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Questions Answered by J.D. Houvener

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Based on the "All Elements Rule" How do I draft an independent claim to prevent designing around my patent?

Consider the independent claim format.

1. An apparatus comprising:

Element A;

Element B; and

Element C.

Assume my invention is a house with:1. a bedroom, 2. a kitchen 3. and a toilet. It's common knowledge that a house can functionally exist without one or... Read more »

J.D. Houvener answered on Apr 27, 2017

There are a lot of things you may not be considering here. Have you done a prior art search? Is your specification enabling? Claim drafting is a true art - akin to a Dentist filling a cavity, a Doctor casting a broken bone, a CPA filling out a detailed depreciation schedule.

Hire a patent...
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Q: Is it possible to get a patent on an anti-gravity propulsion device without the United States government taking it away?

I was told by a patent lawyer that the US government would not permit such a patent to be in public view. This of course is discouraging. Is it true?

The inventor of this propulsion device would like to license various corporations and in various countries around the world with this... Read more »

J.D. Houvener answered on Apr 3, 2017

Yes it is possible! The government (I believe it is the DoD) would screen the application (as they do all applications) for any technology that could threaten security/safety of the public. Given your brief description, it doesn't seem to fall into that category. That said, even if there were a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on

Q: Can I file a US Patent for a product being sold in a foreign country?

Does the fact that the product is on sale in a foreign country bar me from filing a patent for it in the US? Upon further investigation, no patent application exists for such a product in the US. Does the same go for if the foreign product has an article written about it in a foreign magazine?... Read more »

J.D. Houvener answered on Mar 23, 2017

Yes, you may! As long as you are the inventor and the product has only been sold to the public for less than one year. The public sale will likely preclude you from having protection in some countries outside the US, as many European countries are what's called "absolute novelty" countries, where... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on

Q: Does mailing a copy of original work to yourself give you any copyright protection?

I have a brochure I made in 1998 I only have the one copy that I mailed myself to protect the work. I want to update it but don't want to lose any protection I might have by opening the envelope. Is it protecting me, and thus needs to remain unopened, or is that an urban myth?

J.D. Houvener answered on Mar 23, 2017

Will Blackton is spot on. You don't get anything for mailing yourself a letter - save yourself the stamp! You actually have legal and enforceable copyright protection on any creative expression as long as it is fixed in a tangible means. So as long as you put pen to paper, keyboard to digitally... Read more »

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