Utility Patents

Tinch Law helps inventors and businesses protect their inventions with patents to maximize competitive advantage and stop competitors from using your ideas without your permission.  Tinch Law can help you determine what intellectual property protection is right for your ideas, build a portfolio of assets and leverage your intellectual property to grow your business  

Representative patents:  
10214702 (Biogas blending and verification systems and methods),  10,531,699 (Application no US 2019/0353932 )(Ophthalmic lens communication to device),  US 2019/0353928 (Frontal communication between ophthalmic lenses using ultrasound)

What is a utility patent?

  • A utility patent allows its owner to stop competitors from making, using ,or selling the subject matter disclosed in the patent.

Why do I want one?

  • A utility patent gives its owner a monopoly over the subject matter of the patent for 20 years from filing!  Monopoly’s are the cheat code for capitalism because the monopolist can avoid competition.  Competition tends to drive price down, but the monopolist can side-step this by-product of capitalism.  The upshot is that you can give competitors permission to use your invention via a paid license.

How long is the utility patent process?

  • Our phased approach to utility patent procurement is as follows:
  • Due Diligence – Patent novelty search, analysis and opinion.  Not every applicant is going to get a patent because there are legal requirements and a corps of patent examiners who make sure your application passes muster.  Part of the legal inquiry depends on what related technologies are in the public domain already.  The point of the patent search is to learn what’s out there and how your invention is unique.
  • Application – Once we have an idea of the patent landscape, we can prepare a patent application that discloses your invention and why you should be granted a utility patent.  All patent applications require a written disclosure, including drawings, and a filing fee.  The USPTO has a corps of examiners working for them, and it’s only fair that you have a patent attorney on your side!
  • Prosecution – About 17 months after filing your patent application, an examiner will issue a written opinion discussing whether your application meets the legal requirements for a patent, and if not, what you can do to cure the substantive defects.  (Note - first office action pendency statistics available here). Even though most first office actions are rejections, the USPTO is not out to reject your application.  Instead conceptualize this phase as a negotiation of the proper scope of your patent.
  • Allowance/ Grant.  When you’ve satisfied the legal and formal requirements for a utility patent, you will receive a notice of allowance, which means you are a few formalities (including a fee) away from getting a patent certificate!
  • Post-Grant – this is the part where you have to actually stop others from making, using, or selling your invention. Since you invested in getting a patent, you have a robust toolkit at your disposal and we can help you choose the right tool for the right situation. There are also maintenance fees due at years 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 and we can help you keep track of these deadlines.

Should I apply for a patent?

You should strongly consider applying for whatever non-provisional patent protection you can get, whether design, utility, or both! Not every patent application will be granted. Before we file any applications, we will help you determine i) is your invention is eligible for a patent at all; and ii) does your invention either solve a new problem or solve a known problem in a new way.  

Getting started with us is easy - schedule a consultation so we can get to work protecting your idea!