Patent Attorneys - Infringement, Litigation, Assessment & Prosecution

Specializing In Patent & IP Issues: Traverse Legal has a registered patent attorney and/or patent agent available to assist you across a wide range of patent matters including: Patent Infringement; Due Diligence; Patent Litigation; Patent Right Enforcement; Patent Indemnity; Patent Prosecution; Patent Protection; Patent Validity and Patentability. Whether you are an inventor or company whose patent rights are being violated, a company looking to extend your intellectual property portfolio or you require a patent litigator, our lawyers can add experience and business judgment to your team.


KH - 97ET7624 Attorney Katie Horvath: "Traverse Legal's patent attorneys know patent law and pride themselves on advanced litigation techniques which are both cost-effective and budget oriented. When it comes to patent infringement, threat letters, litigation, assessment & prosecution, Traverse Legal has you covered.  When it comes to client service, there are very few firms that can match our capabilities. Because we are a boutique litigation law firm, we know how to strategically and efficiently accomplish our client's patent and idea protection goals." View Katie's of-counsel profile here.

If you have a patent issue, or wish to register a patent, you may contact one of our patent attorneys for a free evaluation or call 866.936.7447 (International Toll Free).


Overview of Patents

Welcome to Patent Law Radio.  We bring you the best in patent and invention news, legal advice and information.  From patent prosecution to patent litigation, we cover the issues here.

Matt Plessner:  Hello and thanks for tuning in to Patent Law Radio. My name is Matt Plessner and today we would just like to give you an overview of patents.  What are they?  How do you know when you should patent something and so on and so forth?  And to help us out, we are speaking today with patent attorney Jason Young from the Traverse Legal office of Traverse City, Michigan.  Jason, thanks a lot for joining us today.

Jason Young:  My pleasure. 

Overview of Patents

Matt Plessner:  Now Jason, to start us off, can you please tell us what it means to patent something?

Jason Young:  Sure.  A patent is a right granted by the federal government to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing an inventor’s invention in the United States and its territories, and that’s one of the common misconceptions a lot of people have about patents.  It’s not the right to do something.  It’s not a monopoly necessarily, but it is a right to exclude others from those activities.  Making, using, selling and/or importing, or offering for sale too.  So, if somebody has a patent right, then they’re entitled to block other people from engaging those activities with respect to the invention that is covered by the patent in the U.S.  A patent is national in scope.  It has no effect outside the United States and its territories.  There is no such thing as international patent yet.  But as soon as a product that infringes a patent hits the shores of the U.S., then the patent holder can do something about it. 

Matt Plessner:  And Jason, what can be patented?

Continue reading Overview of Patents >>

Controversy Continues Over Patentability of Software Inventions

The USPTO unofficially gives new guidance to an approach to 35 U.S.C. 101 "usefulness" patentability determination for software patents.  In commenting on a recent Federal Circuit court decision regarding 101 (usefulness) patentability for software inventions, the USPTO in a blog post stated that patentability criteria regarding prior art (102 novelty and 103 obviousness) might be addressed first, before section 101 comes into play.  Specifically, the USPTO and the Federal Circuit noted that 102 and 103 (along with 112 definiteness and enablement) typically do the lion's share of work in disqualifying inventions that are not worthy of a patent, and that section 101 need not be addressed first.  Rather, that determinations of validity/patentability may be more streamlined by addressing the 102, 103 and 112 criteria before turning to the 101 inquiry.  Software related inventions have been controversial under 101 criteria, and other recent Federal Circuit court decisions have been harsh on patentability for this type of invention.  The USPTO hinted that applications meeting 102, 103 and 112 requirements would not likely receive 101 rejections.  Should the USPTO adopt this order of examination in practice, perhaps we will see fewer 101 rejections and focus on overcoming prior art based rejections instead for this type of invention.  This could be a step towards lessening the 101 focus during examination.  For the full post see:  

Continue reading Controversy Continues Over Patentability of Software Inventions >>

Patent Troll Loses Claim Over Ownership of the Internet.

Michael Doyle and his company Eolas Technologies, which claimed patent ownership in interactive elements on the web, had its claims struck down by a Texas federal jury.

Continue reading Patent Troll Loses Claim Over Ownership of the Internet. >>

Women Inventors On the Rise

In March the USPTO will unveil a new study regarding women inventors and patents.  In 2010, the U.S. saw a 35% increase in women receiving patents from the the prior year, totaling over 22,000 patents granted to women that year.  The USPTO, in conjunction with the National Women's Business Council, will pay tribute to women inventors during March and will unveil the 2011 results of the study.  With AIA changes, patent applications will now be tracked by gender.  The USPTO has tipped its hat a bit prior to the Mar. 1 unveiling, to indicate that the number of women applying for and receiving patents and trademarks over the past 5 yrs. continues to rise.    

