March 18, 2008

The USPTO recently posted a transcript of its February 28, 2008, independent inventor online chat. Although many questions were repeated from prior online chats (like the differences between trademarks and copyrights, inquiries about locating patent attorneys, etc.), a number of questions were relatively more sophisticated than those appearing in prior chat transcripts. Some questions that were answered may be helpful to many independent inventors, including the following:
“My question would be regarding the amount of time an examiner has to respond to an office action wherein a select species was presented by the examiner and an answer to a selection of the species was filed before the 30 day period.”

“Is there a federal program to assist inventors with start up costs?”

“I was also wondering if I should I submit a research proposal, that reveals some details of a non-patented invention, to a Fellowship program? How can I disclose some details of such an invention, but still have it "protected", before I file for a patent. Long story short, proposal is due Saturday, but I plan to go forth with the patent filing process immediately afterwards.”

“Hi there....I'm wondering if you can you get a design patent for something that works based on a utility patented invention?”

“If a trademark that I am interested was applied for by someone else but they abandoned their application and it is now dead can I apply for the same trademark?”
The full transcript is provided in the first link below, while the second link provides additional links to the twelve (12) earlier transcripts dating back to 2004.

February 28, 2008, Online Chat Transcript: LINK
USPTO Online Transcript Webpage: LINK
USPTO Online Transcript FAQ Webpage: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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