Success in business often requires a nimble approach to product development.
Sometimes development and execution are simultaneous in highly competitive fields, with the goal of getting the product out in the market quickly. You may have heard of “agile software development” as a methodology for developing software apps. Developers begin writing code even while they are still working out the details of how the app works.
Agile Patenting® is a methodology created by Rich Goldstein that is a nimble approach to obtaining patent protection for ideas that are moving quickly along the path from concept to market. The goal is to protect the core idea at an early stage AND protect improvements and enhancements as the product is developed and launched.
Like agile software development, Agile Patenting® is:
- ITERATIVE & INCREMENTAL
Agile Patenting® has developed in response to changes in US patent law in 2013 and to the expanding global marketplace for patented inventions.
US patent law now grants patent protection to the inventor who files first, the “first to file system.”
Waiting for the details to be worked out before filing in highly competitive markets may make you too late. Agile Patenting® starts the patent application process as soon as your idea has sufficiently developed but not necessarily in full detail. We lock in an early priority date in the US.
Your US filing date can also transfer abroad.
Unlike the US, most other countries require that a patent application be filed before any invention is introduced into the marketplace, a requirement called “absolute novelty.” In response to clients’ desire to obtain more global protection, the early start of the patent application process preserves clients’ international rights before introducing the idea to the public.
ITERATIVE and INCREMENTAL
Agile Patenting begins with filing a US provisional patent application, effectively “dropping an anchor” for you on that date in the first to file system and in the international patent treaty system.
As your product or ideas move along through development, details are added iteratively in subsequent provisional patent applications, each application adding incremental elements to the original concept. By the end of the year after the first application filing, a non-provisional utility application is filed referencing all the provisional patent applications, establishing priority dates for all aspects to date.
Ideas never move linearly through the development process.
As your project moves forward, new directions can be captured in subsequent filings. When protecting an idea or invention, it is important to capture those branches into a patent application. What may seem to be a diversion or a dead end for the final product, when added to the growing body of applications in the project actually becomes more complete protection. Working around your invention will be much harder for the competition if you have blocked most avenues in your applications.
Most projects start with research to identify what, if any, patent protection may be available for your idea.
Most projects start with research to identify what if any patent protection may be available. Some projects may start with a “cover letter” provisional to preserve US and foreign rights, followed by research. Some projects may require one or two provisional patent applications to capture and fully disclose the invention. Others may require filing an application every month.
At Goldstein Patent Law, we customize our approach to your project.
Similar to practice in agile software development, only experienced patent attorneys are assigned to your case. With a thorough knowledge of US and international patent law, our attorneys guide you nimbly and agilely through the maze of obtaining patent protection for your idea.