Yes, if the earliest filing date of the application is after September 16, 2012 (post patent reform/AIA). For a fuller discussion of patent applicant vs. assignee, see here.
Under patent reform (AIA) laws, can an inventor disclose the invention prior to filing a patent application?
Under the AIA patent reform law, an inventor has up to one year from his/her earliest date of public disclosure to file a patent application. If the inventor’s own disclosure during this 1 year grace period precedes the public disclosure of a similar invention by a third party, then the third party’s disclosure will be excluded […]
Patent Maintenance Fees Patent maintenance fees are paid to the USPTO to maintain a granted utility patent. Maintaining a utility patent is similar to renewing a trademark registration except that patents expire whereas trademark registrations may be renewed indefinitely. If a maintenance fee deadline has passed, the maintenance fee can still be paid within the 6-month […]
Which application is reviewed by the USPTO? A nonprovisional patent application is normally considered the regular utility patent application. It’s what you file to get the USPTO to review your utility application and hopefully grant your patent. A provisional patent application, on the other hand, does not get reviewed. If done correctly, however, a provisional patent […]
Assuming you have specific implementations of how your idea would actually work, then your idea may be patentable if it meets two conditions: eligible subject matter; and novelty. If the aesthetic appearance of your concept is what you want to protect, then you want to file a design patent application. The novelty question is simpler to address with design […]
What is a PCT application? PCT stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty, an internationally recognized system for initiating worldwide utility patent coverage with a single filing. Under the PCT, an applicant can file a single international patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and designate multiple member PCT countries for coverage. Keep in mind that a PCT application merely […]
What is a utility patent? A utility patent covers the functional aspects of an invention – how the invention works. The scope of protection is defined in the written claims. Why is a utility patent application so expensive? Utility patent applications are typically more expensive than design patent applications since a substantially greater amount of work […]
What does a design patent protect? A design patent protects the ornamental appearance of an invention, i.e., how a product looks and not how it works. Design patents are typically cheaper and quicker to obtain than utility patents. While design patents offer limited protection compared to the broader scope of utility patents, filing a design patent […]
When Must a Foreign/International Patent Application be Filed? For utility patent applications, the foreign filing deadline is one year from the priority date. For most US applicants, the priority date is the filing date of the earliest US application, which may be either a provisional or nonprovisional application. What Are My Foreign Filing Options? To […]
What is the difference between patentability (novelty) and infringement? One of the most common misconceptions about patents is the notion that getting a patent protects the owner from infringing other patents. It sounds reasonable – “I have a patent. Therefore, I should be able to make my patented product, right?” Wrong. As counterintuitive as it may […]