What are the foreign filing deadlines for patent applications?

For design patent applications, the foreign filing deadline is 6 months from the priority date. For utility patent applications, the foreign filing deadline is 1 year from the priority date.  A PCT application extends the foreign filing deadline by an additional 18 months for a total of 30 months from the priority date.  Of course, any patent […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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What is a PCT 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. A PCT […]

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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, […]

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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 they offer limited protection compared to the broader scope of utility patents, filing a design patent […]

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