At Thompson and Thompson, we handle all phases of patent practice (excluding litigation), frequently using a team approach. These services include an initial meeting with the inventor(s), conducting an initial screening search, and if necessary hiring an associate to conduct a full search of the US patents. We review the patents found during the search(es). After our review is completed, we advise the inventor(s) about the patent protection available. If the inventor(s) decides to proceed, we will prepare a patent application for the USPTO, hiring a patent illustrator if necessary. The patent application may be a traditional patent application, a provisional patent application, or a design patent application. After the patent application is completed to the satisfaction of the inventor, we will prepare and file all other additional papers required by the USPTO.
In some cases, we find that what you want to protect may best remain a trade secret, and we will discuss this with you and advise you on alternate ways to protect your intellectual property.
Sometimes, we find that what inventors want to protect is either a trademark or a copyright. If this happens, we will refer you to an attorney who handles these matters, as we have restricted our practice primarily to only patent matters.
In the event that the USPTO rejects some or all of the claims of the patent application, we will review the rejection, consult with the inventor, prepare a suitable response, and, if necessary, interview the patent examiner.
We also consult with the inventors concerning foreign filings. If one or more foreign filings are desired, we will work with our foreign associates to establish a suitable foreign patent portfolio.
In addition to the above, John will assist you in licensing or assigning patent rights. He will also assist you in determining if there are possible patent infringements.
We may find that you have issues dealing with legal aspects which we don't handle. In such cases, we may refer you to knowledgeable specialists in the fields of trademarks, copyrights, and/or trade secrets.