deserved under the invention without falling victim to encroaching into another’s patent rights. The nonprovisional application may supersede and claim the priority of a provisional application which means it alleges that the invention as described and claimed in the nonprovisional was fully described in the provisional. The non-provisional is what gets examined by the USPTO and is the application that may eventually be granted.
- Plant Patent Application: Plant patent applications are available for those inventors or applicants who have found a new species of plant which has been reproduced without the need for natural pollination or nature (asexually reproduced). Examples of these types of patents are for different strains of hops, fruit trees, and grapes (for wine). Just like utility applications, the written description needs to fully enable the invention and allow someone who is in the field of horticulture to be able to make and use the invention. In addition, a specimen of the plant invention needs to be submitted to the USPTO for inspection and analysis.
- Foreign Patent Rights: Filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application is the most common method of filing internationally. Certainly, we can help you file in specific countries, but would need to reach out to co-counsel in said countries. These applications do not change in substance or content so much, but the examiner doing the searching and examination is what is called an International Search Authority (ISA) and that search and examination will be relied upon by the various countries that have signed up to the PCT (90+ countries). “Bold Ideas” provides more insight on PCT Applications; click here to access Chapter 17.
- Non-Final Rejections: Our Bold IP Patent Attorneys will work with you to propose an amendment, argument or both that will achieve the most amount of patent rights for you while making sure the patent examiner’s rejections are addressed fully.
- Final Rejections: While they sound truly “final” – these are by no means the end! Our Patent Attorneys have been very successful in responding to Final rejections by using the After Final Consideration Pilot Program (AFCP) and the Request for Continued Examination (RCE).
- Appeals: When an examiner has become too stubborn or when an examiner has made a mistake and considerations around timing or other circumstances cannot allow for an RCE – an appeal is sometimes the best option. Our team is poised and prepared to represent you and your Patent application before the PTAB to appeal by amendment or legal argument.
- Petitions: There are many different types of petitions available for the patent owner while a patent application is pending. Bold IP attorneys are experienced in proposing petitions to the USPTO supervisors and directors for special consideration. Making these petitions is important to get the precise wording, formality and substance.
- Inter Partes Review: While post-grant review provides a petitioner a forum to challenge a patent on any basis of patentability, IPRs are limited to challenges on the grounds of novelty and non-obviousness based only on patents and printed publications. A challenged patent in an IPR is not presumed valid, unlike in district court litigation (where there is litigation patent judgements). IPRs are trial-like proceedings conducted in front of a panel of administrative patent judges—the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Parties may collect evidence by deposing experts and inventors, and the parties support their cases with oral arguments before the PTAB.
- Post Grant Reviews: PGR provides a petitioner a forum to challenge a patent on any statutory basis of patentability. Unlike IPRs, PGRs are not limited to challenges on the grounds of novelty and nonobviousness based on only patents and printed publications. Rather, any statutory ground under §§ 101, 112, 102, and 103 can be challenged in a PGR. PGRs, like IPRs, are trial-like proceedings conducted in front of a panel of administrative patent judges—the PTAB. Parties may collect evidence by presenting expert or factual testimony via declarations, and declarants are deposed. Parties support their cases with oral arguments before the PTAB.
- Covered Business Method (CBM) Patent Proceedings: Covered Business Method (CBM) patents are patents that claim a method, apparatus, or operation used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service. CBM patents do not include patents for “technological inventions,” which are those patents that claim a novel and unobvious technological feature that solves a technical problem using a technical solution. Technological patents will be identified on a case-by-case basis and the CBM is the process by which the PTAB will determine it
- Reexamination Proceedings: Under the America Invents Act (AIA), ex parte reexamination proceedings, which have unique rules and procedures, remain an important option to consider when challenging the validity of a patent.
- Reissue Proceedings: Patent reissue allows a patentee to correct a wide variety of errors in an issued patent if the error renders the patent partially or wholly inoperative or invalid. Filing a reissue has associated risks and limitations, especially when attempting to broaden patent claims.
- Interference Proceedings: Although the first-to-file provision effectively removed the option of an interference for most new patent applications, interferences remain viable for many patent applications containing claims entitled to earlier filing dates. Bold IP is adept at navigating through complicated priority fact patterns and the transitional AIA provisions to advise whether an interference is an appropriate tool for clients. Known as priority contests to decide who was first to invent, interferences have also long provided an opportunity to contest patentability of a competitor’s claims under a lower standard of proof than is available in district court.
- Derivation Proceedings: Derivation proceedings provide an exception to the otherwise absolute first-to-file provisions of the AIA. For patent applications having an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, the derivation proceeding is available to an inventor who believes that an earlier-to-file patent applicant derived the invention without authorization. Although derivation proceedings are new, derivation of an invention is an often-raised issue in interferences in cases involving some element of collaboration. Who conceived the invention and when are important components of both priority of invention and derivation of an invention.
- Appealing a PTAB Decision: PTAB decisions are appealed directly to the Federal Circuit. Once a final decision has been reached by the PTAB, upon reasonable grounds a motion for appeal may be filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C.