Patent Prosecution Attorneys in San Diego, CA
San Diego Patent Attorneys, Patent Prosecution
The term “patent prosecution” refers to the legal process of obtaining a patent through the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”). For a discussion of patent litigation, see patent litigation. The attorneys of Buche & Associates, P.C. all have scientific backgrounds and are experienced with patent law. Our firm has handled patent applications in a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, medical devices, oil field equipment, automotive devices, games, clothing & accessories, business methods, musical instruments, sports equipment, material handling apparatus, shipping, and nautical equipment. In addition to being registered patent attorneys, Buche & Associates, P.C. uses the latest software to track and maintain client files, maintenance fees, and national and international deadlines.
Inventors must prove that they have a new, useful & nonobvious invention to receive a patent. Patents can be granted for articles of manufacture, designs on articles of manufacture, living organisms, plants, chemical compositions, nonobvious methods of using existing inventions, processes, and on methods of doing business.
Patent Duration & Rights
Patents currently last 20 years from the effective filing date. Patents essentially offer a 20-year monopoly to the owner, who can exclude any other person or company from the manufacture, use, sale or import into the United States of infringing technology.
Attorneys who practice before the PTO must have a scientific educational background and pass a separate federal bar exam, in addition to the state bar exam, to be able to practice as a “Patent Attorney.” The patent attorneys of Buche & Associates, P.C. have advanced scientific backgrounds and are collectively licensed in the states of Texas, California and the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
Bars to Patents
An inventor has 1 year to file for a United States patent from the time an invention is patented or published anywhere in the world or sold or known of in the United States. This one-year grace period is not the standard in foreign countries, therefore, if international patent protection is sought, it is important to file a U.S. patent application prior to making, using or selling a new invention.
PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications can be used to obtain additional time and reserve the right to file international patent applications in member countries. The PCT is not an “international patent” so much as it is a procedure to expand the time to file for international patents. It is possible to file separate patent applications in each country in which protection is sought without filing a PCT application, but PCT applications can preserve rights to file foreign applications in most of the developed countries of the world.
Patent Searches & Patentability Assessments
Patent searches are a useful way to determine (1) if you have a patentable invention; and (2) to assess the scope of protection to which you may be entitled. Even if a product is not on the market, a patent search is still an important tool for patent attorneys to find the best way to protect your ideas.