Patent Prosecution

Our Dallas Patent Attorneys Can Help You Protect Your Invention

As an individual or a business, you want to protect your intellectual assets. You can use a patent to protect your ideas and inventions. Patent prosecution is the process of obtaining these patent rights. Our Dallas patent attorneys pride themselves in obtaining meaningful patent protection for our clients. If you have questions about getting a patent, please reach out to us at 972-367-2001 or online.

Why Do I Need Patent Prosecution?

Without a patent, you have no legal protection over your invention or idea. Generally, if you bring your product to market without filing a patent application, anyone can copy your invention without your permission. Our patent attorneys in Dallas highly recommend that you file for patent protection before any type of public disclosure. This helps ensure that a competitor does not obtain an earlier filing date and keeps open the possibility of obtaining patent protection in other countries.

A patent gives you a limited monopoly over your invention for a specific number of years, depending on the type of patent. It gives you the right to prevent others from:

  • Making your invention
  • Using your invention
  • Selling your invention
  • Offering to sell your invention
  • Importing your invention

What Type of Patent Do I Need?

Before determining which type of patent you need, make sure that you have patentable subject matter. Patentable subject matter may include the following:

  • Methods
  • Apparatus
  • Formulas
  • Processes
  • Software
  • Machines
  • Ornamental designs

If you would like to patent your idea, speak with a Dallas patent lawyer from our firm. We can help you determine which type of intellectual property prosecution is right for you.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers three main types of patents. These patents include:

  • Utility patents. Utility patents are most commonly used for inventions. Utility patents may be used for new machinery, software, compositions of matter, or processes.
  • Design patents. Design patents are issued for ornamental designs for articles of manufacture.
  • Plant patents. Plant patents are used for the discovery or invention of asexually reproduced plants or plant varieties.

The invention or design that you want to patent will be compared with prior inventions or designs to ensure it is novel and not obvious in view of the prior art. Our lawyers can help you understand the risks associated with your invention. We can also conduct a prior art search to determine if there are any prior patents or patent applications that could cause a patent application on your invention to be rejected by the USPTO.

How Can a Patent Lawyer Help Me?

In order to obtain a patent, you must be experienced in patent law and USPTO practices and procedures. Patent prosecution is complex. It is time consuming and patent applications are often not granted the first time. Before filing your application, our Dallas patent lawyers can help you:

  • Search for any prior patents or applications that could cause issues
  • Draft claims that appropriately define your idea or invention without being too narrow
  • Prepare formal drawings for your application
  • Prepare the filing documents, including assignments as may be necessary

Our patent attorneys can also give you a patentability opinion. This means that through research and experience, we will make an educated guess about how the patent examiner will respond to your application based on the prior art that we locate in a preliminary search.

After you file a patent application, a USPTO examiner determines whether your invention meets the standards of patentability. Your idea or invention must be new, non-obvious, and useful.

The examiner will usually issue an office action explaining the basis for why he or she believes  your invention is not patentable. Then, we will respond to the examiner’s objections within a certain amount of time. To help speed the allowance of the application, we will usually set up an interview with the examiner to discuss his rejections and determine if there is any middle ground.  Then, we will file a response. If the examiner rejects your application again, we can set up another interview with the examiner and file another response. If the application is not allowed after the second response, then we can either file a Request for Continued Examination (RCE) to restart the process or file an appeal of the examiner’s decision to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

You need an experienced registered patent attorney on your side to deal with the USPTO. We can monitor your application and represent you through the entire process. We will file an appeal with the PTAB for you if that is what it takes to get you patent protection.

Can I Get an International Patent?

While there is no such thing as an “international patent,” a single patent application can be filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) within one year of the filing date of the U.S. application to reserve the right to obtain patents in the individual PCT member countries. Our lawyers have connections around the world to help you obtain foreign patent protection. We are adept at using the PCT to obtain patent protection in member countries. We also have a network of agents that we can use when entering the national phase of a patent application under the treaty.

We can also help you determine whether you may be eligible for the Patent Prosecution Highway. We have used the Patent Prosecution Highway to speed the issuance of patents for our clients in various countries.

Contact Our Dallas Patent Attorneys Today to Discuss Your Intellectual Property

If you have questions about obtaining a patent or are considering patent prosecution, please contact the Dallas patent attorneys at Carstens & Cahoon, LLP. We work with individuals and businesses to obtain national and international patent protection. We are happy to discuss your legal options based on your objectives during a consultation. Call us at 972-367-2001 or fill out our confidential online contact form and we will be in touch with you soon.