Laboratory notebooks and provisional patent applications can be valuable components of an engineer’s patenting strategy if they are well-prepared, appropriately managed, and diligently followed up with a nonprovisional patent application.
Patent attorneys are often told by their clients “I just want to make sure we are covered,” but the concept of “coverage” can be nebulous. Some clients seeking this assurance are referring to coverage by use of their own patents. Others are referring to coverage against the threat of someone else’s patents as they pursue their own inventions. Even if by “coverage” the client means “protection,” and instead asks, “Are we doing what we should to protect ourselves?” the question is still ambiguous.
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