Patent

Law & Services


For information on the basics of the patent process (Click Here)

A patent is a proprietary right granted by the Federal government to an inventor. There are three types of patents available in the United States:

  1. a utility patent, which covers the functional aspects of products and processes;
  2. a design patent, which covers the ornamental design and/or configuration; and
  3. a plant patent, which covers a new variety of living plant.

Each type of patent confers "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. It is the right to exclude others that makes the patent so valuable to businesses. If you have developed a new product, process, manufacture, composition of matter, or new and useful improvement thereof, you may be able to profit from your idea by excluding your competition from using the product, process, manufacture, composition of matter, by securing a patent. The patent process, however, is extremely convoluted, and as all lawyers are not created equal, the law firm you choose will likely dictate the amount of protection you receive.

It is almost universally accepted that to obtain the most benefit from the patenting process and to secure the property rights you are entitled to, an experienced registered patent attorney should be consulted. The process is so complicated in fact, that the attorneys that are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are required to have special credentials above “regular” attorneys. Namely, a patent attorney is required to have scientific training, usually an engineering degree, and is required to pass a second Bar exam (the Patent Bar), in addition to the state Bar exam required for all attorneys. In fact, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tries to discourage pro-se applicants and the use of invention submission and/or promotions firms, because of the complexity and skill required. Your business depends on choosing an experienced IP law firm. Paparella & Associates is that law firm.

The patent process typically involves first conducting a patentability search to determine if the invention is “new.” If the invention, or part of it, is found to be patentable, then upon the clients approval, a patent application is prepared. The application is a detailed written description of the invention and must contain specific information and sections in order to be held valid in a court of law. The application is then filed with the USPTO. The next phase in the process is the prosecution phase which includes answering requests for additional information from the Patent Office and engaging in, typically, a reiterative and expository process with the Patent Examiner(s), all in an effort to obtain agreement with the Examiner that the disclosed invention is patentable. This process also includes reviewing other patents, non-patent publications, and reports of public disclosure(s) and/or use(s) in an effort to determine which may be material (so-called “prior art”) to determine whether anyone else has attempted to obtain a patent on a similar invention or publicly disclosed a similar invention. Prosecution may also require preparing and, if necessary, arguing an appeal of the final decision of the Examiner.

The law firm of Paparella & Associates handles all aspects of patent prosecution, from initial review, to prosecution, and appeals when necessary. If you are considering filing for a patent, contact us to schedule a consultation. We can not only evaluate your particular product and advise you as to the most efficient way to proceed, but we can also evaluate your entire intellectual property portfolio.

BE ADVISED: In the United States, the law requires that you file an application with the patent office within one year of a public use or any offer for sale of the invention. The law firm of Paparella & Associates will examine your invention and, if requested, provide you with a written opinion as to whether a patent may be obtained. We can also guide you with respect to numerous other patent related matters such as non-infringement opinions, freedom to operate opinions, clearance opinions, infringement analysis and litigation.

The law firm of Paparella & Associates advises business clients on how to build and protect the critical aspects of their business. The Firm takes an aggressive and proactive approach to protecting clients’ inventions, and when necessary, constructing solid patent defenses. The Firm’s maxim: treat each client with the respect they have earned. This respect includes providing unmatched quality in representation.

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