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Questions Answered by Kevin E. Flynn
Q: How do I search for a patent granted to a young William Gates III between the years 1967-71 for a silicon chip or proces

I believe it to be a patent I sent him to the patent office with.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 2, 2019

This is not easy as the USPTO tools for searching fields such as name do not apply to patents from that time frame.

The assignment database goes back to 1980. The full text search tool on USPTO goes back to 1976. While the images of the earlier patents can be retrieved by patent number,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia on
Q: There is a product I want to rebrand, I cannot find a patent on this item. Is this possible?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 2, 2019

It is possible that the product you are looking at is not covered by a current patent.

The best place to start is with the product itself and the packaging that comes with the product. There is an incentive to mark the patent number on the product or at least a web page address that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: What distance is defined as remote in relation to remote configuration?

how far away does something have to be to make it remote? and if is is connected by cables i.e. a computer to a tv, is this classed as remote?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 28, 2019

Your question which seems narrow is actually at the heart of patent claim interpretation. In the United States, there is a hierarchy of sources for answering this question. The highest tier is what the applicant expressly wrote in the application or in the written record of arguments made to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark on
Q: I have a ramp from a pinball machine that was made by data east. The plastic ramp is broken.

I was looking to make another ramp or have one made and I don’t want to infringe on any patents. This plastic ramp has no mechanisms, no moving parts and is literally just a piece of plastic. There are mechanisms that attach to the ramp but I am not making any of those. Just the plastic ramp.... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 27, 2019

You should be OK as long as this piece is not special and does not have a patent just on that piece. A person that has purchased a patented item can make repairs. There is a limit and you cannot do such massive repairs to a totally worn out item that you are effectively replacing the original... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania on
Q: When does a patent have to be renewed from filed date or date of patent i forget

Not sure when time goes by date filed or date granted and how iften again 3 years 7 and 12?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 27, 2019

Maintenance fee window opens 3 years from issue date of patent. The window closes 4 years from the issue date. The process repeats at year 7 and year 11.

Purposeful failure to renew causes the patent to lapse. Unintentional failure to pay during the window can be fixed with payment of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: hello, is there any patent about changing phase in welding machines?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 19, 2019

Short answer is that I do not know.

Good news is that there are several free online tools to do patent searching. I gave a talk on these tools

October 2016 presentation at the RTP Frontier as part of the lecture series for Triangle TechBreakfast. Teaches entrepreneurs on how to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Is it possible to patent a voyage?

A thematic cruise route spanning over 4 continents and 10 cities.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 16, 2019

This does not sound like a fit for the patent system.

35 USC 101

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Does a patent done in the US cover all parts of the world? Does the patent for wighat D814149 extend outside the US?

I want to know if a patent done in the US protects the design in other parts of the world.

What happens if someone else outside of the US also has same idea? Can they go on and bring their idea to life if they're in another part of the world, say West Africa?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 6, 2019

A patent only applies in the country or regional group that issued the patent. A patent applies to things made in that country and to things brought into that country. If a product is created outside the US and never enters the US, then a US patent is not relevant.

Many companies will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Are Patents issued in the UK restricted to the UK or do they cover all of the EU? What is the life of a patent?

What happens if patent holders allow other competing products on the market that conflict with an existing patent(s)? How many years can thes competitive products be allowed on the market before the Patent becomes unenforceable?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 5, 2019

A UK patent is a UK patent. There is not yet an EU patent. You can get your patent application examined by the European Patent Office so you only have to do that work once, but the allowed EPO claims are then validated in individual EPO countries such as the UK. So one patent application may end... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on
Q: Am I able to manufacture an item similar to this patented design without repercussions?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 5, 2019

Your question as conveyed did not include the patent number. But you said design. If the patent is a design patent, (rather than the more common utility patent), then that is normally pretty narrow coverage to keep someone from selling a product that looks confusingly similar to the patented... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on
Q: In claim construction should you use "or" before the phrase "combination thereof?" Some say avoid "or."
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 3, 2019

Or is a red flag to Examiners so try to avoid it. Sometimes you cannot.

