G8 - Patent Basics

Publicly available patent information and links to official websites

Patent Considerations

1.     US Patent Office is responsible for Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights, information at www.USPTO.gov


2.     Primary form most used is the Utility Patent, although there are others: Design Patents, Plant Patents and Reissue Patents (modifications to existing patents)


3.     Can file Provisional Patents (cost $110) to hold open patent for 12 months so you can file with more details in Non-Provisional (Real Application) (cost $545); But filing Provisional Patent alerts others as to your activities and can be source of information for Suites.


4.     You can search for Prior Art at http://www.USPTO.gov, or http://www.google.com/patents (Note: Google keeps copies of all searches), or Patent Office Search Room in Washington, D.C. or Depository Libraries like UNM Technical Library.


5.     Computer code (software) can be patented. (Note: Microsoft only trademarked theirs and has paid out multi-billions of dollars for infringement damages.


6.     Requirements: (mostly detailed in Court Case Law)

a.     35 USC 101  The invention or innovation must be a new and useful innovation or improvement thereof

b.     35 USC 102   Must be novel or not anticipated by a single prior art reference.

c.     35 USC 103 Must not be obvious to those of ordinary skill in that art after reviewing the cited references in combination.

d.     35USC 113 Drawings shall be included where needed to understand the invention.  Drawings must be Black on White (no shading)

e.     18 USC 1001 Person who falsely swears that he is the inventor is inequitable conduct which properly renders a patent unenforceable & awards attorney's fees and court costs to the other party.

f.      35 USC 112 Specification shall be complete enough to enable one of ordinary skill in that art to make & use the invention and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor for carrying out the invention.  The specification shall conclude with one or more claims.

g.     37 CFR 1.56 must disclose information material to patentability.


7.     Must use the forms found at www.USPTO.gov


8.     Current Patent Fees (4/2011)

a.     Filing Fee      $165

b.     Search Fee   $270

c.     Examination  $110     Total Filing Cost $545

d.     Issue Fee     $755

e.     Annuities@

                      i.          3.5 years         $490

                     ii.          7.5 years         $1240

                   iii.          11.5 years       $2055


9.     Application Arrangement

a.     Patent Rule 37 CFR 1.77

b.     Formal Papers

c.     Title

d.     Background of the Invention

e.     Summary of the Invention

f.      Brief Description of the Invention

g.     Claims

h.     Abstract

i.       Drawings


10. If there were any Federal $ used to conceive or first actually reduce to practice the invention, it must be specified in the application.


11. Basic fees allow a maximum of 3 independent claims with up to 17 more depending claims with a total of 20 claims.


12. NOTE: Per an expert in the field, less than 5% of the patents issued return enough to the inventor to cover the cost of the patenting process.