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Illinois Patents (Intellectual Property) Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: If I were to make an app/webpage that used the left and right swipe method could I be sued?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Oct 3, 2018

Your question is a patent question not a copyright question. What you are asking is whether there is any patent where you plan to operate that would cover left and right swipe. This is known as a freedom-to-operate question. In other words do you have freedom to operate as you plan or is there... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: Hello, applying a protocol to control a plant growth habit that result in more productivity, can be patent?

In my researches on a plant species which produce flowers one time in each year, I found a protocol that let me to control growth habit of this plant under greenhouse conditions and result in flowers more than one time in each year. Can this protocol be registered as a patent?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jun 27, 2018

In my slide set on protecting competitive advantages ( http://bit.ly/Protecting_Advantages ), I note that some patents protect new features in a product and some patents protect improved ways of making the product. If you have found a way to increase the annual yield of a plant to produce more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: Hi, what is the price to get a patent?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Feb 5, 2018

You should expect anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 for a US utility patent.

If it is much less than that, you either got lucky, or the patent is not very strong (either is written too sloppily or it is too narrow to be valuable).

It is uncommon that the price would go too much...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: If you have an unpatented idea, but proof that you submitted it to someone, can you claim the patent?

I presented an idea in the MIT Whiteboard Challenge in early 2012. The idea was for an electric bicycle. A few months later, there was a company creating similar electric bicycles and raising money via crowdfunding. Recently they were purchased by another larger company for an undisclosed amount.... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 7, 2017

A couple of points.

When you come up with an invention, you have 3 choices to make. One, you can patent it, so that everyone will know about it, but you can keep others from using your invention. Two, you can keep it a secret, so that nobody will know about it. Three, you can disclose it,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: If two provisional patents are filed. Does the second have any rights if it was filed prior to disclosure of the first?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Apr 11, 2017

If two patent applications are filed claiming the same invention, the second one will not mature into a patent, because it was filed after the first one. The fact that the first patent application is published after the filing of the second is irrelevant.

It is the FILING of the first...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: Can I file a US Patent for a product being sold in a foreign country?

Does the fact that the product is on sale in a foreign country bar me from filing a patent for it in the US? Upon further investigation, no patent application exists for such a product in the US. Does the same go for if the foreign product has an article written about it in a foreign magazine?... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Mar 23, 2017

If you did not invent it, then you cannot get a patent on it. You cannot just copy someone else's work and claim it as your own.

Further, even if you invent something, spending lots of time and money inventing it, but someone else on the other side of the world invented the same (or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: Do I need a patent for my invention

I invented a new cat toy. All handmade.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Mar 14, 2017

I doubt it. Not a utility patent, anyway.

You may certainly get a utility patent, and any number of patent lawyers would be happy to help you, but I have doubts that the expense would be worth it to you. There are way too many cat toys on the market, the margins may be pretty thin, and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: I have an idea for a phone app, I am not looking to build the app, but rather add a feature to an existing app.

can you patent an idea like this? Then try to market it, or license it to the company who has the original app/

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jan 27, 2017

Well, if it is just an idea of adding a feature to an existing app (or if you just have an idea for a new app or any new product) then no, you CANNOT get a patent. In order to get a patent, you should actually build it, or be able to describe how you could build it.

Even if you built it,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Illinois on
Q: Is there a way to gain ownership of a patent who's original owner is diseased?

Is it possible to buy a patent that was owned by a diseased person? What if you are a relative of that person? Thanks!

Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki answered on Aug 30, 2015

A patent is an asset. The deceased person's assets were distributed via will, intestate succession, trust or otherwise. Presumably, someone else should be the owner now, and you may be able to obtain the patent from them. A local business, patent or probate lawyer may be able to assist.... Read more »

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