Can a Late Patent Maintenance Fee be Paid?

Is there such a thing as a patent renewal? Sort of. The US does not call them patent renewals. Instead, they are called maintenance fees. So while the US does not have patent renewals per se, a US utility patent does have has a series of payment deadlines in order to keep the granted patent […]

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Provisional vs. nonprovisional patent application: What are differences?

What are the differences between provisional and nonprovisional patent applications? A nonprovisional patent application is normally considered the regular utility patent application. It’s what you file to get the USPTO to examine 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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What is an inherently distinctive trademark?

What is an inherently distinctive trademark? An inherently distinctive trademark is a mark that lacks descriptive wording in relation to your goods or services. It’s tempting to choose a name or term that describes a quality or characteristic of your product. Resist that temptation and try to come up with a mark that is fanciful […]

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What is a trademark rejection?

What is a trademark rejection? Not all trademark Office Actions are the same. Your application may receive a trademark rejection, or a registration refusal, which will require greater effort to overcome. On the other hand, an Office Action may be issued in your trademark application raising minor issues that can be resolved without arguments. Let’s […]

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Is my idea patentable?

What makes an idea patentable? If you have specific examples of how your idea would actually work, then your concept might be patentable if it meets the following conditions: eligible subject matter; and new and unique (i.e., novel and non-obvious). Being unique is not about percentages (e.g., my invention is 80% the same as another […]

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What is a PCT application?

What is a PCT application? A Patent Cooperation Treaty application is a single utility patent filing that gives you international patent-pending status. By itself, the PCT application does not automatically give you foreign patent rights. You must ultimately follow through with filing individual patent applications in desired countries at a later time called the national […]

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What is a utility patent?

Is a utility patent right for you? 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. A design patent, on other hand, covers only the ornamental […]

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What is a design patent?

Why not file a design patent application? If you are in the business of innovation, you can’t ignore design patents. And if you’re going to pursue them, you need to understand what they can and cannot do. A design patent protects only the ornamental appearance of an invention. The focus is on the visually unique […]

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TTAB trademark oppositions and cancellations: What to know

Trademark opposition or cancellation: What are the differences? Trademark oppositions and cancellations are adversarial proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the USPTO to defeat the registration of a mark. A trademark opposition seeks to block a trademark application from registering. A trademark cancellation seeks to cancel a registered mark. Therefore, oppositions […]

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