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VIF Workshop on Search Techniques to Determine if Your Idea is Novel

June 3, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Inventor & Entrepreneur Updates, Patent Articles 

Workshop on Search Techniques to Determine if Your Idea is Novel

WHEN:   Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 6:30PM to 9PM
*registration to start at 6PM

WHERE:  James City County Library
7770 Croaker Road

Williamsburg, VA 23188
Kitzinger Community Room

COST:  $5 – members,  $10 – non-members

Now for some helpful links and lagniappe information for creative minds.

Did you know that the USPTO has tutorials on Prior Art Searching?  If not, try cutting and pasting these links into your browser.

Also, have your seen the attached Utility Patent Process chart?  This chart helps guide innovative minds and asks important questions like whether to seek worldwide protection or just in the United States.

Did you know that VIF is hosting a tradeshow on Saturday, October 23, 2010 with presentations by the USPTO, US Copyright Office and innovative minds to keep all of us inspired?  Stay tuned for more details to be launched on VIF’s Facebook Fan Page.

National Product Searches & Contests

December 21, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Business, Inventor & Entrepreneur Updates, Patent Articles 

These Product Searches and Contests are sponsored by UIA-Certified Members.

JAKKS Pacific & Toys “R” Us are looking for their next big inventor. Show your inventive skills with a brand new game, toy or sports equipment and you could win $2000 in sponsor prizes plus trips to NYC and LA.
Deadline: January 29, 2010
For more information:

Big Idea Group: Microbusiness Hunt!

Big Idea Group is searching for inventions that could become the basis of a profitable microbusiness. BIG plans to form a venture to bring the best invention (or inventions) to market. The winning inventor(s) will receive not only a royalty on products sold, but also an equity stake in the new business that we form to launch the invention. Multiple inventions might be selected.

Innovations in the categories of hardware, lawn and garden, pets, housewares, and sporting goods are welcome. For more info, click here.

Deadline: March 31, 2010

Product Search for Inventors: BestSweet seeks ice cream-inspired candy

August 28, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Patent Articles 

New Live Product Search: BestSweet seeks ice cream-inspired candy

Candyholics rejoice! BestSweet, a top confectionary manufacturer, is turning to you for creative, new ideas for products to add to one of their deliciously notable candy brands.

BestSweet is now turning to our Edison Nation members to this leading ice cream brand’s next hit candy item that will appeal to the lucrative ‘tween consumer (ages 8-13). For this Live Product Search, BestSweet wants you to think outside the box of established candy varieties, such as Junior Mints® or Milk Duds®. BestSweet is looking for your product concept ideas in sweet new flavors and in any shape or size. Whether its minis or bite-size squares, consider the whole package concept and your buyer. What new candy would grab the hard-to-catch attention of ‘tweens?

For this Live Product Search, your product concepts must:

  • Retail in stores for $2.00
  • Appeal to the ‘tween consumer
  • Fit within a leading ice cream manufacturer’s line of branded candy
  • Be unique and patentable

Click here to learn more about the BestSweet Live Product Search

To Search or Not to Search

April 17, 2009 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Patent Articles 

Inventors are often faced with the challenge of funding the patenting process. In many cases, the inventor may forego a novelty search to save money in the near term but at great long term expense.

When determining whether to grant a patent, an examiner of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) will search relevant areas known as class and subclasses directed to a particular field of invention associated with the patent application. The examiner may also electronically search other databases and the Internet. Nonetheless, after a search is conducted, the examiner will evaluate the most relevant references to determine if the claims of the patent application are novel. If the claims are novel, then the Examiner will also determine if the claims are non-obvious. Generally, if both these conditions (novelty and non-obvious) are meet, the Examiner may grant a patent.

The ultimate decision to grant or deny a patent application is made by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), not by the patent practitioner, so the patent practitioner cannot guarantee that any application filed will issue as an allowed U.S. Patent. However, if an electronic search is conducted of at least issued patents and published patent applications, the practitioner has a better chance of finding issued patents or pending published applications that may adversely affect the patent application. In some instances, the search may yield results that would strongly suggest not moving forward with the preparation of a patent application; thus, saving the inventor the expense which could be thousands of dollars to prepare a non-provisional patent application.

The references discovered in a search can be used by the patent practitioner to carefully describe the invention in terms that are unique and which clearly articulate inventive features that the novel and/or non-obvious over some of the existing issued patents or published patent applications. Thus, the inventor’s chances of being successful at obtaining a patent are greatly increased. It is hard to anticipate all possible issued patents, literature, and non-literature references around the globe. Nonetheless, a search is money well spent.