FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS YOUR COMPANY A LEGAL SERVICES FIRM OR A LAW FIRM?

Patent Services is not a law firm or a legal services firm. We are a clearinghouse for a full range of services that inventors need to complete their patent research, preparation and prosecution services. In order to guarantee that inventors receive reliable, unbiased information all research, design, marketing, licensing, and patent protection services are outsourced to colleges and universities, graphic designers, writers, draftsmen, licensing affiliates and registered patent attorneys and patent agents. We do not offer legal counsel or perform legal services ourselves, nor do we hire patent attorneys as staff. Our company is not an attorney owned organization and we ensure that all results delivered to clients are unbiased and generated independently from third parties. It is important to note that only a registered patent attorney can represent an inventor before the examiners of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DESIGN PATENT AND A UTILITY PATENT?

Yes, there is a difference. A utility patent is usually granted to an individual, a group or an organization that discovers or invents a new, unique, and useful machine, process, manufacturing article, matter composition or improvements on existing processes. On the other hand, a design patent is awarded to an individual, group or organization when a new, innovative and ornamental design is invented for a manufacturing article. To earn recommendation for a design patent or utility patent, the assistance of a registered independent patent attorney is necessary.

DOES A PATENT SEARCH GRANT ME A PATENT?

A patent search is performed by a registered patent attorney who will search for artwork and other tangible items to ensure that your designs are unique and patentable. The patent attorney will also provide a legal opinion of your patentability search and advice on whether or not you should continue to pursue the patent. It is important to note than while an independent patent agents can perform the same search, they cannot provide a legal opinion or advice.

HOW DOES THE AMERICA INVENTS ACT OF 2011 AFFECT ME?

The America Invents Act of 2011 was signed into law on September 16, 2011. This law takes effect in stages and will be fully implemented on March 16, 2013. The new law changes the basis of the entire United States patent system from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" format. This means that historic methods of documenting the origination and development of an idea may have no bearing whatsoever on the award of a patent. Instead, the first person to file a patent application gets the patent. As such, inventors who delay in filing a patent application run the risk of having another person obtain a patent on an invention, resulting in the loss of any opportunity to secure the rights to an invention they may have developed first. The best way to prevent this from happening is to PREPARE AND FILE THE PATENT APPLICATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and before the invention is exposed to others.

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