Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between patents, trademarks, and copyrights?

Patents protect inventions; trademarks protect brands; and copyrights protect creative works.

A special type of patent, called a design patent, protects the ornamental aspect of a functional item.

What will we talk about in our initial meeting?

It is very important to me that my clients understand the law regarding their intellectual property. I will explain the laws that may apply to your case, and outline the process for registering your intellectual property.

I do not bill any time for our first meeting, because I want to encourage clients to ask as many questions as possible.

Do you have any public examples of your past work?

Yes. Here are some examples.

Prosecution

Litigation

Licensing

Do you charge hourly or fixed rates?

I charge fixed rates for filing patent and trademark applications. I am usually able to give you a firm quote during our initial meeting. Other work may be charged by the hour.

Do you perform patent searches? Is worthwhile to perform a patent search before applying for a patent?

Yes. I have extensive experience with patent searches. It is usually useful to perform a patent search to determine whether it is worthwhile to file a patent application. Patent searches are almost always less expensive than applying for a patent. The search will give you an idea of what prior art exists, and how broad the scope of your patent claims might be.

Can you help me with a Tennessee state law issue?

I am admitted to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and occasionally assist out-of-state clients with matters in their own state where I am licensed. However, I do not have a Tennessee license and cannot advise you on matters of Tennessee state law. I will gladly refer you to a capable licensed Tennessee attorney if your matter requires advisement under Tennessee state laws.

Who can help me develop and market my invention?

The volunteer organization SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is an excellent free resource for startups and inventors. I have used SCORE to help me set up my own business. SCORE offers counseling and networking services to small businesses in all areas at no charge to the client. The Knoxville SCORE phone number is (865) 692-0716.

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