Not sure where you are getting the verbiage "or combination thereof" . That is not a standard way to write a claim. A quick search of US patents found many thousands with the word "combination" in the claims. But...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I want to design a stick such a stick would be for youth what sort of parent would I need and how would I go about it

I have the perfect idea because my son is a coach and many youngsters have given him ideas how do I go about it ?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 30, 2019

A good place to start is to look at patents for analogous products. That will help you understand what is already patented and how much effort it takes to secure a patent. My slides at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching will give you some tips on patent searching using free tools.

The patent...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Is this patent for invention, design or utility? Can someone with similar(but not exact) design sells own bag?

Infringement type: D816,988

Complaint ID: 6285184641

Its a bag with combo lock. My bag is lightly fatter then this designed in the patent. Also, my bag has bag handle from the left side. The design in the patent has handle on the right side. Is this enough to do not make IP... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 30, 2019

Your question as conveyed to the attorneys did not include the patent number. You may want to ask the question again with the patent number.

Here are some items that may help. If the patent number starts with a "D", then it is for the ornamental design. You can sell a product that...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Q: Is this an actual patent or just an application/publication?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 30, 2019

An actual patent will include a field in the upper right corner that says Date of Patent. A published application won't. There are other ways to tell but I wanted to give you the easiest one to explain via a post.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: please how can I download this patent
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 23, 2019

I do not use the Justia site to download patents. You can download US patents at Google Patents -- https://patents.google.com/ or http://pat2pdf.org/. There are other sites but these are two that I use all the time.

Kevin E Flynn

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Do you know if collapsible sinks/colander are patented?

I want to sell on Amazon through FBA, but every time I find a product and look it up on Google patents I always find a patent for it no matter what.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 20, 2019

I think that it is great that you are taking the time to check to see if a product has a patent before you try to make a competing product.

A few pointers.

1) The product will usually have a marking on the product or the packaging for the product that indicates an issued US patent...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania on
Q: What is the likelihood of a patent holder being granted a second patent for a variation of his first patent?

If someone else filed for that second patent, I would argue that given my patent, that the second patent is obvious but it really isn't that obvious and I want to be the one to file before someone else does. An analogous example: Think of the old power line communications technology where using a... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 19, 2019

You asked -- So if #2 is obvious, will the PTO be more "understanding" of my argument to distinguish (my second patent application) since I own the original patent?

In general, the USPTO treats your actions (sales, public uses, and public disclosures) the same as the the actions of others...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Q: If a patent attorney/agent accepts an inventor as a client, and the inventor then discloses his idea, and then further

....furthermore, while said idea has not been disclosed in public form, it turns out that the attorney/agent has accepted another client with the same inventive idea in process of being applied for - what is the attorneys legal obligation to 2nd client? Tell him that his idea has been "preceeded"?... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 18, 2019

Ideally, the process would not get that far. The attorney should ask each prospective client to say without disclosing anything proprietary what type of good or service have you improved? When the attorney learned that the second inventor was in the same space as the first client (possibly with... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Products Liability and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on
Q: I manufacture a simple/basic toilet seat cover. Is it safe to manufacture without violating any patents.
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 13, 2019

I agree with the first answer.

To further reduce your risks you can go to a plumbing supply store and look at the toilet seat covers. To the extent that any are marked with a patent, take a photo with your phone and look up that patent later. The manufacturers are apt to put their patent...
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Q: If a patent is assigned to a company, would the inventor get royalties or just the company?

My father was involved in patents and was not sure if the family is entitled to anything from them.

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 13, 2019

If your father was employed by a company and made inventions as part of his normal job duites, then the employer might consider your father fully paid in that he received his paycheck. As a paid to invent employee, the money paid by the company to your father would serve as consideration for the... Read more »

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