What Are the Steps to Get a Utility Patent?

When you start the patenting process for a utility patent, there are two types of applications to consider — provisional & nonprovisional. Which one to start with is a matter of budget and strategy.

Want a Trademark? Make Sure It Doesn’t Already Exist

{Read in 4:40 minutes} So often I am asked, “How do I get a trademark?” There’s a very simple answer. First, you pick what you want as your trademark, and second, use it. Wait a minute. That sounds way too simple. Well, getting rights in a trademark is actually pretty simple. The tough part is […]

Trademarks 101: It’s All About the Brand

Trademarks are so much a part of our culture that we really don’t think about them too much. They’re ubiquitous. If I say a trademark is a brand, everybody knows immediately what I’m talking about, because it’s all about the brand, what the brand stands for, and the message that each brand is trying to […]

Pass Go & Collect: How to Patent Board Games

The Story of Monopoly… A patent is a limited monopoly that the government grants for an invention. The government granted inventor Charles Darrow a patent US2026082A on the board game Monopoly in 1935. There’s some controversy about the 1935 patent: Darrow learned about another game called “The Landlords’ Game” that was patented in 1904 by a […]

Foreign Filing License & Your Filing Receipt

Most people who are filing for a patent in the United States don’t even realize that, at the same time, they’re applying for a foreign filing license. What’s that? Well, it turns out that if some or all of the inventive process takes place in the United States, before you can apply for a patent […]

What’s So Special About Tyler, Texas, Anyway?

Most people don’t even know where Tyler, Texas, is, but for patent litigators—that is, attorneys that try patent cases—it has become their home away from home. First, I need to give a little bit of background about the federal court system that a lot of people aren’t aware of. The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction […]

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2)

Last time, I explained the circumstances that led me to start law school after I “retired” from chemistry. Now the rest of the story. It’s very different to start law school when you’re…I’ll be kind to myself and use the word…”mature.” I was the second oldest student in my class, and I was the oldest […]

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 1)

When I meet new clients, they don’t realize at first that being a patent lawyer is actually a second career for me. Since a lot of people find how I got to where I am today an interesting story, I’ve decided to share it with you, my readers. When I was in high school, I […]

What Goes Into a Patent Application?

Many people are under the impression that drafting a patent application is just a matter of filling out forms, like any type of government application, and perhaps submitting a picture, as you do when you’re applying for a passport. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, preparing a patent application is a complex […]

What is Patentable? The Phenomena of Nature Exception

The answer to the question “what is patentable?” should be pretty straightforward, because the applicable law says: “a machine, a manufacturer, composition, or a process, or the improvements thereof, are patentable.” However, over the years, the courts have created very specific guidelines concerning what is or is not patentable. One exception to patentability is called […]