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Inventor Update

Jill Gilbert Welytok is the managing attorney for Absolute Technology Law Group LLC, which is a team of Registered Patent, Trademark and Transactional attorneys.

A Great Time to Be an Inventor

Announcement: Inventors' Forum
Next Meeting: April 15, 2010 at 5:30PM
To be held at:
Marquette University High School
Room 127, Conference Center
3306 W. Michigan Street, Milwaukee

Topic: Inventor Economics
Speaker: Terry Whipple - Why it's a Great Time to be an Inventor in Wisconsin: The Age of Rapid Change
For more information, please visit our website

In June of 2009 President Barack Obama nominated David Kappos, an experienced patent lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, as Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The change in the atmosphere at the USPTO is palpable. Attorneys and applicants are actually receiving phone calls and substantial guidance from patent examiners to help them get applications allowed. Allowance rates, by all indications are up, and the quality of patents issued will likely be improved by the new atmosphere of communication.

Examiners have generally been receptive from communications with our office in the past, but have reiterated some of the things that they appreciate most in moving applications toward allowance. Our clients appreciate them too, since they invariably increase their chances of getting an issued patent, and decrease their legal fees. I’m passing a few of these practices on to you at this point:

1.       Well drafted, coherent applications - if you, as the inventor, do not understand a patent application, chances are the examiner will have difficulty as well. Do not hesitate to question your attorney on rambling or vague passages. Ask your attorney to explain your claim language to you, just as he will to the examiner.

2.      Reasonable claims - every patent applicant wants the “broadest” patent possible, but examiners will caution you to limit your claims to what you can reasonably make and sell. If you fail to adhere to this advice, you’ll find yourself arguing patent protection for hypothetical products.  Invariably, this is a waste of resources.

3.      Take advantage of examiner interviews - the patent process permits examiner interviews, and dialogue between attorneys and examiners is encouraged now more than ever. Attorneys need to pick up the phone before drafting expensive written responses that may miss the mark. It is amazing how much can be accomplished with a phone call.

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