New USPTO Fee Schedule Reduces Costs for PCT Patent Filings and Small and Micro Entities

The enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 includes the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA), directed toward increasing innovation of small businesses and inventors in America. Congress is using the UAIA to reduce barriers to patent system entry, such as the costs associated with filing and prosecuting patent applications as well as maintaining …

PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THROUGHOUT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Many companies, including U.S. companies, find manufacturing abroad attractive because of its affordable costs, capacity, and distribution networks. Typically discussions or negotiations with a foreign manufacturer will concern the type of product to be produced, which often involves providing the manufacturer with sufficient detail to enable the manufacturer to provide a proposal. These seemingly harmless …

Freedom to Operate Opinions: What Are They, and Why Are They Important?

What is a freedom to operate opinion, and why is it important? A freedom to operate opinion (FTO) is a legal opinion from a qualified intellectual property attorney that concludes a proposed commercial product or process may be made, used, sold, or offered for sale without infringing another party’s intellectual property rights. Although there is …

THE SURPRISING SCOPE OF EUROPEAN DESIGN PATENT RIGHTS

The scope of European design patents are quite surprising. Unlike in the U.S., design patent applications in Europe are not reviewed by an Examiner to determine patentability – the patent application just has to meet the formality requirements to grant. Thus, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) does not determine the scope of a …