The information provided on this
website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal
I don't want to waste my money filing an application if the same invention exists - I'll search first, and file later when I am sure I have the only one.
Seems logical, but searching first and filing later is not the best approach for everyone. If you have limited funds, a filing deadline, or you are very familiar with other inventions in the same field of endeavor as your own, searching is often not useful. Also, it's one thing to search and find - but can you interpret what you find? The biggest disadvantage to searching: even the best search result will always be incomplete. With "first to file" there is no time to search anyway. File now, search later.
Note to inventors: it is not up to you to prove that your invention is unique - it is the job of your prospective licensees, etc. to do their own due dilligence. So many inventors become obsessed with "proving" to potential buyers that their invention is unique, to the point that they are deterred from acting - or delayed enough while searching that it allows someone else to file first.
My invention is patents pending - and there is a competitor making the same thing! Can I sue him?
Not yet - patents pending is simply notice to others that your invention is working its way through the patent office, and is meant as a deterrent to infringement. Only a patent OWNER (or licensee) can sue for infringement - and there is no "ownership" until the patent issues, which is taking 2-3 years on average.
So how long will it take you to market my invention once it's filed?
Whoa! My job is to prepare and prosecute your patent application through the patent office - YOUR job is to market your invention and find a buyer, manufacturer, or licensee. Sometimes the difference between success and failure is just persistence. Take a look at the RESOURCES tab - you'll find suggestions and links for inventors.
Someone is threatening to sue me because he has a patent/copyright/trademark! What should I do?
Do NOT ignore these letters! Call me- I can assess whether your activities do constitute infringement. You'd be surprised how many of these letters are just hit jobs attempting to bully someone for some money, and small companies look like easy targets. However, every single one of these letters warrants a serious evaluation - or else you face possible lawsuits later on. In particular, copyright infringement is a common trap - and a real financial threat.