Focus on Patents - Registered Patent Agent Rich Marsh - Springfield Missouri

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

  • Overview of Intellectual Property
  •       Engineers and managers are often required to improve products or processes and complete the necessary tasks without full appreciation of the added asset value of the improvements. FOCUS on PATENTS, INC. will provide training in identifying and protecting newly generated intellectual property. A general overview of intellectual property matters is available which defines:

    dot4 Methods of Protecting Ideas
          Some processes cannot be detected by observation of the products produced from the process and are therefore best kept as a trade secret. Patents are only one form of protection, trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights and foreign patents are also useful. FOCUS can assist with identifying the type and level of protection desired for a particular product or process. Focus has slide presentations on "Protecting your Ideas - A Primer on Patents" and "Preparing a Provisional Patent Application" and can create specialized training programs tailored to your needs.

    dot3 Inventorship
          Who is the true inventor of a product or process and what is necessary for the proper documentation? FOCUS recommends recording an idea as soon after conception as possible, preferably in a research notebook with bound pages. A permanent record is made on one page while a perforated copy page may be removed for other uses. Filing of a Provisional Application for Patent is another method of documenting an invention. The one year of "patent pending" status after filing of the provisional can be used to finish development, test and test market a new idea. FOCUS can assist with determining the prior art for an inventor at any of the above levels of inventorship.

    dot2 Responsibilities of the Inventor and Owner of a Patent
          Inventors and their agents/attorneys are bound by the Patent Laws to disclose to the Patent and Trademark Office all information known that is material to the patentability of the disclosed invention. FOCUS can help in understanding what is considered material. The inventor is also responsible to the owner of the patent for diligence in protecting a patent issued in the name of the inventor and assigned to the owner. FOCUS can file assignment documents for inventors and can help inventors and owners with understanding the requirements of an assignment. FOCUS recommends marking products, packaging and published literature with the words "Patent Pending" as soon as possible after filing of a provisional, design or utility application. FOCUS will be pleased to explain what "patent pending" means and why it is important to use the words on products in the marketplace.

    dot1 Formal Patent Application
          A product or process is usually protected with a utility patent though design patents may also be used to protect the appearance of a product. Plant patents can be obtained on any new variety or species of growing horticulture that has been asexually produced. Should an inventor file his own patent?? FOCUS can help inventors understand the process and guide them through it.  FOCUS now encourages inventors to file their own provisional application although it is recommended that a patent professional be engaged to prepare and prosecute an utility application. An inventor should understand the process though to assist his agent/attorney with any applications. FOCUS can identify typical costs and time frames for the patent preparation and prosecution process. Intellectual property is a tangible asset to a company or individual and has a real book value during its term. Protection and maintenance of this property is necessary in the high technology world.
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