Frequently Asked Questions - Faq
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Carson Patents® frequently asked questions (FAQ) about patents, patenting, and how to seek patent protection for your invention. These are our top 15 most often asked (best) FAQ’s. Scroll through our frequently asked questions about patents – patent questions. Hire us to help you protect your idea or invention with a patent.

Carson Patents® Patent Questions

What is the difference between a utility patent and a design patent?

Utility Patents Protect Use, Design Patents Protect Look

A utility patent protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101). A design patent protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171). You can get both design and utility patents for an article if invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. Utility and design patents afford legally separate protection. But frequently, the utility and design of a product are not easily separable. Products may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics. Contact us.

When it comes to patents, what does confidentiality mean?

Invention Disclosures To Patent Practitioners Are Covered By Client Controlled Confidentiality Privilege.

New inventors often ask this FAQ. Disclosures to patent practitioners are confidential. You may need or want a non-disclosure agreement with anyone else. Disclosures to patent agents are covered by client controlled privilege. Information disclosed cannot be used or shared without your permission. Patent agents hold the same basic professional liability insurance as that held by attorneys, just limited to the practice of patent prosecution. Contact us.

What is patentability?

Patentability Expert

Our most frequently asked question (FAQ). Patentability is a combination of two evaluations. The first is a determination of whether an idea or invention meets the criteria to be patentable. In other words, is the invention patent eligible subject matter? The second evaluation, is a three part determination. Firstly, whether it exists in the prior art. Secondly, whether it conflicts with another invention or idea. And, thirdly, whether it would be obvious to try for a person having ordinary skill in the artContact us for a prior art search and patentability study for your idea or invention.

What is a PPA – Provisional Patent Application?

What Does Patent Pending Mean?

A provisional patent application allows you to file an application without formal patent claim(s), oath/declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. Provisional applications are not examined and therefore do not require claims. 
The provisional application is only pending for one year. It is essentially a place holder for a later non-provisional application. After a provisional is filed, a non-provisional application must be filed within 12 months of the provisional application filing date. Contact us to start the steps to patent for your invention. Read more on our patent pending page.

What does a Patent Practitioner do?

Patent Practitioners Search Write File Prosecute Patents

What a patent practitioner does is provide patent services. They help inventors (or applicants) seek patent protection for their inventions. There are two stages of patent services involved in seeking patent protection for your invention. The first stage is filing for patent pending status. The second stage is patent prosecution. Patent prosecution is all the follow up correspondence with the patent office. Contact us for patent help.

How much does it cost to get a patent?

Patent Cost Varies Depending On The Invention

If you qualify for USPTO Micro Entity Status, estimate $5-8k for a utility patent. There are five times, or events, in pursuing a patent for a utility invention that will incur cost. Additionally there are other events that happen which can add cost. Our patent costs article answers a few more FAQ’s about the cost to get a patent.

What is a patent? 

A Patent Is The Legal Right To Control The Making, Using, And Selling Of An Invention.

A patent is the legal right to control the making, using, and selling of the invention for a limited time. In the United States, utility and design patents are issued for different lengths of time. Utility patents are issued for 20 years from the filing date. Design patents are issued for 15 years date of issuance. Contact us to apply for a patent for your invention or idea.

What are Patent Claims?

Claims Define The Subject Matter Of The Patent

Patent Claims define the scope of patent protection. The claims define the subject matter of patent protection sought. The language of the claims determines what is patented. Claims must be properly written and supported by the specification. Editing and submitting new claims is common. Carson Patents® includes claim writing in our patent application writing patenting service. Also, we offer amendment and claim revision services. Contact us to start the steps to patent.

What is New Matter in a patent application?

New Matter Is Content Not Found In The Written Description Or Drawings

New Matter is content not found in either the written description or drawings, involving a departure from or an addition to the original disclosure. It cannot be added to the application even if supported by a supplemental oath or declaration, and can be shown or claimed only in a separate application. Inventors with office actions often ask this FAQ. Contact us for help.

