Because of our experience and strategic location in Northern Virginia (where the USPTO is located), we can provide the full benefit of the resources available at the USPTO. We conduct patentability searches using the Examiner Automated Search Tool (EAST) system, which is the same system the patent examiners use in reviewing patent applications, and we can have face-to-face meetings with patent examiners during the examination of the patent applications we handle. This provides an invaluable benefit in obtaining valuable patents for our clients.
In conjunction with our Academic Innovation Practice, we offer universities and research centers in other countries with a special 4PATENT® program for the filing of U.S. national stage applications claiming priority to an international application already filed by the client. Our 4PATENT® program is available for universities and research centers that initially file in the U.S.
Within two (2) months of publication of a U.S. patent application, third parties, such as universities or research centers working on similar projects, can submit prior art for consideration by the Examiner of the published application. This submission can be made without revealing the source of the prior art if submitted through a law firm. It is a best practice to have the published applications in the technology areas relating to your research projects monitored each week for patent applications which may overlap. Timely submission of prior art is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of patent litigation involving infringement accusations and your defense of patent invalidity because of prior art that should have been considered by the examiner. Click here for more information about Rule 99 prior art submissions.