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Securing Your Invention
With the Right Patent

Why Choose Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig?

We can help in whichever stage of the patent process you’re in.

Patent Filing

Filing a patent application is the first step in securing legal protection for your invention. Get expert assistance in drafting and filing your patent application. We’ll help you determine whether to file for a utility or design patent, based on your needs. Then we’ll guide you through the patent application process, ensuring that your invention receives the comprehensive protection it deserves from the outset.

Patent Prosecution

Patent prosecution involves interacting with the patent office during the examination and review of your patent application. Our attorneys and agents work to overcome objections or rejections raised by the patent examiner, maximizing your chances of obtaining a patent.

As lawyers for the country’s most prominent inventor nonprofit, we have challenged the Patent Office in court to break down barriers that hold back some inventors.

What type of Patent do You Need?

Deciding on the appropriate type of patent depends on the nature and purpose of your invention and your goals. Our experienced patent attorneys and agents can help you navigate the complexities of patent law and determine the best patent strategy for you.

Provisional Patent Application

A provisional patent application serves as a one-year placeholder filing that establishes an early priority date for your invention. It does not mature into a granted patent on its own but allows you to disclose and further develop your invention while deciding whether to pursue a nonprovisional (utility) patent.
Key benefits of provisional patent applications:

Utility Patent

Utility patents are the most common type of patent. They protect the structural and functional aspects of an invention, including its processes, machines/devices/apparatuses, compositions of matter, or improvements thereof.
Key benefits of utility patents:

Design Patent

Design patents focus on the unique visual aspects of an invention rather than its functionality. They protect the ornamental or aesthetic appearance of an invention, including its shape, configuration, surface ornamentation, and overall visual design.

Frequently ASked Questions

What is the process for filing a patent?
The process involves several key steps:
There are three primary types of patents:
If your invention is still in progress but you want to safeguard it against competitors, filing a provisional patent application might be appropriate. This secures your priority date with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for up to one year if certain statutory requirements are met, potentially preventing others from claiming rights to your invention by filing before you do.
Every application is different, but you should start gathering this information:
The timeline for obtaining a patent can vary but typically ranges from 1 to 3 years or longer. Factors affecting the timeline include the complexity of the invention, backlog at the patent office, and any challenges encountered during prosecution. Consult with your attorney or agent for potential ways to accelerate examination, some involving paying a large extra government fee.
To qualify for a patent, in general, an invention must be novel, or different from existing inventions or prior disclosures; non-obvious, which means it cannot have been obvious to someone skilled in the relevant field; and useful, which means it must have a practical use or offer a beneficial result. Your patent application must contain a clear and detailed description of the invention, enabling someone skilled in the field to understand and replicate it.
It’s possible to file a patent application without an attorney. However, working with a qualified patent attorney or agent offers many advantages. An attorney or agent can provide valuable expertise, navigate legal complexities, and maximize the chances of obtaining a granted patent.
Yes, owning a patent grants you exclusive rights to your invention, and includes the ability to license or sell it to others.
After a patent is granted, you have the right to exclude third parties from making, using, selling, importing, or offering to sell the patented invention for the patent’s term (typically 20 years from the filing date). In the United States, maintenance fees must be paid to keep a utility patent in force at the 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 year points after issuance.
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Intern Program

As part of our effort to recruit, develop and retail the best and brightest attorneys, Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig offers a summer intern program for promising law school students who are looking to work as part of an innovative and incredibly successful team. With a global team of lawyers, selected candidates are able to work on high level projects in a collaborative space.

Paralegals and Legal Support Staff

At Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, our team of paralegals and staff work together collaboratively along side our attorneys toward a common goal. We have created a positive work environment where our paralegals and legal assistants work to successfully reach firm-wide goals and support each other to combine individual strengths to enhance team performance. They regularly assist our attorneys with organizing and maintaining files, conducting legal research, and preparing documents.