What are Patent Drawings?

Patent Drawings Illustrate The Invention

Patent writing FAQ. These are the drawings, diagrams, flowcharts, and charts necessary for a patent application. Patent applications require drawings if the invention “admits of illustration.” Both US and International (PCT) Patent Applications typically require good, properly formatted, drawings. Carson Patents® includes patent drawings in our patent application writing services.

What are Patent Flowcharts?

Patent Flowcharts Illustrate The Invention

Patent writing FAQ. These are a particular type of patent drawing. Flowcharts show procedure/process flow, or process steps. They are useful in many types of patent applications. Flowcharts are recommended and frequently useful in software patentingCarson Patents® includes patent flowcharts in our patent application writing services.

What is patent application prosecution?

Patent Prosecution Is Resolving Application Issues

New inventor patent FAQ. Patent Application Prosecution is representing your invention before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent application prosecution is the patent services needed to either [1] represent a patent application through examination, [2] appeal an examination decision, or [3] conduct opposition, reissue, or reexamination proceedings. Patent application prosecution happens after a patent is pending and it occurs both before and after a patent is granted. Contact us for help.

What does “novelty” mean?

Novelty Means An Invention Is Not Found In The Prior Art

In order for an invention to be patentable it must be new. Novelty, as defined in the patent law, provides that an invention cannot be patented if:
“(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention,” or
“(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued or in an application for patent published or deemed published, in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.” 
In other words, novelty means an invention is not found in the prior art. Contact Carson Patents® to start the steps to patent with a prior art search and patentability study for your invention.

What does “non-obvious”mean?

Non-Obvious Means The Invention Is Not Already Known Or Disclosed In The Prior Art

In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be non-obvious. An invention is obvious if it would be “obvious to one skilled in the art” of making such items to combine prior art (existing things) to get your device. An invention is obvious if there are any number of prior art references that, when combined, would result in essentially your invention. Thus, an invention is non-obvious when it is not disclosed in the prior art. 
In other words, an invention is non-obvious when it is not disclosed in the prior art. Contact Carson Patents® to start the steps to patent with a prior art search and patentability study for your invention.

Which patent offices does Carson Patents® work with?

We Work With The Uspto And Wipo

We file and prosecute utility and design invention patent pending applications online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and at World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).
– USPTO online filing at – Patent Center, and EFS Web – for US utility and design patent applications.
– WIPO online filing at – PCT Applications – for international utility patent applications. 
– WIPO online filing at – Hague Applications – for international design patent applications. 

Patenting Articles

  • How much does a patent cost?
    Patenting Costs article: How much does it cost to get a patent? $5-8k total (US Patent issued), depending on what kind (design or utility), how complex, and in which countries patent protection is sought.
  • Patenting Software
    Patenting software, is the same as patenting anything else, and, it can all be done online from the comfort of your home or workshop. The complex nature of the requirements means you might want professional help.
  • How to do a Patent Search
    The basics on how to start and conduct a prior art or patent search to find out if an invention is novel and non-obvious. By Carson Patents, USPTO Registered Patent Agent, Gregory Carson.
  • Patent Agent Legal Services
    Patent Agent Legal Services? When it comes to legal rights, in pertinent part, property rights, there are licensed professionals who offer help in exercising or protecting your rights. Lawyers. For patents there are patent practitioners (agent or attorney) to deal with these special rights.
Patent Help Online
Patent Help Online

A patent is the legal right to control the making, using, and selling of the invention for the length of the patent. We offer patent services to seek protection for utility and design inventions. Contact Us to start the steps to patent.

Frequently Asked Questions - Faq Icon
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Frequently asked questions about patents – FAQ’s about Patents, Patenting Services, and Patenting.

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Carson Patents is verified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We are verified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) . We are listed on the VA’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP).