An issued patent allows one to exclude others from making, using or selling a particular invention or design. Three types of patents can be obtained from the U.S. Patent Office including Utility Patents, Design Patents, and Plant Patents. In general, Utility Patents protect functional aspects of an invention, and Design Patents protect the visual appearance of an article. Plant Patents are based on the invention or discovery and asexual reproduction of a distinct and new variety of plant, not including tuber propagated plants or plants found in an uncultivated state.
To obtain a patent, a formally prepared application is filed, beginning a process of “patent prosecution”. During prosecution of the patent application, a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Examiner who has the responsibility of determining whether the application should issue as a patent, examines the application. No protection is afforded the invention until and unless a patent issues from the filed application. Typically, the application prosecution process involves formal and/or informal correspondence between the inventor’s attorney and the Patent Office Examiner.
Pierce & Kwok LLP, provides a full range of patent services including:
- Providing legal opinions regarding whether inventions are patentable.
- Providing legal opinions regarding whether inventions infringe others’ patents.
- Preparing, filing, and prosecuting U.S. and international patent applications.
- Preparing, filing, and prosecuting foreign patent applications via contact with foreign law firms.
- Preparing and negotiating patent licensing agreements.