Patent Group, LLC
Pointing your venture in the right direction
The Firm’s newest subsidiary, Eaton Peabody Patent Group (EPPG), serves clients both nationally and internationally, and acts as an extension of our Intellectual Property Practice. Our ability to provide cost effective patent services in-house has proven to be a valuable asset to many of our small business and corporate clients.
Well versed in the procurement of technology patents for a broad spectrum of technical processes, products, and advanced technologies, registered Patent Agent Dennis Haszko brings nearly 20 years of experience to the practice. Dennis has worked as an in-house patent agent for a leading high tech firm, as well as in private practice guiding clients through the patenting process of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Areas of experience include a variety of technologies ranging from food science to transportation, to even the ever-present mouse-trap improvements. With primary technical areas of expertise in electrical, electronic, mechanical, and software-related inventions, Dennis has also provided consulting services in Intellectual Property management and licensing.
The patent process can be lengthy and confusing, especially for first-time applicants. In order to clearly explain the overall process, it is helpful to break it into four separate stages. These stages include:
The Patent Process: Secure your idea
STAGE 1: Search - Your invention is researched to ascertain potential patentability.
STAGE 2: Application preparation - Your invention is documented within a technical description with drawings.
STAGE 3: Application prosecution - Your written patent application is filed in a government office which is typically followed by negotiations with a government official prior to granting your patent.
STAGE 4: Patent commercialization - Your granted patent is asserted, licensed, or sold during the course of your business activities.
While the basics of the patent process are outlined above, the process is frequently less straightforward. Because of the importance of every step and the costs involved in each, this is not a process that should be taken lightly. Indeed, conceiving the idea might begin to feel like the easy part. Inventing, patenting, and subsequently commercializing your patented invention is a lot of work. However, if done right, it can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you can do.
All patent filings made at the USPTO are filed electronically which facilitates our file tracking and case management. Canadian filings at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and international filings via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) are also often made directly. All foreign filings beyond the USPTO, CIPO, and PCT occur via our worldwide network of foreign patent associates.
Patents: Obtain protection
IP management services include guiding your business through the process of identifying your IP assets and analyzing how to best use them to benefit your business. We often focus on small to medium sized enterprises commonly referred to as SME’s. In dealing with an SME, an IP management strategy should be developed with an understanding of the overall topography of the IP world. This often includes detailed research into the pertinent industry, competition, potential partners, and geographic considerations. We work closely with our clients to assure that their IP strategy is customized and always in line with their budgets.
IP Management: Find the best benefit
Let us help you capitalize on your IP assets through the process of identifying potential licensing opportunities and assisting you and your business attorney in successfully negotiating a license. Where appropriate, we can link you easily to one of the experienced business attorneys at Eaton Peabody. Each and every licensing deal is different as are the needs of each client. We work closely with individual clients to develop their licensing strategy, whether it is a licensing-in of technology and know-how to grow their business, or a licensing-out of core patents to obtain a return on investment. This often includes significant due diligence efforts and research into valuation of IP assets.
IP Licensing: Capitalize on your assets
A sizeable portion of the patent practice relies on the global network of patent specialists necessary in today’s business world. As both a registered US and Canadian Patent Agent, Dennis provides clients with direct patent services via patent filings at the USPTO and CIPO. Likewise, EPPG can assist foreign associates outside of North America with their patent clients by providing coordinated national filings at the USPTO and CIPO. This often results in a significant cost savings not only at the initial filing stage, but also during the subsequent patent prosecution of US and Canadian patent applications. Beyond the cost savings, foreign associates find dealing with only one North American associate to be a significant administrative advantage.
New VenturesCreating and developing a new business venture can be one of the most exciting experiences for individuals and small companies. For us, helping people create something from the ground up is the most gratifying aspect of patent law. However, we recognize that making something tangible arise from a raw idea does not happen without significant effort.
New ventures need a very different level of assistance. Working with the various levels of business assistance available to Maine residents, we help guide clients to get their head around protecting their intellectual property. Moreover, we understand that patents are not always the answer to a client’s immediate needs, or perhaps not even relevant to their overall IP strategy. In the end, we believe in giving a client as much information as possible so that the client can make the appropriate business decisions… regardless of whether or not it results in a new patent filing for us!
Developing a business can feel like a catch-22 situation. Want to borrow funds? You need collateral. To get collateral, you need to borrow funds. The same is true in the intellectual property arena. In order to gain acceptance in financing circles, you need to show something tangible for your idea. More often than not, what that means to an investor is one or more pending patent applications.
The term Venture Patenting is used because it reflects the risk-based nature of the type of patenting work we choose to do for certain clients. Such clients are usually independent innovators and small companies with high growth potential that do not have much capital to allocate to patent protection. Moreover, we find that protecting the invention is all too often just an afterthought in the innovation process for such clients. When such clients do think about patent protection, they are usually dissuaded by the relatively high cost of legal fees associated with the patent process.
Venture Patenting through Eaton Peabody’s Innovative Enterprises Program (IEP) can help.
Through IEP, we help you to focus your invention on the right path and to develop a manageable patent strategy. Rather than requiring substantial up-front legal fees, we invest our time and effort in your patents on a deferred-fee basis. Because all situations are different and because not all inventions are appropriate for IEP, admission to the Program is selective, and we take on only a select few such patent clients each year. Applicants are limited to Maine-based businesses, and each prospective IEP client’s proposed invention is screened for patentability potential and commercial viability before being accepted into the Program.
If you are a Maine resident or would consider re-locating to Maine, please contact us to learn more about IEP.
Related practices and services:Business Law