Patents Questions & Answers by State

Patents Questions & Answers

Q: Not sure if I need to patent idea or not.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents for Hawaii on
Answered on Apr 19, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
One step is to kick your search skills up a level with the tips in my slide set. http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching.

Next you may want to wade into Section 101 issues as some software ideas are no longer welcome at the Patent and Trademark Office. This may be getting deeper into the weeds than you would like.

Most entrepreneurs are not likely to take this deep a dive into patent law nuances. However, if you are aware of the issues raised by the United States Supreme Court in...
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Q: Hello..I want to list the product on the FBA. I clarified that this product is not patented, but I want confirmation fro

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on Apr 19, 2018
Benton R Patterson III's answer
You will need to hire a patent attorney to provide an opinion letter on whether the product infringes a valid patent. This is a complex analysis and cannot be answered easily.
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Q: Today have received a mail from Amazon that I'm infringe the patent: D698,996 What should I do? How to avoid this?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Copyright and Patents on
Answered on Apr 18, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
There are a few paths.

1) You obtain a license from the owner of the design patent. Most likely, you will have to pay a percentage of your sales price but licenses can be done all sorts of ways.

2) You stop selling in the US but only operate in countries without a design patent on this hair band. Note that you will need to avoid having the product made or sold in the US.

3) You make sufficient changes to the ornamental appearance of the hair band so that it does...
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Q: I'm trying to scare my daughter. We her parents can go to jail for allowing our 13 y/o daughter to date 17-18 y/o male?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Patents for Texas on
Answered on Apr 18, 2018
Kiele Linroth Pace's answer
The 17-18 year old could be facing up to 20 years in the state penitentiary, a $10,000 fine, and a lifetime of registering as a Sex Offender. Age 16 is the oldest in the juvenile justice system so he would be prosecuted as an adult. If that doesn't scare him away then he is not a person that makes good decisions in life. At his age, he should be planning for college, not dating an 8th grader.
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Q: If I upgrade Michael waldan's magnetic engine then can I file patent

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents on
Answered on Apr 17, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
If you make an inventive improvement to any known device, you may be able to get a patent. The test is whether you are merely making an incremental improvement by making minor adjustments or a non-obvious change. Incremental = no patent, but a non-obvious change may get you a patent. Obviousness is judged through the eyes of someone with a complete skill set in making this type of product. That person is deemed to know everything that has been done in the field of that type of device and...
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Q: Is it copying if I didn't know?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents on
Answered on Apr 17, 2018
Benton R Patterson III's answer
It is not illegal to copy a business idea. Your business model could be 100% identical and it would be fine. You just cannot copy the articles on the other blog or use the same name as the other business.
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Q: How much does a product need to be enhanced or altered to be generally accepted over an existing patent over similar?

2 Answers | Asked in Patents on
Answered on Apr 16, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
There are two related issues here:

(1) Can your product be made, sold, and used without infringing on your competitor's existing patent? And

(2) Can your product be patented over the existing patent?

With regards to (1), you need to take a look at the claims and ascertain if your product is encompassed by the claims. This is not a trivial exercise; you should consult with a patent attorney. From your description, I really cannot even guess at the answer. Sorry....
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Q: Hi I need to know how to get in court on a 16-13-49 ocga I need the paper to file to get in court over my truck

1 Answer | Asked in Patents for Georgia on
Answered on Apr 15, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
So sorry Justia needs to fix their topics as they should say Patent/Inventions rather than Patents. Patents with a "t" looks a whole lot like Parents with an "r". Your question came to me as a patent/invention lawyer.

I am not sure why the state of Georgia has your truck but you may want to ping someone that knows Georgia Government and Administrative law.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn
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Q: What's the average length of time for a patent application to be reviewed and approved?

1 Answer | Asked in Patents for Florida on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
The time for a utility patent application to receive a First Action On Merits (FOAM in PTO lingo) varies greatly. The FOAM is the first substantive comparison of the pending claims against the prior art and the various rules for how patent claims should be written. This is known as a Office Action.

One of the smart things the PTO does is divide up the incoming patent applications so that person handling new dishwasher patent applications is different from the person reviewing a new...
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Q: Hi there just wondering if I had this display patent back in 1990 is there a way to update the patent since I.T. had

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents for Florida on
Answered on Apr 13, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
You cannot update an issued patent to expand coverage. You can file a new patent application. The Bell patent on the telephone was filed more than 100 years ago and there are still lots of new patent applications on the telephone.

Keep in mind, that your new application will need to be inventive over your old patent.

