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JimIvey
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Re: Good Patent Firm
« Reply #10 on: Aug 31st, 2007, 1:46pm »
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I'll offer just a few thoughts....
 
I have two issues with the quote re provisional applications.  The first is one about which I'm uncertain and for which I don't care to look up laws/rules right now.  Does a provisional block others from getting patents if no follow-up real application is filed?  I think mentioning that condition, if it is a precondition, would be important.  The second is that the provisional application only provides an effective filing date if it meets the same legal standard that must be met by a real application -- no skimping on substantive quality allowed.
 
I'll just note that J Watts doesn't appear to be listed on the Patent Professionals web site.  But there are many explanations for that.
 
I would respectfully submit that "Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, IBM, [and] Halliburton" are not necessarily great clients.  Many large, international corporations are playing a numbers game in their patent strategy.  As a result, you end up doing what I call "commodity work" -- some fixed fee per application in the mid-4-figures no matter what.  And, they have inside counsel pushing for better and better quality.  You end up working for less compensation than the current market rate for paralegals.  It's hard, largely thankless work that doesn't pay particularly well.  I don't know much about Mr. Sonnabend's clients, but there's a good chance I'd prefer them to the mega-clients listed by Mr. Watts.
 
I prefer working for small start-ups where quality matters.  The work is very challenging but very rewarding.  I have a hard time getting excited about some minor tweak in existing technology that you're likely to see doing commodity work.  In addition, with the small client resting so much importance on the first few pieces of IP, the patent practitioner takes on an importance that you don't see in many other contexts -- and, to some degree, you get paid more like a star.
 
I don't want to ding Patent Professionals (partly because the main guy -- the only guy listed -- is from my alma mater), but I don't envy their practice.  It's an interesting business model for the IP practice, but I'm happier where I am now.
 
Now, having said all that, my preference would be for this site to be about discussing the law and client needs (hypothetical, of course) rather than arguing about who has the coolest practice.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Re: Good Patent Firm
« Reply #11 on: Aug 31st, 2007, 3:33pm »
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on Aug 31st, 2007, 1:46pm, JimIvey wrote:
Now, having said all that, my preference would be for this site to be about discussing the law and client needs (hypothetical, of course) rather than arguing about who has the coolest practice.
 
Regards.

 
Well said, Mr. Ivey.
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Isaac
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Re: Good Patent Firm
« Reply #12 on: Aug 31st, 2007, 4:30pm »
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on Aug 31st, 2007, 1:46pm, JimIvey wrote:
I have two issues with the quote re provisional applications.  The first is one about which I'm uncertain and for which I don't care to look up laws/rules right now.  Does a provisional block others from getting patents if no follow-up real application is filed?

If the provisional is never referenced by a NPA, it just goes into a black hole as of its expiration date.  I thought that it might be possible to request early publication of a provisional, but it looks like that's prohibited by 35 USC 122 (b), specifically 122(b)(2)(A)(iii).
 
Quote:
The second is that the provisional application only provides an effective filing date if it meets the same legal standard that must be met by a real application -- no skimping on substantive quality allowed.

As a reference, I think it would be held to a slightly lower standard; after all, journal articles are allowed to be cited even though they may not be written to the level of detail of a patent application (especially wrt the figures and reference numbers).  This assumes it gets published, though, which would require an NPA be filed, in which case the examiner would probably cite the NPA rather than the PPA -- unless the NPA eliminated part of the PPA, for example because the inventor didn't consider some paragraph to be important for what he/she/it/they wanted to claim.
 
Pretty iffy, I know, but hey, they've cited 100-year-old family heirloom recipes as prior art, so why not something that's actually in their database already?
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