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District of Columbia Patents (Intellectual Property) Questions & Answers
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) for District of Columbia on
Q: My wifes dad is Vincent Dotolo is she entitled to these patents?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

I presume that your FIL passed away, and you are asking if your wife, the next of kin, gets to inherit his patents.

Generally, patents are legally considered personal property, and thus the heirs can inherit patents just like a car, or an art collection.

Unfortunately, in your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia on
Q: Is it ethical for a patent attorney to never tell you how much its going to cost, write less than 4 pages out of 66 (

the rest being my provided words and drawings or lifted verbatim from the prior art patent [including the 1 and only claim] trying to differentiate from) and then charge $15k plus filing fees?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Dec 28, 2018

I am so sorry that you have had a bad experience with your patent attorney. Ideally, there is an open flow of communication going back and forth.

It is often hard to give a precise estimate, especially with a new client as the costs to prepare a patent application will vary with the...
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Q: Is this a matter for US Supreme Court?

I have a situation where I formed a contract by payment of ongoing fees with a US government department and for that contract I was lead to believe I would have legal rights protecting my property under US law given by U.S. Congress which has not happened, if things happened a certain way.... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 3, 2018

I have worked with patents for a long time. I cannot think of any government agency that accepts money from an individual for protecting intellectual property beyond the normal processes of filing for a patent, trademark, or copyright.

You need to talk with an attorney that can review all...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia on
Q: As first to invent/first to file in '08, without attaining patent, what IP rights do I have? An OEM is using my IP.

I had to abandon Non-Provisional application due to finances during the 2008-2011 recession. Took product to prototype and sold a couple of units. Shared with an OEM in 2012 in hopes of engaging them in production process. They expressed no interest. Yet, one of their engineers has just informed... Read more »

Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel answered on Apr 6, 2017

Unfortunately, your intellectual property rights vest when the patent issues. Filing an application establishes the date from which you own intellectual property if it eventually vests, but unless the patent issues, you will never establish ownership over the invention. The invention is now in the... Read more »

Q: I would like to file a patent for an accessible phone for the elderly. How do I go about it? What would be the cost?

How much time would it take?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jan 4, 2017

Welcome to Justia!

How do you go about it? Get in touch with a patent lawyer. He/She will guide you through the process.

What is the cost? To get a patent costs about as much as buying a car. A few thousand to a few tens of thousands of dollars, depending on many things. About...
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