How Long is My Patent Term?

After you have spent all the time an effort to get your patent granted, determining the length of  time your patent rights are valid is the next step.

Normally, your patent term runs for 20 years from the filing date of the earliest U.S. application to which priority is claimed.  However, that isn’t the whole story.  Various issues can arise during the prosecution of your patent, so adjustments are made to the patent term.

As you might expect, this can make determining how long you patent rights exist a bit more difficult.
Fortunately, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced a new tool for patent holders. The online calculator enables members of the public to estimate the expiration date of a utility, plant, or design patent.
The tool can help determine if the patent term has been shortened or extended by a number of factors, including:
•    Type of application (utility, design, plant);
•    Filing date of the application;
•    The grant date of the patent;
•    Benefit claims under 35 U.S.C. § 120, 121 or 365(c);
•    Patent term adjustments and extensions under 35 U.S.C. § 154;
•    Patent term extensions under 35 U.S.C. § 156;
•    Terminal disclaimer(s); and
•    Timely payment of maintenance fees.

The USPTO’s new calculator tool “provides a best estimate of a patent’s expiration date, based on a comprehensive list of factors than can be found in USPTO records.”

The calculator can be downloaded here.

How Can I Help?

While the calculator can provide valuable information, I recommend that individuals and companies still consult with an experienced patent attorney to determine if a patent is still in force. The USPTO also agrees, noting, “Before relying on an expiration date, individuals should always carefully inspect all relevant documents available through the USPTO, court records and elsewhere, and consult with an attorney.”

So, if you, or someone you know, need help with determining patent terms or any other Intellectual Property issue, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just advice regarding how best to protect your ideas and your brand, contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

USPTO Issues Guide for Filing Preissuance Submissions Electronically

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently released a guide for filing preissuance submissions electronically via its EFS Web system. The guide is intended to make it easier for third parties to submit printed publications of potential relevance to the patentability of another’s claimed invention under the preissuance submission provision of the America Invents Act.

A preissuance submission must be timely filed, in writing, and contain:

  • A list identifying the items being submitted;
  • A concise description of the relevance of each item listed;
  • A legible copy of each non-U.S. patent document listed;
  • An English language translation of any non-English language item listed;
  • A statement by the party making the submission that the submission complies with the statute and the rule; and
  • The required fee.

Although the USPTO accepts submissions filed by paper or electronically, the agency encourages the use of electronic submissions via EFS Web. According to the USPTO, the EFS Web guides a third party through the content requirements for a preissuance submission to ensure that the third party makes a compliant submission. The system also calculates the timeliness of the submission to determine whether the submission is being made during permitted statutory time window.

To encourage the use of electronic filing, the USPTO has created an EFS Web Quick Start Guide. This guide outlines the steps that a third party must follow to make an electronic submission.

, we also encourage you to contact us today by phone or email to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

How Can I Help?

As the world becomes more interconnected, protecting your intellectual property in foreign countries can be the key to business success. To find out more about the PPH and other tools available to protect your IP overseas, contact me today for a free consultation.

If you need help to protect or patent your ideas and need to do it as fast as possible, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

New First-Inventor-to-File Rules Go Into Effect This Weekend

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will finish transitioning The U.S. patent system from a “first to invent” system to a first inventor to file system.

The USPTO also will implement amended rules of practice and examination guidelines related to its interpretation of the first-inventor-to-file provision of the American Invents Act.

“The first-inventor-to-file provision of the America Invents Act, one of its hallmarks, brings greater transparency, objectivity, predictability, and simplicity in patentability determinations,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David Kappos said previously prior to his departure from the USPTO. “At the same time, the provision brings the United States closer in harmonizing our patent law with those in other countries around the globe.”

The rules of patent practice will be amended to reflect the following changes made by the America Invents Act:
•    Convert the United States patent system from a ‘‘first to invent’’ system to a     ‘‘first inventor to file’’ system;
•    Treat U.S. patents and U.S. patent application publications as prior art as of their earliest effective filing date, regardless of whether the earliest effective filing date is based upon an application filed in the U.S. or in another country;
•    Eliminate the requirement that a prior public use or sale be ‘‘in this country’’ to be a prior art activity; and
•    Treat commonly owned or joint research agreement patents and patent application publications as being by the same inventive entity for purposes of 35 U.S.C. 102, as well as 35 U.S.C. 103.


The first-inventor-to-file provision is scheduled to take effect March 16, 2013.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need help to file a patent, defend yourself from a patent lawsuit, or help to enforce your patent rights; please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

 

First Day As A Professor

Professor – from Latin as a “person who professes” being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of high rank.

Well, I’m not sure that definition fits me exactly, but last night from 8:00pm to 10:00 I began teaching “Patent preparation and prosecution” at Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles.

The school is located in the middle of what Angelinos call the Wilshire district.  The school administrative offices and law library are  housed in the historic, art deco, Bullocks building.

I teach in the building you can’t see off to the right of the image above.  The school has been wonderful to me, and I hope that I can impart some of my knowledge to the students in my class.  From the comments last night, I seem to be off to a good start.  I will keep you updated on my progress.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need help to figure out if you can patent your idea, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman