Vic Lin

How to save clients money (while making money)

Is it possible to save clients money and earn more? It seems paradoxical to earn more by saving clients money. As IP attorneys, we practice a rather specialized and complex area of law. The complexities of IP law present strategic opportunities for streamlining patent prosecution and reducing the likelihood of trademark rejections. But, how would […]

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Billable hour vs. flat rates

How clients perceive hourly billing versus flat rates When I started practicing IP law back in the last millennium, hourly billing was the standard for patent and trademark filings. Nowadays, flat rates for trademark and patent filings have become more prevalent. Client preferences have certainly impacted this shift from the billable hour to fixed fees. […]

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IP Networking: What works for introverts like me

IP networking for introverts Have you ever attended a large networking event and felt like you lost a couple hours of your life that you’ll never get back? Not all IP networking events are horrible. Every once in a while, I would truly enjoy meeting someone who would later become a friend and business contact. […]

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How can I help IP professionals?

Helping younger IP professionals and practitioners I’m starting a new series of posts dedicated to helping IP professionals. My hope is that these articles will help IP attorneys train themselves not only to excel in their profession, but also to have a more enjoyable career. I have had the privilege of practicing patent and trademark […]

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How to challenge patents (with lower costs)

What are less expensive ways to challenge patents? As a patent attorney, it’s my job to protect innovation. Innovation is wonderful, but so is fair competition. Competition, in general, is good for consumers because it raises the level of quality and lowers prices. Fair competition respects the valid IP rights of innovators. Just as there […]

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Got Moat?

Why economic moat is good for startups It’s a competitive world out there. In any area of business that appears profitable, competition seems only to increase as more companies seek to do the same thing. If you have a lot of companies offering the same product with comparable quality, then price becomes the main factor […]

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What is a generic mark?

What is a generic mark? A generic mark is a word understood by the public as the common term for a product or service. For example, the word “apple” would be generic for the fruit. There is no more common term to refer to the apple fruit than simply “apple.” However, the term “apple” would […]

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PCT Bypass: Another way to enter US?

Is national stage the only way a PCT application can enter the US? No, an alternative option to enter the US from a PCT application is called a bypass application. A bypass application is filed as a US continuing application claiming domestic priority to the PCT application as if it were a US parent nonprovisional […]

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Patent drawings: What you need to know

What is the purpose of utility patent drawings? We all (should) know that the figures, i.e., patent drawings, do not define the claimed invention in a utility patent. The claims do. So what is the purpose of drawings in a utility patent? Drawings are an important component of the overall disclosure in a patent. Features […]

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What a USPTO patent examiner really thinks

Thinking like a patent examiner We are privileged to have a former USPTO patent examiner, Lyman Smith, as Of Counsel patent attorney to our firm. The following insightful answers come from Lyman’s familiarity with the inner system of the US Patent Office. Keep in mind we are talking about utility nonprovisional patent applications, and not […]

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