GETTING YOUR PATENT APPLICATION STARTED
- The first step is to establish a Representation Agreement. Hepne®Law prepares this document. It establishes the formal attorney-client relationship and outlines the scope of work and the terms (including specifically itemized costs) under which that scope of work is to be performed. Both Hepne®Law and the client sign this Agreement.
- Hepne®Law provides the client with an Invention Disclosure Form. This form asks for the information that will be necessary to draft and file the patent application. The client provides the information requested in this document.
- A retainer is due at the start of the patent preparation process.
- If feasible and desired, Hepne®Law recommends a meeting in our office to 1) sign the Representation Agreement and 2) review the information provided by the client in the Invention Disclosure Form in the requisite detail.
- If not feasible or desired, these preliminary matters may be dealt with via email, mail and/or telecom.
UTILITY PATENT APPLICATION PREPARATION PROCESS AND APPROXIMATE TIMELINE***
- Next, Hepne®Law conducts the client-specified search:
- A search to identify and provide the client with related prior art patents and published patent applications requires ~ 1-2 weeks.
- Developing a written patentability/novelty opinion requires another ~1-2 weeks.
- Hepne®Law and the client discuss the results of the search and its impact to the client’s patent application.
- The first draft of the patent application will be prepared within ~3 weeks of the conclusion of the prior art search and opinion activity.
- The final patent application will be prepared and filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office within ~2 weeks of the client’s review and comments on the first draft.
- This timeline is dependent upon the timeliness of the client’s review and comments, and upon the amount of change to the first draft.
- Payment of attorney fees, USPTO fees, and all outstanding associated costs is due prior to the filing of the application with the USPTO.
*** A PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION may be filed with the USPTO within 2-3 weeks of receiving the client/inventor's disclosure!
NOTES REGARDING PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS
- A provisional patent application is relatively quick and inexpensive to file.
- A provisional patent application may be filed within 2-3 weeks of receiving the client/inventor’s disclosure.
- A provisional patent establishes the inventor’s priority date (valuable in the event that another claims to have invented after that priority date).
- A provisional patent entitles the use of “patent pending” in association with the invention.
- A provisional patent application will be limited to a single claim (no claim is required by the USPTO).
- A provisional patent application will not be reviewed by the USPTO, and will not result in the granting of exclusive patent rights.
- A non-provisional patent application must be filed within 12 months of the date of the provisional application in order to maintain the invention priority date and to proceed to USPTO review of the application for the patent issuance determination.
To learn more about provisional patents: