Kevin E. Flynn's answer I think you need to look at actual patents that have been issued for apps. The Supreme Court does not like mere efforts to organize human behavior with a marketplace or other app to modify human behavior. You need to show that what you did would impress an engineer that makes apps.
http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching will get you started.
You need to patent specific ways of making equipment do something of value. General concepts of what you may want to accomplish are generally...
Kevin E. Flynn's answer The focus needs to be on the patent claims. Not the title of the patent. Not the drawings. Not the abstract. Not the details in the specification. You cannot make something that has all the nouns, verbs, and other requirements that exist in an independent claim in a patent. Some claims are dependent claims that reference another claim and add another limitation. To infringe a dependent claim you have to infringe an independent claim and have the details of the dependent claim too....
Kevin E. Flynn's answer First, you are lucky as there are far fewer patent attorneys than attorneys as a patent attorney needs two different things, a bar license from a state and a patent registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. But, you can pick a patent attorney from anywhere in the country. You may want to ask your trusted general business attorney for a recommendation. Most of my new clients come from a referral from their attorney.
Griffin Klema's answer Hire an attorney to conduct a prior art search and provide an opinion about whether your design is patentably distinct over the prior art. I recommend you budget about $2,000 for this work. Good luck!
Peter D. Mlynek's answer Buying a patent, or a portfolio of patents, is in many ways similar to buying a business, or a car, or a house. Before you agree to purchase the patent, you really need to have someone look at it. Someone who understands patent law, understands patent prosecution, patent litigation, etc. This process is called "due diligence."
Unless you are a patent lawyer, you really should not be doing due diligence yourself. At the end of the due diligence analysis, the patent attorney will...
Peter D. Mlynek's answer Yes. A patent is a personal property that one can assign in a will just like an art collection, a car, or a stock portfolio.
How often does a patent pass through will in practice, is a different question. Typically patents are owned by companies, and not by the inventors themselves. Further, for most people who die at an advanced age, the days of inventing is in their distant past, so I would think that most patents expire before their inventors do.
Kevin E. Flynn's answer It sounds like you need to do some searching to see if your new idea is already the subject of an issued patent or a pending application that has been published but not yet allowed. If I am right, then you may want to look at my slide set on patent searching. http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching
You may want to follow up with having a professional search done but it is a good idea to do some initial searching for low hanging fruit so you do not pay for a search when it would be easy to find...
Peter D. Mlynek's answer The ingredient itself, as opposed to the recipe? Yes, you should be able to, provided, of course, that it is new. If you, for example, came up with a new type of a shortening, or new crystalline form of some sugar, etc. then it should be patentable.
You are facing two hurdles, though. You have to make sure that the ingredient is really new.
If, for example, it is some composition that nobody used in cooking before, but it was already known, then you won't be able to get a...
But it does not have to be that way. Issued patents are treated just like any other business asset. Your company can sell the patents along with all the other business assets such as inventory, production facilities, tooling, etc., or it can spin them off into another entity.
The question that needs to be answered is: how valuable are the patents to you, vs. how valuable are they to the buyer? If...
Kevin E. Flynn's answer There are often families of patents. They may have an initial provisional application or non-provisional application and then a set of branches with divisional applications, continuation in part (CIP) applications, and continuation applications.
Some of these may issue as patents. There may be several patents that issue in a family. Each patent will need periodic payments of maintenance fees by year 4, 8 and 12 to stay in force. Paying a maintenance fee for one patent in a family...
Peter D. Mlynek's answer Well, you are going to have to talk to a California employment attorney to get the best answer. I am not a California attorney, nor an employment attorney, but here are a few points.
(1) You are correct that the trademarks, logos, brand names, sales copies, and like, are likely not considered "inventions". However, the California Law does not limit inventions only to _patentable_ inventions, so I would expect California to interpret the word "invention" a bit more broadly than the US...
Peter D. Mlynek's answer There likely is not a patent on stainless steel straws. The Gauchos of Patagonia have been using steel straws for generations. There may be a patent on some small variation of it, but you should be able to make and sell stainless steel straws.
But to make sure, buy a package of them, and examine the straws. There should be some sort of patent mark on the straw. If there is not, the patent marking may be on the packaging. Finally, go look for patent information on the manufacturer's...
Kevin E. Flynn's answer Generally yes. For example, if you created an accessory that could be used with a patented mountain bike, you could sell that accessory even though it is used with a patented product.
What you cannot do is make a mountain bike from scratch that has your accessory as you do not have rights to the underlying patents on the mountain bike. But if you are buying the underlying product (the mountain bike in this example) then you can modify the product.
Peter D. Mlynek's answer Sorry, but you don't have a patent. That patent publication has been abandoned over 4 years ago. You may want to reach out to the patent attorney who prosecuted it to see if there is anything that could be done to revive it.
The best that you could hope for is to see if the infringer infringed on your patent US 7,886,464 (which issued on the parent patent application), and file a lawsuit for infringing that patent.
Also, you or your patent lawyer should have paid the...
Kevin E. Flynn's answer Sorry, the question as passed on to attorneys does not include the patent number. The answer to the question is based on what is in the issued claims. Not the title, not the drawings, not the specification, not the initial set of requested claims but only what is in the issued claims.
Peter D. Mlynek's answer A patent is good only in the jurisdiction that granted that patent. So US patent is good only in the US.
Now, it is possible that Open Table filed the same patent in other jurisdictions. Usually, these patents have the same inventor, and the same priority. You may search for them at https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/search.jsf
Kevin E. Flynn's answer To answer this correctly, a patent attorney would need to read not just the claims but also the complete specification and likely at least a portion of the documents exchanged back and forth with the patent examiner in response to initial rejections of the claim.
This sort of very detailed question is not a great fit for off-the-cuff answers from patent attorneys providing general information to folks using a web site.
If this is critical to your current or potential plans...
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