Dallas Patent Law Attorneys
Gaining approval for a patent is not an easy feat. Hundreds of thousands of aspiring inventors and businesses with great ideas file for patents each year. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the government entity responsible for issuing patents. When you are granted a patent, you receive a monopoly on a design or invention for the length of the patent. This monopoly means you can hold others accountable when they steal, sell, or use your idea without your permission. The most common way to hold someone accountable is by filing a patent infringement lawsuit.
When most people discuss patents, they are referring to utility patents, which cover unique inventions that produce a useful result. If you have invented something that is unique, useful, and currently not covered by another patent, it could be a good idea to patent your invention. Although some individuals have success applying for a patent without help from an attorney, this course of action is generally not recommended. According to the USPTO, inventors may “conduct the proceedings themselves, but unless they are familiar with these matters or study them in detail, they may get into considerable difficulty.” At Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., our experienced Dallas patent law lawyers can help you get your invention or idea patented as quickly and easily as is possible.
Services We Handle
Handling a patent application from start to finish is a complicated process. Some claims take years to make it through the process, and many more do not ever get approved. Hiring an attorney can put you on the right track to getting your application through the USPTO with minimal difficulty. Here are some of the services that our firm handles to make your application process easier:
- Conducting a patentability search: A patentability search will allow us to see if you have a patentable invention. There are several factors that go into making a product patentable that people often miss when going through the patent process without legal aid.
- Conducting a freedom to operate search: Establishing freedom to operate helps ensure that you do not infringe upon the intellectual property of any other party. Companies can also grant each other freedom to use one or more parts of a patented invention to make something new.
- Preparing, drafting, and filing a patent application: This process should be basic, but many people who lack technical knowledge end up confused or fill out the application incorrectly. A patent lawyer can help prevent these mistakes.
- Responding to office actions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Office actions are an official form of communication between the person applying for a patent and the USPTO. There is a specific protocol surrounding this communication, so it is best handled by an attorney.
- Preparing and filing an appeal with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals: If your patent is denied, it is possible to file an appeal. Many patent holders pursue this option before their patent is approved.
- Preparing infringement and noninfringement legal opinions: If you are seeking to patent an idea that is similar to an idea already patented, we can help make the case that you are not infringing on the intellectual property of any other party.
These are just some of the issues with which our Dallas intellectual property lawyers can help you. Many Texans, companies, and business owners in Dallas get frustrated by the complex rules surrounding patent law and give up the fight to have their patent approved. If you are seeking patent approval, do not feel discouraged. Allow the attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. to guide you through the patent process and achieve the results you want.
Patent Acceptance Rates
In general, the number of patent applications filed and the number of patent approvals each year are on the rise. This is good news because it offers evidence that the USPTO is making their way through the backlog of patent applications at a faster rate. The high backlog of applications is one of the reasons it takes patents such a long time to be approved. Here are some of the most recent statistics related to patents and applications from research published by professors at the University of Richmond School of Law:
- 179% increase in the number of applications filed from 1996 to 2012
- 97,442 applications abandoned without refiling in 2012
- 89% patent allowance rate in 2012
- 32.4 months average pendency for 2012
- 633,812 backlog of patents awaiting an examiner in 2012
While hiring an attorney will not get your patent application through the USPTO any faster, it can prevent any issues that may arise from inexperience or confusion. Avoiding additional work after filing a patent is one way to get your application approved more quickly. As the numbers show, getting a patent approved is largely a waiting game with a few crucial deadlines to meet and several documents to file. Although it is possible for the average person to handle these components alone, the odds are that someone without intellectual property experience will make a mistake that results in the delay of patent approval.
The Patent Process
At Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., we take care to walk your case through each step of the patent filing process. The numerous steps, documents, and considerations that filing a patent application involves, are aspects of the law we have years of experience handling. Below are some of the steps we can help you with as you file a patent application.
Determine the Patentability of your Product
Whether a product is patentable can be difficult to determine. In general, a patentable product is a design, machine, process, or improvement on one of the above. In other words, to receive a patent, there must first be an inventive product. The invention must be new and not obvious to the average person. Some entities that are not patentable are ideas and artistic works of any kind.
Figure out the Type of Patent you Need
There are three types of patents: utility, design, and plant. Most often when we talk about patents, we are discussing utility patents, which cover useful and nonobvious inventions. Design patents cover ornamental or aesthetic works, such as wallpapers or clothing designs. Plant patents cover new and nonobvious asexually reproducible plants. Utility patents are the most commonly granted of the three types.
Work with the USPTO Examiner
If you submit an application and your patent is not approved, or you are missing pieces of information necessary for your application, an attorney can communicate with your examiner. We will help you determine what is missing and how we can improve your application to get it approved eventually.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because patent law can be confusing, many people come into our office with no idea where to even begin the application process. They have a great new idea, but they don’t know what to do with it. Here are some of the questions we hear the most that can get you started with our firm.
What is required for a patent application?
There are a few essential parts of a patent application including the specification, claims, and drawings. These aspects work together to explain your idea and tell the examiner what exactly you are trying to patent. The specification includes the title, background, and description of your invention. Think of this piece as a summary for your application. The claims section indicates the scope of your invention or what exactly it will cover. This piece of the application is the most important because it determines your patent rights. Finally, if possible, you must include detailed drawings with your application indicating each piece of the invention.
Why should I hire a patent lawyer?
This question is common for a good reason: many inventors assume that if they are capable enough to create a patentable product, they are capable enough to win patent approval. However, if any of the above information is unclear, unfamiliar, or confusing to you, an attorney can be an invaluable service. We will help make sure your deadlines are met and appeal your claim if necessary. The approval process can take years, and it helps to have an experienced individual on your side throughout it all.
Why choose Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C.?
At Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., we have seen it all when it comes to intellectual property, and we still have a personal touch. Many intellectual property firms will hand off your case to an inexperienced associate, but we want to handle your cases personally. If you need good results and attorneys who get their job done with thoroughness and care, we are for you. One of our attorneys, Aaron Peacock, is a registered attorney with the USPTO and our client testimonials speak for themselves.
Contact our Dallas Patent Attorneys
Although the patent process can feel overwhelming, you should be excited! After all, you have invented or created something that no other person has thought to protect. With that in mind, it is important to secure your product now that you invented it. The Dallas patent lawyers at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. want to make the process as easy for you or your business as we can. Contact our offices today by calling (214) 317-4448 to see what we can do for you.