• NEWS FROM THE U.S.P.T.O.

    ISSUANCE OF THE 10 Million Patent on June 19, 2018.

    The U.S.P.T.O. has reported the following:

    “The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. patent number 10 million on June 19, 2018. More than just a number, patent 10 million embodies the rich history and strength of the American intellectual property system dating back to the first U.S. patent, signed 228 years ago by George Washington on July 31, 1790, and issued to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.
    The milestone was enshrined during an afternoon ceremony at the White House in which President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and USPTO Director Andrei Iancu all signed the patent. The last president to sign a patent was Gerald Ford in 1976 to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. All early presidents up to John Quincy Adams signed patent documents.
    Following the signing of patent number 10 million in the Oval Office, another ceremony took place on the site of George Washington’s Gristmill near Mount Vernon, Virginia, featuring remarks by Secretary Ross, Director Iancu, Senator Chris Coons (Delaware), and Congressman Darrell Issa (California). The gristmill contains technology invented by Oliver Evans and patented in 1790, the third U.S. patent ever issued.
    “Innovation has been the lifeblood of this country since its founding,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Our patent system’s importance to the daily lives of every American has never been greater. Given the rapid pace of change, we know that it will not take another 228 years to achieve the next 10-million-patent milestone.”
    Patent 10 million for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection” symbolizes the breadth of American invention, with applications in such varied fields as autonomous vehicles, medical imaging devices, military defense systems, and space and undersea exploration. The technology was invented by Joseph Marron and is owned by Raytheon Company.
    “This patent represents one of ten million steps on a continuum of human accomplishment launched when our Founding Fathers provided for intellectual property protection in our Constitution,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “Some of the greatest leaps humanity has made have been fueled by our greatest inventors, Americans who have changed the course of history with their brilliance and dogged perseverance.”
    “The U.S. patent system serves as a reminder that our nation values and continues to be built by those who are willing to take risks, challenge traditions, push the boundaries of convention, and test new limits in design and thought,” said Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld.”
    This milestone of human ingenuity perhaps exceeds even the Founding Fathers’ expectations when they called for a patent system in the Constitution to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

    The law firm of Meroni & Meroni has obtained close to 500 U.S. Patents and worldwide, many, many more patents have been issued.

  • New USPTO Patents Petitions Timeline

    We would like to inform potential inventors that the Office of Petitions has launched a new USPTO Patents Petitions Timeline that provides information on petition types that can be filed throughout each stage of the patent prosecution process. For each petition type, users can easily access information on average pendency over the past 12 months of decided petitions, the deciding office, petition grant rates, and link to specific sections of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) or other parts of the USPTO website that relate to each petition type.

    Filing Petitions can be a very effective tool in obtaining patents on a more timely basis.
    Please contact our office for more information about filing Petitions with the U.S.P.T.O.

  • Provisional Patent Applications vs. Non-Provisional Patent Applications

    We receive many inquiries about the advantages/disadvantages of filing a Provisional Patent Application instead of immediately filing a Non-Provisional Patent Application.

    The primary benefit of electing to file a Provisional Patent Application is receiving an immediate filing date which can provide an applicant immediate “Patent Pending” protection for their invention, drawings, photos and/or written disclosure(s).

    Undoubtedly, provisional patent applications filed by the inventors themselves (so-called “pro se” applicants) will have too little disclosure, inadequate drawings, and will be missing the proper nomenclature basis for drafting broad claims. If an inventor is able to properly docket the one year time limit to file the non-provisional utility patent application, they will have to take the provisional application to an experienced patent attorney who will more than likely have to address a number of problems, including:

    a) correcting problems for a fee, which fee may be on par with the cost to file a proper utility patent application;

    b) a decreased likelihood of obtaining the allowance of the best claims possible. In this last regard, it should be noted that there is a “new matter” prohibition. The new matter prohibition will prevent adding anything to the non-provisional patent application that is not disclosed in the provisional patent application.

    In many cases, the disclosure of the pro se provisional patent application will be entirely inadequate to support the claims the applicant truly deserves by comparing his or her invention to the closest prior art. If products embodying the invention have already been on the market in the United States for more than one year, it will be too late to correct the situation with a properly prepared patent application. Thus, unless applicants have less than a week to file and cannot otherwise delay filing due to a filing bar deadline, it is highly advisable to file a standard non-provisional utility patent application instead of a provisional patent application. If, however, at the end of the one year grace period an applicant can only afford to file a provisional patent application, then perhaps the filing of a provisional patent application is a better alternative than forfeiting one’s U.S. patent rights.

    Usually, it is advantageous to file the U.S. patent application at a time when the preferred embodiment of the invention functions as much like the planned commercial product as possible. This improves the chances that the patent claims will cover the commercial product, and gives applicants a significant psychological advantage with a jury in a patent infringement lawsuit. The best strategy is usually to file a U.S. non-provisional utility patent application as soon as possible and then file a so-called Continuation-in-Part (CIP) patent application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office while the former application is still pending in order to include any later developments.

    By filing in this manner, applicants may avail themselves of the best of both worlds, namely, early priority and the preservation of both U.S. and foreign patent rights, while ensuring maximum coverage of all embodiments and features. If you follow this strategy, you should file the CIP in the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an International patent application under the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

    Please contact our should you have any further questions.

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