An Overview Of The United States Patent Process

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has lineage back to 1790, when the first American patent was issued. At Frisina, LLC, our experienced lead attorney, Dominic A. Frisina, can provide you with informed IP counsel at each stage of the patent application process, and offer potential solutions if challenging situations present themselves along the way.

The Five Stages Of The Patent Process

There are five main stages in the patent process. Your time in each stage will vary based on your invention's nature and how it relates to similar technologies as well as how examiners at the USPTO evaluate your application.

  • Stage 1: Patent search. You and your patent attorney will perform a search of known technologies, including worldwide patent and nonpatent literature to determine if a similar device or process has already been patented.
  • Stage 2: Drafting the patent application. You may choose to file for a provisional patent, as a sort of place-holder for your invention, before filing a regular application. You have 12 months after provisional filing to file a regular application.
  • Stage 3: Prosecution (negotiation) with the USPTO. This stage covers all of the efforts you may need to take once a patent application is filed to address any objections to it.
  • Stage 4: Granting of the patent. After your application is accepted, you must pay certain fees to the patent office to keep your patent active and enforce claims against it.
  • Stage 5: Maintenance. Patents must be maintained in order to enjoy their full 20-year lifespan. Maintenance involves the payment of fees at certain milestone dates in the life of a patent.

How An IP Lawyer Can Accelerate The Patent Application Process

Inventors are not required to work with a patent attorney during the application process, but there are many ways our firm can assist you. We can:

  1. Advise you during the search process on the patentability of your invention as initially conceived and counsel you on how you might maximize your chances of success.
  2. Counsel you on how to take advantage of resources offered by the USPTO's Patent and Trademark Resource Centers.
  3. Draft your application, ensuring it has the best chance of being approved by an examiner.
  4. Most importantly, we can advise you on how to respond to office actions and other objections to your application.

More Questions About The Patent Process? We Have Answers.

Frisina, LLC, serves clients with intellectual property needs in Ohio and throughout the world. Call our office in Cleveland at 440-600-1992 or connect with us via our online intake form to get started.