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Dov Oshri
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Business Process Patent
« on: Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm »
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Dear James,
 
I have just completed a successful feasibility test for a new innovative business process. The end product can be a software or a web service. I choose the web service as my priority.
 
•What do I need to do to register a patent?
•Do I need to complete the software for a patent or documenting the process will be enough?
•Any recommended references for patent submission process?
•What is the cost of the process?
•How long does it take?
•Venture Capital firms do not agree to sign a NDA. Do the patent submission provides me protection before approval?
 
Sincerely,
 
Dov Oshri
 
 
 
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JimIvey
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Re: Business Process Patent
« Reply #1 on: Jun 21st, 2006, 12:03am »
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on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•What do I need to do to register a patent?

You file a patent application and go through an examination process and eventually get a patent issued.  There's much more to it than that.  If you want to know more about how to actually write a patent application, there are books on the topic.  It's far too complex to describe here.
 
on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•Do I need to complete the software for a patent or documenting the process will be enough?

Documenting the process in enough detail that someone of ordinary skill in the relevant technology can make and use your invention, along with any preferred implementation details, should be enough.
 
on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•Any recommended references for patent submission process?

I don't think I have enough information to recommend anything.  I don't know any "invention submission process" that I'd recommend.  I don't know enough about your technology to recommend a tech transfer strategy.  If you're asking for a recommendation as far as a patent practitioner to help you, I offer such services and I'm sure others who post here do as well.  If you want recommendations of good practitioners beyond those who post here, I might be able to provide such a recommendation.
 
on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•What is the cost of the process?

There are just too many variables to really give any meaningful estimate.  For a typical "business process" patent, you should expect to spend around $8,000-12,000 for practitioner time alone -- Patent Office fees can vary from as little as $500 but most business process patents tend to include a large number of claims.  Patent office fees can top another $2,000.  Each time the Patent Office rejects your application (and they'll most likely do that at least 3 times, perhaps more), you can expect to spend another $3,000-5,000, depending on the number of claims argued by the examiner and the number of prior art references relied upon by the examiner and, sometimes, upon the number of separate, independent grounds (arguments) for rejection.  The good news is that your first rejection to which you must respond may not be sent out for 2-3 years or more -- plenty of time to talk to investors and have a decent shot at getting your idea off the ground and making the expense not such a challenging issue.
 
on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•How long does it take?

It varies.  I would expect 5 years minimum to get your patent issued, if it really is a business process patent (whatever that means -- the category is more or less meaningless in patent law, but just about everybody uses the term so I give up).
 
on Jun 20th, 2006, 7:21pm, Dov Oshri wrote:
•Venture Capital firms do not agree to sign a NDA. Do the patent submission provides me protection before approval?

Yes.  and No.  You can't sue anyone to stop infringement until your patent issues.  So, infringement during pendency is more or less free.  However, once your application is pending, public disclosures, uses, and offers to sell your invention will not interfere with your ability to get a patent for your invention.  Such public events prior to your application, including plausibly a disclosure to a VC without an NDA, could interfere with your ability to get a patent.
 
I hope that helps.
 
Regards.
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Re: Business Process Patent
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16th, 2006, 4:41pm »
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I would only add to Jim's excellent reply that the patent articles on Wikipedia can help you with the very basics.  There's even an article on "business method patents".
 
The USPTO also provides a free "Inventor's Assistance Center" to help guide inventors through the patent process.  You can find them at uspto.gov.  It's a free service, but they can only help you with procedural questions.  They can't give advice as to whether or not something is patentable or what patent agent/attorney you should use etc.
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JimIvey
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Re: Business Process Patent
« Reply #3 on: Aug 17th, 2006, 11:46am »
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on Aug 16th, 2006, 4:41pm, Mark_Nowotarski wrote:
I would only add to Jim's excellent reply that the patent articles on Wikipedia can help you with the very basics.  There's even an article on "business method patents".

Thanks for pointing that out.  The article had a bit of an EFF slant, so I filled it out a bit to give it less "spin" -- perhaps some will think it spins the other way now.  But that's the nature of a community-based wiki thingy.
 
Here are the articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_method_patent#United_States
http://tinyurl.com/on8ft
 
Regards.
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Re: Business Process Patent
« Reply #4 on: Oct 25th, 2006, 3:14pm »
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on Jun 21st, 2006, 12:03am, JimIvey wrote:
You can't sue anyone to stop infringement until your patent issues.  So, infringement during pendency is more or less free.  However, once your application is pending, public disclosures, uses, and offers to sell your invention will not interfere with your ability to get a patent for your invention.  Such public events prior to your application, including plausibly a disclosure to a VC without an NDA, could interfere with your ability to get a patent.

Would a provisional patent application provide the same rights protection, as the above-mentioned regular patent application does, for the one-year period prior to a follow-up regular patent application?
 
I have what I think is a novel and non-obvious e-commerce invention which I wish to patent and which I plan to use publicly very soon (within 30-60 days).  The personal or business use of the invention will lead to at least partial, if not full, public disclosure.
 
I am interested in using a provisional patent application to get full protection of my invention for up to 12 months, during which I plan to publicly use the invention and also approach prospective funding sources and corporate licensees with the invention.
 
I intend to file provisionally first since I am not confident I've drafted the application well enough for a regular patent application, plus I need to defer costs and also gain a few months of much needed time which I am currently very short of.
 
Will a provisional patent application provide me the 12 months of rights protection, as effectively as a pending regular patent application does, assuming that shortly after filing the provisional patent application, as aforesaid I begin to use the invention publicly and conspicuously, approach potential licensees and interested funding sources, etc.?  
 
Given that many VC firms and big corporations are not eager to sign NDAs, would a NDA still be necessary after an invention's  provisional patent application is filed?  Will the NDA provide any significant, additional rights and benefits beyond those that an already filed provisional patent application is conferring on the inventor?
 
Regards.
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