Q: How many variations can be covered in one patent? I created a gaming table that I foresee being done in Multiple ways.
Gaming table utilizes a clear surface, but that could be done via glass, plastic, etc.
Table is also able to be fliped over utilizing both sides, however this could be done manually, mechanically, or electronically
Also, I am "American Indian" and do not belong to a federally recognized tribe. Please provide any relative information
There is no limit how many variations of ONE invention you can cover.
But, you cannot claim more than one invention in one patent. If the Examiner thinks that the claims cover more than one invention, then he/she will issue a restriction and ask you to elect only one invention to prosecute.
The question becomes: if you make the table out of another material, or if you make another way of flipping the table over, is this a new invention or is it just a variation of the same invention? The answer really depends on if the variation is patentably distinct or not.
1 user found this answer helpful
The issue of whether two different examples of gaming table fall into one "invention" or not may seem abstract and somewhat subjective. There is a lack of clear rules on this decision. There are times when I disagree with a patent examiner then the examiner states that the patent application has several different inventions, but we live with that decision and divide the claim sets into separate copies of the patent application which will each be evaluated and ideally each will be issued.
It may be helpful to provide an example. Assume your invention was for a new wood screw and the point of novelty was that you had a new shape to the threads. Then you would likely be able to have within that application screws with various types of screw heads and openings to receive a screw driver (flat head, Phillips, Torx, Allen, Robertson, etc.) as these variations are not at the point of novelty and would not require different searches. Likewise, you could show examples of different screws using different conventional screw head shapes like button head without having to break the patent application into parts.
However, if your new screw application had two different types of screw threads and you thought both types were improvements and needed protection, then it is likely that the Examiner would make you limit your claims to one new screw thread in the first application and to chase the claims on different screw threads in a second application.
I am not aware of any interplay between status as a Native American and the patent process. There are discounts on USPTO fees for companies with less than 500 employees (small entity) and a special category called micro entity which gets a 75% discount off of USPTO fees. https://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/micro-entity-status-gross-income-limit
Hope this helps.
Kevin E Flynn
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.