USPTO to Host Roadshow Series

As part of the process of policy making for implementation of the America Invents Act (AIA), the USPTO will be hosting a series of sessions for gathering public comment on proposed implementation and policies for implementing the AIA changes signed into law by Congress.  This roadshow will take place this spring across the U.S. to give independent inventors the opportunity to meet with USPTO officials and comment.  It begins in Alexandria, VA (Feb. 17), continues through the US.: Silicon Valley (Feb. 24), Salt Lake City (Feb. 27), Dallas (Feb. 29), Fort Lauderdale (Mar. 2), Boston (Mar. 5) and Chicago (Mar. 7). 

Continue reading USPTO to Host Roadshow Series >>

Michigan to Gain a USPTO Patent Office

The USPTO is planning to open a satellite patent office in Detroit.  The USPTO has had difficulty retaining enough patent examiners in recent years to wade through the increasingly large backlog of patent applications awaiting examination.  One reason for the difficultly in retaining patent talent is the high cost of living in the Alexandria, Virginia area near the USPTO headquarters, as compared to the modest patent examiner salary.  In an effort to retain talent, the USPTO will be opening three new satellite patent offices.  The patent office has already identified Detroit as one location and the other two locations are up in the air.  You can provide input to the PTO as to where the offices should be located.  The deadline for public comment on the future PTO office locations is January 30, 2012.

The USPTO requests comments to be in writing and submitted to satelliteoffices@uspto,gov and to provide information that supports the USPTO's purposes of establishing satellite offices to increase outreach activities to better connect patent filers and innovators with the offices, enhance patent examiner retention and improve recruitment of patent examiners.


PTO Hires New Judges to Tackle Backlog of Appeals

The USPTO Director just announced that the PTO has hired 14 new administrative jurists to the Board of Patent Appeals, in an attempt to wade through the backlog of patent appeals stemming from patent prosecution decisions.  If a patent applicant does not agree with the outcome of prosecution of her patent application, she has some opportunity to appeal the examiner's decision with the Board of Patent Appeals.  Board of Patent Appeals decisions may be appealed to federal court, to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is the appellate court that handles all patent appeals in the U.S.

Patent Reform Isn't Over

As part of the patent reform act signed into law, Congress tasked with the PTO with making changes, but did not instruct the PTO how to implement changes.  Rather, Congress put ongoing requirements on the USPTO for change, in the form of proposing rules changes to implement the new law, gathering public opinion and comment regarding the proposed changes and devising final rules changes to implement many of the new provisions in the America Invents Act (AIA).  For example, in December, the PTO  published proposed rules for supplemental examination and to revise reexamination fees.  The PTO also announced public hearings and request for comments on genetic diagnostic testing per the AIA.  If you are interested in having your opinion heard by those who will be making the rules for the patent landscape for years to come, you have opportunity to get involved.

How long does it take for the USPTO to look at my patent application?

We've come to expect a 1-2 year time period before the USPTO issues a first office action in response to a newly filed utility patent application.  And that's typically just the beginning of the prosecution back and forth between a patent applicant and the patent examiner in trying to obtain allowance of the patent claims.  Under the America Invents Act (the patent reform legislation), the USPTO Director optimistically reported yesterday that the backlog of patent applications awaiting prosecution is now down to only 660,000.  That still seems like a lot, but he reports that the PTO has just hired a fleet of new examiners to attempt to tackle the backlogged cases. 

There also is an excellerated examination option, which provides for a quick patent examination period (12 months).  This option sets additional requirements upon a patent applicant, including payment of higher fees.  But for time sensitive inventions – where an inventor benefits greatly from having an issued patent now – this option is worth considering. 


International Patent Protection for Small Businesses and Prior User Rights Studies

The Federal Circuit Bar AssociationInternational Patent Protection for Small Businesses and Prior User Rights Studies

The USPTO is presently working on the International Patent Protection for Small Businesses and Prior User Rights Studies, both of which have reports due to Congress in mid-January. They recently published two Federal Register Notices (available on the PTO website) seeking written comments and/or testimony in a hearing setting from the public. The Notices are also available here:

The agency would greatly benefit from public input on both studies, either through written comments and/or oral testimony at the hearings they have planned. Here are the logistics for those hearings:

•    International Patent Protection: Thursday, October 27th from 1 to 4 PM at the USPTO and Tuesday, November 1st from 9 AM to noon at USC Law School in Los Angeles
•    Prior User Rights: Tuesday, October 25th from 8:30 to 11:30 AM at the USPTO

Thank you, and we hope you can take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the dialogue about the America Invents Act.

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