The Patent Process: What Non-IP Lawyers Need to Know (Update)
Created on May 04, 2020
One area of law that most lawyers do not have any experience with is patent law, and in particular, the patent prosecution process. Patent prosecution requires a special license, which in turn requires passing its own exam, and an undergraduate degree in science or engineering. Because it is such a specialized area of practice, with about only 40,000 active practitioners in the U.S., most law schools do not offer much in the way of course work in this area.
However, it is not unusual for an attorney who has no background in patent prosecution to litigate a patent infringement case, negotiate a settlement or a licensing agreement, or determine the value of patents during merger and acquisition activities. These attorneys need to know what vulnerability a patent may have as the result of the prosecution process. Lawyers who practice business or corporate law, trusts and estates, tax, bankruptcy, and even family law are confronted with issues of invention, patenting, patent validity, and patent ownership.
In this program, Pat Werschulz of Werschulz Patent Law, LLC, outlines the patent process, reviews the relevant governing statutes and shows how clients without proper guidance may end up losing their patent rights permanently.
- Review the statutory requirements for obtaining a patent
- Discuss who may apply for a patent and who may own a patent
- Map the pathway from invention to a patent for both US and foreign countries
- Identify possible limiting or invalidating actions that might occur during the patent prosecution process
- Assess the importance of contractual agreements throughout the process
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