Patent Protection Starts Here

Conducting A Patentability Search

Patent law stipulates that you cannot obtain a patent if your invention has already been publicly disclosed. Therefore, it is advisable to search the “prior art” for previous public disclosures of your invention. This type of search is referred to as a “patentability search,” and its results determine how patent application preparation will proceed.

If your invention has been disclosed, it will require modification. My firm, Laurie A. Schlichter, PLLC, will work with you to modify your invention until the modified invention is distinguishable from the public disclosure. Then we prepare a patent application for the modified invention. However, if your invention has not been disclosed, no modification is necessary and preparation of the patent application can begin immediately.

Preparing A Patent Application For Your Invention

Patent law requires that a patent application clearly and precisely describe the subject matter the inventor regards as his or her invention. For 15 years, I have prepared patent applications that satisfy this requirement.

I take the time to learn about your invention, so I can prepare a patent application that describes your invention with the definiteness required by patent law. You have worked hard to develop your invention and deserve nothing less.

I have considerable experience preparing different types of patent applications:

U.S. Provisional Patent Application – Filing a provisional patent application is a quick and inexpensive way for an inventor to establish a U.S. filing date for his or her invention. The filing date can be claimed by a later-filed nonprovisional patent application. A provisional application is not examined and is automatically abandoned 12 months from its filing date.

U.S. Nonprovisional Patent Application – A nonprovisional patent application is reviewed by a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and may issue as a utility patent if all the requirements for patentability are satisfied. If a provisional application has been filed, the corresponding nonprovisional application must be filed during the 12-month pendency of the provisional application to benefit from the earlier filing date.

U.S. Design Patent Application – A design patent application discloses the design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture, not the article itself. Design and utility patents may be obtained for an article if both its utility and ornamental appearance are unique.

International Application – Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a U.S. inventor can simultaneously seek patent protection in several countries by filing a single international application with the USPTO. The international application designates the countries in which patent protection is sought. Subsequently, during the national phase, the patent office in each designated country determines if a patent will be granted. Although an international application is filed, the granting of patents remains under the control of the national patent offices.

There is an alternative to the PCT route for seeking patent protection in multiple countries. The direct route involves filing a patent application in every country where patent protection is sought.

There are many ways to protect your invention. To determine the strategy that is right for you, consider the following questions:

  • What type of U.S. patent do I need: utility, design, or both?
  • Do I want to file a provisional or nonprovisional patent application?
  • Do I need international protection?
  • In which countries do I want to protect my invention?
  • Do I want to take the PCT route or the direct route to protect my invention in multiple countries?

You and I work together to determine the best strategy for protecting your invention. Then, we implement that strategy by preparing and filing the appropriate patent application(s).

Achieving Your Goal Of Patent Protection

For 15 years, I have helped inventors realize their goal of patent protection for their inventions. I want to use my legal knowledge and technical acumen to do the same for you. Take the first step toward securing patent protection for the product of your intellect and ingenuity. Call my Houston office at 713-766-6034 or send me an email. Do not hesitate. Call or email today. The initial consultation is free.