Frequently Asked Questions

Patents

  • First, there is no such thing as a provisional patent or a non-provisional patent. Instead, there is a provisional patent application and a non-provisional patent application.

    A provisional application is just that, an application that is made provisionally in anticipation of later filing a "non-provisional" application - the application that will be examined. A provisional application preserves the filing date for the inventor to give priority to the application. Upon filing the provisional application the USPTO sends a confirmation date and application number. However, it is important to understand no examination is made of the provisional application.

    An applicant will have one year to file a non-provisional patent application referencing the provisional application.

    Provisional Patents

  • Whether to file a provisional patent application or a non-provisional application should be carefully discussed with your patent attorney. There are advantagest to filing a provisional application like:

    1. faster to prepare
    2. lower cost
    3. claims do not have to be submitted
    4. drawings are less scrutinized
    5. and it gives a year to go find investment money to prove the viability of your invention.

    However, if you are ready to go to market, understand exactly what the claims are you want to make regarding your invention, and have the resources then going ahead and filing a non-provisional patent application is advantageous because the time to get to examination and prosecution is shortened.

    Provisional Patents

  • The first thing I advise clients is cost is determined by the client's participation in the process. This is not the patent attorney's invention, but is the client's invention. The more drawings, pictures, instructions, text, background information and insights an inventor can provide will help drive down the cost of the application. The patent attorney will help take the layman language and ensure it is broad enough to capture similar, infringing inventions but specific enough to be defensible.

    The application is made of

    1. Fees payable to the USPTO at the time of filing ($75 for a micro entity for a provisional application versus $750+ for a complex non-provisional application)
    2. drawing fees - about $50/page for each drawing (generally 5-10 drawings are required)
    3. the time time to upload and file the application (I generally budget 2-3 hours for the final filing which is made of the Application Data Sheet/ADS, the Information Disclosure Sheet/IDS, the inventor's Oath, and breaking the application into the properly formatted sections: Claims, Abstract, Specification, and Drawing. And finally paying the fee.
    4. and of course drafting the application: Background, Summary, Detailed Description, Drawings information; Abstract, and Claims. Depending on the invention and inventor participation the first draft in a non-provisional application will take at 10-15 hours and generally require another 10-15 hours of review with the inventor.
    5. Provisional Patents Non-Provisional Patents

Trademarks

Bankruptcy

  • The first test in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy analysis is income - this is based on the means test and is a function of your income and dependents. If you meet the means test then you can qualify for Chapter 7. This is a much easier, short process and often referred to as a "fresh start" as your qualifying debts are wiped away. Chapter 13 bankrruptcy on the other hand requires you to work to repay your creditors via a structured repayment plan, typically over 5 years.

    Bankruptcy Chapters

  • The most important date in a bankruptcy filing is the Petition Date. This the day your bankruptcy attorney files the petition with the Court. The next step is a "341 Hearing" or a meeting with the Trustee. Currently the bankruptcy trustee meetings are being help via telephone and last about 10 minutes; the meeting/hearing takes place roughly 40-45 days after the Petition date. If everything is in order in your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy then an order of discharge will be issued about 45 days later. Start to finish the legal portion of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy should take 90 days.

    Bankruptcy Timing

Estate Planning

  • Everyone needs a Will. However, our goal is to avoid probate and this will be fully discussed. When looking at your "bounty" you have three types of property:

    1. tangible (stuff)
    2. Real (your house and other real estate)
    3. and intangible property.

    Through proper legal counsel we can minimize how property is transferred and avoid probate.

    Wills

  • A life enhanced deed can help speed the process of transferring property after death and even avoid probate when properly prepared. A life enhanced deed operates similarly to a payable on death transfer.

    Deeds

Probate

  • If you are concerned about probate you should first meet with an attorney to minimize what assets in your estate are exposed to probate and how to minimize the probate assets as most attorneys charge their fee based on the asset value.

    Probate is either Formal (>$75,000 of assets) or Summary. A petition is created, death certificate file, the Will (Testate) is recorded with the Court and then if it is a Formal Administration the proposed Personal Representative affirms his Oath and awaits appointment by the Court. Next, a Notice to Creditors is published and several other Petitions will be filed during this time. Ultimately, the Judge will issue an Order transferring title to properties to the beneficiaries and the Personal Representative will be discharged.

    Probate

  • A summary administration could be completed in several weeks. A Formal Administration is going to take approximately 6 months if there are no unforeseen circumstances: bickering beneficiaries, property in other states, delays in getting signatures, court delays or hearings.

    Probate

Divorce

Business Law

Port Orange, New Smyrna, Edgewater, Daytona, Oak Hill - Patents, Wills, Divorce, Bankruptcy, and Foreclosure. Serving zip codes 32168, 32169, 32132, 32141, 32128, 32129 and all of Volusia County.

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