One of the best ways to add significant value to your business is through the development and management of a strong IP portfolio. A strong IP portfolio usually consists of multiple issued patents and registered trademarks, as well as currently pending patent applications that cover ongoing product development. The IP professionals at Gallium Law are experienced in developing and managing IP portfolios for both thriving companies and cash-strapped businesses, so no matter the current status of your portfolio or your budget for IP, we can help with your portfolio management.
IP portfolios for large businesses can consist of hundreds of patents and dozens of trademarks, or, for small companies or individual inventors, may include only a few patents and trademarks. No matter the size, the development and proper management of an IP portfolio is an important concern for your business. One key aspect of portfolio management that specifically relates to patents is the maintenance of patent families.
A patent family comprises the “parent” patent and any “child” patents that are filed after the parent, such as continuation and continuation-in-part applications. If proper filing deadlines are met, child applications may claim the filing date of the parent application as their own priority date. For example, say Application A was filed on January 1, 2010, and subsequently issued as a patent on January 1, 2013. Prior to issuance of Patent A, Application B is filed, say on December 1, 2012. Because Application B was filed before the issuance of Patent A, Application B is able to claim January 1, 2010 as the “effective filing date,” despite the fact that Application B was actually filed nearly three years later. This means that any patent applications with an effective filing date after January 1, 2010, are not considered prior art against Application B, thereby removing a large field of references that otherwise could be cited against Application B. As illustrated by this example, getting the benefit of the earliest filing date possible is hugely important when filing a patent application, though it can be easy to lose track of important dates if you're not familiar with the patent prosecution process and each patent/application within a family.
We have experience managing large IP portfolios with numerous trademark registrations and complex patent families, as well as smaller IP portfolios. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your goals for your IP portfolio, whether they include aggressive growth, steady maintenance, or just trying to get a portfolio started. Even if you're not sure what your goals are for your IP portfolio, we can evaluate your current portfolio and work with you to come up with a plan. Please fill out this Contact Form and we will be in touch soon, or call us at 651-256-9480.