Patents

Patents, generally speaking, are inventions.

I have had clients with patent issues. Very generally speaking, there are three areas that you may need help with: application/registration, enforcement, and licensing, which is closely related to enforcement.

Application to register a patent must be done by a registered Patent Attorney. In order to becomme a registered Patent Attorney, one must have a degree in the hard sciences (biology, physics, chemistry) or engineering and must also pass the patent bar examination.

While I have a degree in mechanical engineering, I have not taken the Patent Bar exam, and therefore am not qualified to apply for patents. However, I pride myself on being able to talk to clients and refer them to an attorney or firm that will be able to help them in the instances where I am unable. I have a number of local and non-local attorneys that I refer clients to when they want to register a patent.

I am, however, able to help you with enforcement of your patent or in the event where someone is attempting to enforce their patent against you.

Closely related to enforcement, is licensing. The reason I say that they are related is that often a party who you are enforcing your patent against can become a licensee. When you ask someone to stop using a device or stop practicing a method, it can be beneficial to propose that they become a paying customer of yours or face a claim of infringement.

You can see such dynamics as this in all areas of intellectual property. In copyright law, a copyright owner may send a cease and desist to an unauthorized user using an image without permission. In such a case, the copyright owner would sometimes be wise to tell the unauthorized user that they can either stop using the image, or can continue to use the image on the condition that they pay both a prospective fee (to use the image into the future), as well as a retroactive fee (to pay for the past, unauthorized use of the image). This dynamic translates exceptionally well into the area of patent law.