Can Late Maintenance Fees be Paid for a Lapsed Patent?

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 […]

Read More

What is the difference between a provisional vs. nonprovisional patent application?

Provisional vs. nonprovisional applications: Which 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, […]

Read More

Is my idea patentable?

Is my idea patentable? 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. Design patent or utility patent? If the aesthetic appearance of your concept is what you want to protect, then you want to file a design patent […]

Read More

What is an international PCT patent application?

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 a qualified Receiving Office (such as the USPTO) and designate multiple member PCT countries for coverage. Keep in […]

Read More

What is a utility patent?

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. The USPTO has provided an extensive guide on the nonprovisional utility application filing process. Why is a utility patent application so expensive? In most cases, […]

Read More

What is a design patent?

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 […]

Read More

How to get international utility patents

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 […]

Read More