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Is it Patentable?
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   Business Process
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JimIvey
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Re: Business Process
« Reply #5 on: May 4th, 2006, 4:08pm »
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on May 4th, 2006, 12:39pm, bjansse wrote:
I was planning on filing for my non-provisional utility patent within a year. When I filed my PPA, I made it as close to a non-provisional patent application as possible. From what I understand, that should help.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as "mostly valid" or "sorta valid".  If your claims are challenged as invalid, they will either survive the challenge or they won't.  It's impossible to say how much enforceability of your claims is "helped" by the filing of a PPA.
 
On the positive side, most patent applications are written to build in some margin in safety by going beyond the bare minimual legal requirements -- typically in terms of enablement, i.e., sufficiency of disclosure.  So, even something not as good as most well-written patent applications can be enforceable and not invalid.
 
On the negative side, you only need to miss one of the bare minimal legal requirements in one way or another to lose enforceability of your claim(s).
 
You won't know for a long time whether you've met the legal standard.  But, cheer up, the same is true for professional practitioners -- we usually won't know if we've failed those legal standards until years later when we can't do anything about it.
 
on May 4th, 2006, 12:39pm, bjansse wrote:
If he were to file a non-provisional patent application on the idea before I file mine, assuming the idea is patentable, would I have legal recourse?

You can't have a patent for something you didn't invent.  The fact that he heard it from you bars him from getting a patent on the idea.  The only way he can get a patent is if he thought of the idea before you told him.   He may be required to prove that he had the same idea before you told him, if the issue comes up.
 
on May 4th, 2006, 12:39pm, bjansse wrote:
Would my non-provisional application be the valid one due to my PPA?

Priority is based on invention, not filing date, in the US.  The process for determining prior invention is called an "interference" and how to initiate one and conduct one is a pretty big topic for just one post here.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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bjansse
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Re: Business Process
« Reply #6 on: May 4th, 2006, 10:53pm »
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From the sound of things, I guess I would be better off waiting until my non-provisional application is filed before trying to market my idea. That puts things on hold for another year, but it sounds like the best option. I don't suppose you could recommend anyone in the Austin, TX area?
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JimIvey
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Re: Business Process
« Reply #7 on: May 10th, 2006, 6:45pm »
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Two things:  
 
First, the one-year limitation is a maximum, not a minimum.  You can file your real patent application any time you like.  If your provisional application was written as well as you would have written a real application, you don't even have to wait.  And, if you don't care about rights outside the US, you don't have to wait either.
 
Second, I was about to recommend someone, but they moved their offices to Colorado.  Sorry.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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