What is a Patent?
A patent is a right granted to an investor by the federal government that permits the inventor to exclude others from making, selling, or using the invention for a period of time (usually 20 years).
There are three times of patents in the United States:
Utility Patents: the most common type of patent, these are granted to new machines, chemicals and processes
Design Patents: granted to protect the unique appearance or design of manufactured objects, such as the surface ornamentation or overall design of the object
Plant Patents: granted for the invention and asexual reproduction of new and distinct plant varieties, including hybrids
The first test as to whether a patent may be obtained is to determine whether the subject is "patent eligible." Patents are permitted for four categories of inventions: process, machine, articles of manufacture, or composition of matter.
If the subject does not fall into one of the four categories, it is ineligible for patent protection. Laws of Nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are considered to be in the public domain, and ineligible for patent protection.
In order to obtain protection, an invention must be new, useful, and nonobvious. An invention is considered "new" if it was not previously disclosed to the public, either through use, sale, or patent. This includes use (beyond mere refinement), by the inventor. An invention is "useful" if it provides some identifiable benefit, and "nonobvious" if it would not have been obvious to someone working in the field.
Our patent team will start by assessing your current technology developments and will advise as to the potential patentability of past, present, and future developments. We often find that many clients do not know what is and what is not patentable, and they have been developing patent-eligible technologies for years without obtaining protection.
A patent assessment from NOLI IP SOLUTIONS does more than just advise your company on current patentable subject matter - it provides guidance and information to drive your development and intellectual property strategies for future use. Additionally, an assessment will help you ensure that you are meeting the requirements for patentability, notably, that you are not improperly disclosing inventions or making them public prior to taking the steps necessary to obtain a grant of patent.
The next step after we conduct a patent assessment is to conduct a patent search. Not only will we search for other patents that may bar registration of your own patent, but we can also identify current patents that may increase the risk of infringement actions against your company. Through this search, we may reveal new opportunities for further development, formulate a plan for obtaining protection, and help guide tactical and strategic patent goals.
Our patent agents have decades of experience prosecuting patents in the United States and abroad. We have prosecuted patents in a wide range of industries, from biomedical and Pharma, to industrial manufacturing and software. Whatever your industry or patent needs, we have experts who not only can navigate the prosecution requirements, but also have real-world experience with the subject matter. Additionally, our worldwide experience sets us apart from other boutique intellectual property law firms, and allows us to provide "big law" services at a smaller price.
We have experienced patent litigators who are ready to take action if necessary to enforce your intellectual property rights or to defend in case an infringement action is taken against your company. When it comes to patent enforcement and litigation, subject matter knowledge is key. Many law firms are able to offer litigation services, but without a detailed working knowledge of the subject matter, you will end up paying higher fees while the litigators get "up to speed" with the technology. At NOLI IP SOLUTIONS, we do not just bring in "hired gun" litigators, we use subject matter experts who are also excellent litigators.
There are many beneficial uses to patent licensing. Whether you are looking to further commercialize your own inventions or to gain access to third-party technology, patent licensing plays a crucial role in almost any technology business. Many clients attempt to "go it alone" when it comes to licensing, but this is often a mistake which leads to drastic consequences. It could be that you inadvertently assign too broad of rights, leading to diminished monetization of your technology, or you could end up paying for a license just to find that it does not give you the necessary rights to exploit it as intended. Intellectual property licensing is a complicated matter, and should be handled by trained and experienced attorneys.
Patent Portfolio Strategies
Patent protection includes more than just obtaining a piece of paper with a grant of patent from the USPTO. Developing and cultivating a patent portfolio to meet long term strategic initiatives is a complex endeavor, but one that can pay major dividends in both the short and long-terms. Strategic patent portfolio planning can help to spread out the cost of patent prosecution, extend your intellectual property rights in time, scope, and territory, as well as provide defensive strategies to prevent and defend against infringement actions. NOLI IP SOLUTIONS employs a patent strategy team with decades of experience utilizing patents both tactically and strategically to achieve business objectives.