Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Patents
Intellectual property (IP) is a distinct area of law with unique requirements and processes. Even if you are familiar with the basic tenets of business law, you may have more questions than answers when it comes to patents. This is especially true if you are new to the patent process, though even seasoned business executives and engineering teams consult Christensen, Fonder, Dardi regularly for answers to their questions. The following are a few common questions we receive regarding patents:
How do we know if our invention is patentable?
The first step to establishing a patent is to investigate the invention, as well as existing patents, to ensure that your invention meets patent requirements. Those requirements include novelty and usefulness. In other words, the invention must be unique and serve a purpose in the marketplace. Our attorneys will conduct these investigations on your behalf and also offer patentability opinions.
What steps must we take to patent our invention?
Once we confirm that your patent meets the basic requirements of patentability, we then complete the application process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application is detailed and extremely thorough. In the prosecution stage, the patent examiner from the USPTO communicates with our office and finally issues a determination regarding granting the patent.
Do we need someone to manage our patent portfolio?
Patent portfolio management is an important part of protecting your company’s intellectual property. Receiving a patent on your invention is only the beginning of your journey. If you fail to follow certain procedures regarding your patent, it may lapse. In addition, our attorneys will help you identify gaps in your portfolio that you may consider filling, as well as properties you may consider retiring.
Is a licensing agreement right for our company?
If your company has been approached with a licensing agreement, or you wish to license your intellectual property to a third party, you have several factors to consider. Christensen, Fonder, Dardi will help you decide whether a particular partnership regarding your property will be in your best interest.
How long does getting a patent take?
The duration of establishing a patent varies from client to client. Generally, though, the average time to obtain a patent for an invention is 25 months, according to the USPTO. The USPTO also offers an expedition fee which can reduce the wait to six to 12 months. We strive to make the patent application process run swiftly and smoothly so you can secure a patent in as little time as possible.
What should I expect when trying to get a patent?
When seeking a patent, you are in for far more than simply waiting for paperwork to get approval. To the contrary, it requires exhilarating, if challenging, intellectual strategizing as you advance toward your goal of patent prosecution. From the initial stages of invention to completing the application documents to finally receiving a decision from the USPTO, Christensen, Fonder, Dardi is here to support you.
We Have The Answers To Your Questions
Whether you are pursuing your first patent or you have a new issue regarding an existing patent, our attorneys are here to answer your questions. We assist clients throughout the U.S. from our offices in Minneapolis and Atlanta. Call to schedule an appointment at 612-315-4100 or contact us through our online form.