The US Patent Office and Others

What do you need to know about them?

The US Patent Office

I have clients who could not care less about the patent office. They tell me - your job is to deal with the US Patent Office - just get me a patent.

On the other hand, many clients who recognize that they are going to be spending a significant amount of money going through the steps for getting a patent, then paying more to keep it in in force thorough patent maintenance fees, want to understand much more about it and how it works. This part of the business of patents will focus on telling you some of of the arcane facts about my favorite government agency.

The reason it is my favorite, apart from the fact that it brings me my livelihood, is that it actually makes money. It is not a black hole like the rest of the government.

So we will attempt to answer most of your questions about the USPTO - United States Patent and Trademark Office.

I will try to give you a little understanding of:

    The history of the US Patent Office

    The mission

    An assortment of facts like location, head-count, budget, etc.

    What an examiner is

    How it is structured into art units

    How the patent process works

    Who can practice before the U S Patent Office


Other Patent Offices (WIPO, EPO, etc.)

There are of course many more patent offices. I will show youa list of many of them but flesh out a few key ones such as WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the EPO - European Patent Office, a regional office that is quite important to understand if you have any designs on getting European patents.

So let's begin. The format, as in all of the Business of Patents is by means of articles, listed below. The article list will grow over time. And if you would like to influence the direction of growth let me know by dropping me a line.



US Patent Office History
Patents probably have a longer history than you realize. A very brief history of patents will illustrate this.

USPTO Maintenance Fees
The Patent Office has an ongoing maintenance fee program that begins after a patent issues. Here is how it works.

Small Entity Status
It pays to be a small entity. If you are a small entity most of your fees are one half of "large" entities. This can be significant over the life of a patent because it extends to maintenance fees.

The Patent Allowance Rate
What percentage of patent applications actually issue as a patent? If you are about to invest money and time into a patent you should know.

Patent Offices List
There are many patent offices around the world. Here a list of some of the principal ones.

The EPO - European Patent Office - Part I
Do you need to be an EPO expert if you are an independent inventor or small businessman? No - not really. But if you do intend to try to protect your intellectual property through patents on a more global basis then chances are you will be dealing with this outfit and it helps to know some of the basics.

The EPO - European Patent Office - Part II
In the European Patent Office - Part I we gave a little historical background and opined on why the EPO has been successful. So let's move on to some other points.

The Chinese Patent Office
The Chinese Patent Office. Should I Apply for a Chinese Patent? The answer to this has been steadily changing over the years.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame
This week the US Patent Office (USPTO) announced the opening of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the museum of its Alexandria, Va., campus. The Hall of Fame has returned to its roots.


US Patent Office
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Mike Ervin
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.

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