Frequently Asked Questions
Carson Patents frequently asked questions (FAQ) about patents, patenting, and how to seek patent protection for your invention. These are our top 14 most often asked (best) questions. Scroll through our patenting questions. Hire us to help you protect your idea or invention with a patent.
What is the difference between a utility patent and a design patent?
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. FAQ.
When it comes to patents, what does confidentiality mean?
New inventors often ask this question. 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. Read more about patent confidentiality.
What is patentability criteria?
Our most frequently asked question. The patentability criteria 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 art. Contact us for a prior art search and patentability study for your idea or invention. Read more about patentability.
What is a PPA – Provisional Patent Application?
A provisional patent application allows you to file an application without formal patent claim(s), oath/declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. The provisional application is only pending for one year. It is essentially a place holder for a later non-provisional application. Contact us to start the steps to patent for your invention. Read more about provisional applications. Read about other ways to get patent pending.
What does a Patent Practitioner do?
What a patent practitioner provides 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. Read more about patent practitioners.
How much does it cost to get a patent?
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 cost article answers a few more questions about the cost to get a patent. FAQ.
What is a patent?
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 and plant 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. Read more about what a patent is.
What are Patent Claims?
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. Carson Patents includes claim writing in our patent application writing patenting service. Also, we offer claim amendment and claim revision services as part of our patent prosecution services. Contact us for patent help within claims. Read more about patent claims. Read more about revising existing claims.
What is New Matter in a patent application?
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. New matter can be shown or claimed only in a separate application. Inventors with office actions often ask this question. Contact Carson Patents for help. Read more about new matter.
What are Patent Drawings?
Patent writing FAQ. Drawings are the figures, diagrams, flowcharts, and charts necessary for a patent application. Patent applications require drawings if the invention “admits of illustration.” Both U.S. and International (PCT) Patent Applications typically require good, properly formatted drawings. Carson Patents includes patent drawings in our patent application writing services. Read more about patent drawings.
What are Patent Flowcharts?
Patent writing FAQ. Flowcharts are a particular kind of patent figure. 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 patenting. Carson Patents includes patent flowcharts in our patent application writing services.
What is patent prosecution?
New inventor FAQ. Patent prosecution is representing your invention before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking an allowance and issue. Patent prosecution is the patent services needed to either  represent a patent application through examination,  appeal an examination decision, or  conduct opposition, reissue, or reexamination proceedings. Patent prosecution happens after a patent is pending and it occurs both before and after a patent is granted. Contact us for help. Read more about patent prosecution.
What does “novelty” mean?
In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be new. This means it must not already exist in the world. 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. Read more about novelty.
What does “non-obvious” mean?
In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be non-obvious. An invention is obvious if there are any number of prior art references that, when combined, would result in essentially the claimed invention. 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. Read more about non-obviousness.