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Questions Answered by Stephen E. Zweig
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Can I file an RCE by a 3-month official due date after an AFCP2.0 is filed but before an AFCP2.0 decision is made?
Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Sep 21, 2021

Probably yes, but the USPTO will likely then consider your AFCP 2.0 request to be withdrawn and will instead most likely go with the RCE.

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on
Q: Is there a way to use a patented product for my business without it being illegal?

I am looking to create a startup company, but there is a product that is patented and there seems to be no way around it. I am looking into ways to improve what is already out there or even use the product with my own twist in a legal fashion. The product patent is for dissolvable edible pods which... Read more »

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Sep 2, 2021

It probably is a good idea to talk to a patent attorney. The claims may not be as comprehensive as you think. Alternatively, the patent prosecution history may show specific gaps in coverage. Other information, such as expiration dates, ownership, and the like, may also be helpful.

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4 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on
Q: I have a display patent from 1993 I'd like to know if there's some way I can update it ?
Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 25, 2021

Sadly no. Patents typically have a maximum lifetime of about 20 years from the filing date. Although this can be adjusted a bit for delays at the USPTO, usually, the adjustments are only for a few months or years.

A 1993 patent era patent is likely long expired, is probably public...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on
Q: Have family patents inherited from a will - appear to be innovations at a global scale. Looking past missed royalties.

Family patents include "Grass Cutter," (original lawnmower), Time-controlled release valve (for fire extinguishers and irrigation systems), and medical valve for oxygen tanks. It appears that our family has owned the patents for quite some time and a friend of ours mentioned that we may... Read more »

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 17, 2021

To start with, you could look these various patents up on Google patents and see which ones have expired, which are abandoned, and which may need maintenance fees. You can do this by looking at https://patents.google.com .

You can also get some idea of which patents have already been sold...
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1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability and Patents (Intellectual Property) for New Jersey on
Q: I have invented a way to reload a patented one-use product. What risk do I take by developing a kit for the market?

My invention in no way modifies the product it simply allows the one-time use consumable to be reused more than once in the same manner for which it was intended.

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 15, 2021

The answer is, "it depends." In some situations, such as refiling printer cartridges, the rule of "patent exhaustion" may apply. This rule is that a patent owner uses up their rights when they first sell a product.

However, the patent owner may also have engaged in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland on
Q: If there are two names on a patent do both names need to be involved with the actions of the patent?

One of the people on the patent seems to be doing negotiatining with the said invention with out conferring the other name on the patent.

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 12, 2021

Expanding on Kevin's answer a bit.

Look up the patent status at the USPTO. One way is to use public PAIR. This is at: https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair . Here you can enter the patent number and then look at the various records associated with the patent. These should show...
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3 Answers | Asked in Products Liability, Education Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: I am having a idea regarding piezoelectric compression and generating electicity

Its regarding the high pressure creating between two plates with natural day to dya life machins ,which will produce us electricity

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 4, 2021

This may be patentable subject matter. But to pass the patent examination process, your ideas will have to be sufficiently novel and non-obvious. You will also need to provide enough supporting detail to show that you are in "possession of the invention."

Consider doing some...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Would it be possible to patent a refrigerated tear drop style camper?

I would like to attempt a new business idea that would involve a utilizing a refrigerated tear drop camper style trailer and would like to know if there is any proprietary rights to this.

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 4, 2021

It will be difficult to patent the business idea itself. The USPTO tends to be unfriendly to business method patent applications.

In terms of the trailer, it also will not be easy. Refrigerated trailers are known, and tear-drop camper style trailers (with air conditioners) are also...
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4 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Good day! I would like to ask if my idea is something that needs to be patented. I have made a flashcard of the alphabet

Each letter in the alphabet corresponds to an animal and an emotion as well. The illustration on the flashcard shows the emotion on that animal. Example: A is for Ape. Then in the flashcard, it depicts of an ape what is Anxious. B for bear. Then the bear in the picture is brave. C for cat and the... Read more »

Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 15, 2021

I suspect that this will probably not be patentable. There is a printed matter exception for patents. Unless the printed material improves the functionality of the thing it is printed on; then the printed material gets no patent "credit."

Put alternatively, the USPTO examiner...
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