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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I finance and/or market my invention?

There are many resources available to finance your patent application and your invention, such as SBA loans, lines of credit, and investors. Your local SBA may also provide training and counseling for inventors.

What is the United States Patent and Trademark Office?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO is a branch of the Federal Government that examines patent applications to determine if an applicant is entitled to a patent. It also examines trademark applications to determine if the applicant is entitled to register his or her trademark and issues trademark registrations.

How much does it cost to get a Patent or Trademark?

The USPTO Web site shows the current fees. Most of the fees are subject to change in October of each year. If the owner of the invention is a small entity, (an independent inventor, a small business concern or a non-profit organization), most fees are reduced by half if small entity status is claimed.

Where will my Patent or Trademark be enforced?

An application for Patent or Trademark before the USPTO will secure your rights throughout the United States. However, you may also file for Patent and/or Trademark protection outside of the United States through several treaties.

When is my copyright work protected?

When does my application get published?

What is trademark infringement?

What is the USPTO?

What is the difference between TM and ®?

What is the difference between patent licensing and a patent assignment?

What is the difference between patent drafting and patent prosecution?

What is the difference between an attorney drafted provisional application, and one that I can…

What is the difference between a state trademark and a federal trademark?

What is the difference between a provisional utility patent application and a non-provisional…

What is the difference between a patent attorney and an invention submission company?

What is the difference between a copyright, a trademark, and a patent?

What is novelty and non-obviousness in relation to a patent application?

What is copyright?

What is an invention submission company and who regulates them?

What is a Utility Patent?

What is a USPTO Patent Examiner?

What is a trademark?

What is a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application?

What is a Design Patent?

What happens if my provisional patent application doesn’t support the claims…

What does “patent pending” mean?

What can you trademark?

What can be patented?

What are the benefits of registering a trademark?

What are the benefits of filing a provisional patent application?

Someone is copying my patented product. How do I stop them?

My patent application got a rejection from the USPTO. Does this mean I can never get a patent?

My invention is not found in a patent search. Does this mean I will definitely get a patent?

Must I register a copyright with the government to receive protection?

Is there such a thing as a poor man’s patent? Can I establish a priority date by sending…

Is it necessary to go to the USPTO to transact business concerning patent matters?

Is a prototype required to file a patent application?

Is a patent search required to file a patent application?

If two or more persons work together to make an invention, to whom will the patent be granted?

If my trademark or patent applications are denied by the USPTO, do I get my fees back?

I received a cease and desist letter from a patent lawyer What should I do?

I have an old idea that I still cannot believe has not been made. What should I do?

I have an improvement on an existing idea. Can I still get a patent?

How much difference does there need to be between an already patented product and what I want…

How is a patent agent different from a patent attorney?

Does a federal trademark registration ever expire?

Do provisional patent applications ever get published?

Do patent attorneys write patent applications on a contingent fee basis?

Do I have to hire an invention submission group to sell my patent to a company?

Do I have to disclose anything I find in a patent search?

Can I sell my patent?

Can I patent computer software?

Can I obtain a patent and keep my invention secret?

Can I obtain a global patent that protects my invention throughout the world?

Can I discuss details of my invention with a potential investor before filing a patent application?

Can any attorney prosecute a patent?

Can a patent application be filed jointly between the person with the idea, and a business investor?

Can a non-U.S. citizen obtain a federal trademark registration?

Am I required to file a patent before I can sell products in the USA?

After a company contacts me about buying my patented idea, what should I do?



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