Intellectual Property is an umbrella term that includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, show-how, data bases, and other related...
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Q: Now that I've been granted a utility patent on my exercise device,

2 Answers | Asked in Patents for California on
Answered on Apr 11, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
If your patent has issued and is still in force, then you can prohibit others from making, using, selling, or offering to sell devices within the United States that fall within your patent claims.

To the extent that you have information about potentially infringing activity, you should consult with either the patent attorney that helped you obtain the patent or with a patent attorney that specializes in litigation to sort out whether your patent claims read on the accused device....
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Q: How do I see if something is coverd in a patent?

1 Answer | Asked in Patents for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 11, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
You can do some searching for issued patents or for pending applications that are in queue ahead of you. My slide set at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching will help.

Interpreting the scope of patent claims is a bit tricky. If you find things that are close you should get advice from a patent attorney. The patent attorney can help you with the search process too.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn
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Q: Hello Sir, is this patent valid in Europe

1 Answer | Asked in Patents on
Answered on Apr 11, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
Step 1 -- A US patent is effective in the US against things made in the US, imported into the US, exported out from the US, or otherwise present in the US. So at a first level the answer is no.

Step 2-- Check to see if there a corresponding patent that is effective in one or more European countries (there is not a European Patent yet). Or is there a pending application in the European Patent Office that covers this invention. The European system has a first layer where you can do...
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Q: have any patents been filed in regard to the new lithium extraction process developed by John Burba?

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 7, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
Yes, he has several dozen patents related to lithium, including extraction process from brine.

Some (but not necessarily all) of the patent applications that he is listed as an inventor are found in the following list:

http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=0&f=S&l=50&TERM1=burba&FIELD1=IN&co1=AND&TERM2=lithium&FIELD2=&d=PG01

Some (but not necessarily all) of the patents on which he is listed as an...
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Q: Do I have rights to a patent claim if I helped research the topic?

2 Answers | Asked in Patents for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 5, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
This is a very frequent question. A couple of points.

(1) It is very, VERY important to identify the inventors correctly. Only the true inventors, not any more, not any less. Unlike selecting authors in journal articles or posters, there is no leeway. The patent attorney needs to get the list of inventors correct.

(2) If you worked for a company or university, then you likely had to sign over your inventions. You may be listed as the inventor, but you likely not get to be the...
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Q: Hi, My name is Angelina. I created unique aphorisms and want print them on clothes. How prevent copying of aphorisms?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents for Massachusetts on
Answered on Apr 4, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
Patents are not the answer as the patent part of the PTO does not care about the text; they care about the function or the ornamental design.

You can chase a trademark (need to specify trademark to get this to a TM lawyer on JUSTIA).

Not a perfect fit as a trademark is intended to be a mark that indicates a source of goods. However folks like Taylor Swift have obtained federal trademarks on phrases associated with them such as "This Sick Beat" and "Nice to meet you. Where...
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Q: I want to buy disposable cups from a manufacturer and then sell them on Amazon, however I am worried about patents.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Intellectual Property and Patents for Texas on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Kevin Flynn's answer
You are correct that this is a legitimate worry. Patent liability attaches to those who make, use, sell, offer to sell, or possess an item that infringes an unexpired US patent.

If your supplier is located outside of the US, the patent owner may sue you and leave it to you to collect from your supplier if you have an indemnity clause with your supplier that the supplier will indemnify you from patent infringement claims. If you provided the specifications to the supplier, then it is...
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Q: Have letter from Navy regarding Patent Off misspelling my brother's name on his patent, no correction found, next step?

2 Answers | Asked in Patents for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
That patent has expired a long time ago. It is no longer relevant. I've never heard of anyone correcting an expired patent. It would be like correcting the spelling of a name on an apartment lease that you had 20 years ago.

Now, it may be possible to correct your brother's name on the patent, but it would have to be done by the patent owner, in this case, the US Navy. I've worked on several patent applications for one of the parts of the US Navy, and based on what I have...
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Q: Is usufruct power automatically given in a durable power of attorney in louisiana

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Patents and Probate for Louisiana on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Douglas Lee Bryan's answer
I'm assuming that by "pic" you mean POA. Also, I'm not sure whose usufructuary power you're referring to: her late husband's? This question is one that is better answered by an attorney after review of the power of attorney you're referring to. Feel free to give me a call if you wish to arrange for a review of the document.
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Q: Do I have to file a provisional patent or can I file a nonprovisional patent right away?

2 Answers | Asked in Patents for California on
Answered on Apr 2, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
If your first provisional patent application expired, then it is as if it did not exist. It is gone.

Typically, I recommend skipping a provisional patent application and filing a non-provisional patent application right away. However, there are a number of instances when filing a provisional application is appropriate. For example, if you have an invention completed but you want to expand it and you want to file internationally (thus cannot file a CIP on it later), then it might be...
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