Aiello Designs

step 1 - patents

In 2011 the United States changed the "First-to-Conceive" rule, to "First-to-File". Now, like the rest of the world, inventors will be required to file a patent to lay claim to their inventions.

This means it does not matter when you thought of the invention idea, as this no longer is relevant. The only way to secure an idea now, is to file a provisional or non-provisional patent application.

Before you run out and file a patent, you will want to begin with a US Patent Search. This is typically the first service we provide to our clients.

A Patent Search will help to verify if your invention is, or is not, new/novel. There are over 7 million patents on file at the US Patent Office and less than 1% of those are ever developed and brought to market. Just because you cannot find the product in stores, does not mean you are free to develop the invention. You have to be sure it hasn't been patented by someone else first to avoid infringement.

Using your invention description, we search through all of the patents on file at the US Patent Office to find anything similar. A copy of each relevant patent is sent to you for review. Most of the time the Patent Search returns a number of similar patents because there are many ways to design a product that solves the same problem. Each solution is potentially patentable. Typically, we are able move forward by designing around these other patents.

When it comes time to file for patent protection, the quickest and most cost-effective patent is a Provisional Patent. This secures the invention idea as yours, allows you to legally claim Patent Pending and gives you one year to file for full patent protection. (non-provisional) Here are the main advantages of filing a Provisional Patent as taken from the Patent Office web site:
  • provides simplified filing with a lower initial investment with one full year to assess the invention’s commercial potential before committing to the higher cost of filing and prosecuting a non-provisional application for patent
  • establishes an official United States patent application filing date for the invention
  • permits one year’s authorization to use "Patent Pending" notice in connection with the invention
If you're not comfortable filing a Provisional Patent yourself, Aiello Designs can help. This help is free for clients who utilize our services to Design and Engineer their products. Most attorneys charge thousands of dollars for the same service.

Please note, if you publicly show or sell your invention more than one year before you file for a full patent, your patent application may be denied. Also, if you let the 12-month Provisional Application expire, you may lose your patent rights. So a Provisional Patent should not be entered into lightly.

Even if you have Provisional Patent protection, you should have people sign a Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement before you disclose the invention details. This will allow you to document exactly when and with whom the conversations take place. Aiello Designs has a standard Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement that is signed for each and every client soliciting our services.

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