We prepare and prosecute patent applications in many fields of technology.
Etherton Law prepares and prosecutes U.S. patent applications for most technologies. We have extensive experience in medical devices, software and internet technologies, renewable energy processes and equipment, agricultural equipment, consumer products, business methods, and more.
Our Patent Services include
U.S. patent applications and prosecution for:
Provisional patent applications
Business method and software patents
Most technologies, including mechanical, electrical, biotechnology and chemical inventions
Domestic (U.S.) inventors
Appeals to board of patent appeals and interference
Coordination of foreign patent application filings, including preparation and filing of PCT applications
Patent infringement opinions
Licensing your company's patents to others
Licensing others’ patents for your use
Corporate invention disclosure programs
Corporate intellectual property audits
On-site visit to find valuable intangible assets
Corporate training programs for patent and trade secret protection
Patent portfolio planning and management
Patent maintenance fee reminders
The U.S. patent code (35 U.S.C. § 1-376) governs the issuance of U.S. patents. In essence, a patent is issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an invention of proper subject matter that has utility, is novel and non-obvious. Each of these terms of art, utility, novelty, and non-obviousness, has a specific meaning in the context of patents, and form the criteria by which your invention will be judged. It takes an average of thirty months from the date of filing for a patent to issue. Once it does, you have protection for twenty years from the date the application was filed against infringers who might try to make, use, or sell it or a similar invention. You may transfer these rights to others.
To meet the criteria for a patent, the invention first must have utility. An invention that satisfies the utility criterion is an invention that is useful. It must have a known use, as opposed to a creation having only a theoretical use or none at all.
Novelty means that the invention is new. that is, the invention has never been manufactured, used, or made public by anybody in the world. Patents and publications from the U.S. and foreign countries are used to determine whether your invention is novel.
Non-obviousness is similar to novelty and most often becomes the sticking point for whether a patent issues. Non-obviousness is also judged against patents and other literature, which is called "prior art." To be non-obvious, an invention must have at least one improvement that differentiates it enough from prior art to make it worthy of protection as a unique invention.
There are several bars to patenting an invention. One is to make public use of your invention for more than one year before you file an application. Experimental use and durability testing is not usually considered to be public use. concealing or abandoning an invention is also a bar to patent rights.