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Patent Attorney in Florida and Tennessee

Patents protect inventions by creating a government-sanctioned 20-year monopoly. In other words, patents create a restraint of trade that is ultimately valuable for the patent owner. Patents also increase the cost of goods by limiting the competition and, therefore, the availability of a product or service. While there doesn’t seem to be any advantages, the reason patents are granted by the government is because they are believed to encourage innovation.


The government created the patent system to protect new technologies. By disclosing new technologies, others were forced to make improvements, resulting in technological advances occurring at a faster rate.


At Smith/Barbara, we offer numerous patent-related services, including:


  • Biological Sequence Searches

  • Cease and Desist Letters

  • Chemical Structure Searches

  • Prosecution of Utility and Design Patent Applications

  • Infringement/Freedom to Operate/Clearance Searches

  • International Trade Commission (ITC) §337 Investigations

  • Landscape Analysis and Search Reports

  • Licensing Agreements

  • Management of Domestic and International Patent Portfolios

  • Nondisclosure Agreements

  • Office Action Responses

  • Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Proceedings

  • Patent Validation/Invalidation Searches

  • Patentability/Novelty/Prior Art Searches

  • Portfolio Analysis

  • State of Art Searches


The Patent Process


If this process is executed correctly, it will take about 180 days to obtain a patent.


  • Identify the Invention.

If you can create an improvement on an already existing idea, you have invented something worth patenting.


  • Determine the Value of Your Invention.

Unfortunately, some improvements are not seen as valuable or worth patenting. You should ask yourself whether your improvement has an advantage over the competition or if it can provide marketing value to sales.


  • Contact a Patent Attorney.

You must create a detailed disclosure for your patent attorney. You will want to protect your ideas while also proving the value of your invention.


  • File the Patent Application.

If you are creating a utility patent, you can follow an accelerated or normal track. The patent application process can take anywhere between three months and 14 (or more) months between an accelerated track and the normal track.


  • Expect Rejection.

It is not uncommon for patent examiners to reject an application on its first go-round. However, with the help of an experienced patent attorney, you may be able to find ways to get your patent application approved.


  • Respond to the Patent Examiner.

To get your patent application in a “condition for allowance,” you will need to amend patent claims and communicate with your patent examiner.


  • Pay the Fees.

Once the patent claims are approved, the patent examiner will issue a “notice of allowance,” where an “issue fee” is required from the inventor.


  • Receive the Original Patent.

After your patent is approved, the original patent will be sent to you, and you will need to mark all your products or services with the patent number.


  • Pay the Maintenance Fees.

You will need to pay maintenance fees at 3, 7, and 11 years following the approval of your patent to keep it valid through the 20-year term.


The Basis for Patent Protection


According to Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, “Congress shall have power... to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”


Following this power, Congress enacted multiple laws relating to patents, including the 1st patent law in 1790. Patent law specifies the conditions in which a patent may be procured and the requirements for patentability. Also, the law appoints the Patent and Trademark Office to facilitate any laws regarding patents.


Twenty-Year Patent Term


When a patent is granted, the government gives the inventor a property right that can last for 20 years from the day the inventor applied for the patent. However, the patent grant is only valid throughout the United States and its territories. During this 20-year patent term, the patent virtually allows the patent owner to have full reign on their invention.


To learn more, contact Smith/Barbara today.