Southeast IP Group, LLC | 139 Commons Way. | Greenville, SC 29611
864 509 1905

Practice Areas

The Southeast IP family prides itself on our client relationships. Loyalty, trust, and fair dealings; these are just a few of the things we cultivate here. ~ Tom Moses

Patents

"Next came the patent laws. These began in England in 1624, and in this country with the adoption of our Constitution. Before then any man [might] instantly use what another man had invented, so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this, secured to the inventor for a limited time exclusive use of his inventions, and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things."
Abraham Lincoln

Frequently Asked Questions

1.
What is a patent?

A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that gives the inventor the right to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing the invention in the U.S.

2.
Are there different types of patents?
  1. Utility Patent- Covers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
    Example: a mechanical apparatus such as a lawnmower.
  2. Plant Patent- Covers newly invented and unique plants capable of asexual reproduction
    Example: a new and distinct variety of plant such as the Rose Plant Jaccart.
  3. Design Patent- Covers the appearance or ornamental design for an article of manufacture
    Example:  an ornamental design such as a decorative glass vase.
3.
How long does a patent provide protection?

Utility and Plant Patent- expires 20 years after the filing or priority date. Design Patents-Expire 14 years after the patent grant date issued by the USPTO

4.
What is the cost of a patent application?

Fees vary based on the complexity of the invention. Give us a call for a quote and a set fee arrangement.

5.
What is the patent process and how long does it take?
  1. A search is recommended to determine if your invention is patentable. The time required to conduct the search may range from a few days to a few weeks to complete.
  2. A patent application will be prepared by our staff, and after review and approval from the client, will then be submitted to the USPTO.  The application drafting process can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the complexity of the invention and the amount of research and drawings that may be necessary.
  3. Once filed, the application will be assigned to an examiner at the USPTO.
  4. The examiner typically will issue an office action either allowing or rejecting some or all claims of the application.  This process can take anywhere from a few months to two years.
  5. If the claims of the application are rejected, the applicant, attorney, or agent can respond to this office action by amending and/or arguing in favor of the claims.
  6. If the amendments or arguments do not satisfy the USPTO, additional office actions may be issued by the examiner, which will require additional responses on behalf of the inventor.
  7. If the amendments or arguments in favor of the claims are persuasive to the examiner, then the patent will issue after the payment of the issue fee.
6.
I have been selling my invention for two years; can I still get a patent?

No, you must file a patent within one year of any public disclosure or offer for sale.  A public disclosure may include trade shows, presentations, websites, brochures, etc.  If you are seeking patent protection, it is very important that you consult with an IP expert prior to any public disclosure or offer for sale.  Such situations tend to be very fact specific, so if you are unsure about whether you have publicly disclosed your invention, feel free to give us a call for a preliminary analysis of your rights.