Patent prosecution refers to the process of drafting, filing, and negotiating with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for the issuance of a patent to protect an invention. Not all attorneys can legally prosecute patent applications; they must be licensed by the USPTO.
For most businesses seeking to protect their intellectual property, getting their first patent is a big step. A notice of allowance by the USPTO is the culmination of several years of effort and prosecution expenses, but the payoff from this process is the ability to profit from a monopoly on an invention. Once a patent is granted by the USPTO, inventors have twenty years to pursue the market potential for a utility patent and fourteen years for a design patent.
Watson LLP assists clients with leveraging their technology into their most valuable intangible assets. We prosecute utility and design patents, with an emphasis on business methods and inventions in the mechanical arts. We also assist clients in reexamination and reissue proceedings at the USPTO. We have experience with all facets of medical device patent prosecution, including strategic specification and claims drafting, office action responses and arguments, and personal interviews to assist examiners at the USPTO to better understand the mechanics of the underlying invention. When necessary, we also stand ready to prosecute any denial of utility applications to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.