How We Work With You
File Provisional Patents
Typically a startup will file one or more provisional patents prior to (1) launching a new product or service and/or (2) seeking a round of funding. Filing a provisional patent both protects your technology and demonstrates to investors that your startup has patentable technology. From the filing date of a provisional patent, you have one year to follow up and file a nonprovisional patent. The nonprovisional patent receives the effective filing date of the provisional patent. The provisional patent expires after one year. Thus, you have one year from the date on which a provisional patent is filed to file a corresponding nonprovisional patent.
File Nonprovisional Patents
Soquel Group drafts and files high quality standard, i.e. “nonprovisional”, patents that meet all the requirements set by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This includes drafting “claims” that succinctly described the unique aspects of your invention. Subsequently, Soquel Group will act as your representative to prosecute the patents to issuance.
Perform Patent Prosecution
After a patent is filed, the USPTO assigns an Examiner to examine the patent. Typically, the Examiner will issue an “Office Action.” Typically, the first Office Action rejects all the claims in the patent, on a variety of grounds, using prior art in the form of earlier-filed patents and publications. During the patent prosecution phase, Soquel Group acts on your behalf to amend the claims and respond to the examiner’s grounds for rejection. After one or more rounds of office action-response the patent is typically granted and becomes an official US patent.
Conduct Patentability Searches
In some cases a patentability search is useful in determining whether a concept or invention is unique and patentable. Knowing the relevant prior art may be helpful in a variety of ways, including: (1) demonstrating to investors that your technology is indeed patentable, (2) informing you of potentially “blocking” patents that might prevent you from obtaining a patent, (3) identifying competitors, and (4) enabling Soquel Group to navigate around the prior art when drafting your patents.
Respond To Investor Requests
As your patent agency we can respond to investor requests concerning your intellectual property portfolio. We can also provide materials, such as an IP summary or docket report, that investors frequently request.
For most tasks, Soquel Group will give a fixed price quote prior to beginning a project. Generally, our fees are less than half what a standard law firm might charge.
In certain cases, Soquel Group will accept up to 50% of payment in stock in lieu of cash, that is you pay us 50% of our standard rate in cash and 50% in stock. We are not able to accept payment on a stock-only basis as we have fixed overhead costs that must be covered.