Kansas Regional Independent Inventors Conference
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Below is a list of the concurrent breakout sessions listed for the conference. These small-group workshops are designed to give attendees in-depth, hands-on information on specific topics related to patents, trademarks, and intellectual property (IP).
Thursday Evening Pre-Conference Session
Most people understand concepts of real property and personal property, but intellectual property can be more confusing. We come into contact with intellectual property every single day, but we are rarely aware if we are misusing those pieces of IP. Businesses, both large and small, use IP protection to create jobs and wealth. Individuals, non-profits, and universities rely on IP protection to bring new products to market, generate much-needed income, and create a revenue stream so that additional research can be done. In this special pre-conference session, you will learn the essential function of patents in society and how they protect intellectual property. Expert presenters from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will offer a detailed overview of patent application filing requirements, forms required, and associated filing fees. The applications discussed will include utility, design, and provisional applications.
35 USC 103 – What Is Obvious?
One of the most difficult subjects in patent law is deciding how close an invention can be to prior inventions and still be patentable. It’s a question that every independent inventor should ask before filing an application. Recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions have changed the framework for answering this question. This presentation discusses these decisions and offers the independent inventor insights for understanding the new legal framework.
Advanced Claim Drafting
This session helps you take the next step in claim drafting. You'll learn how to write claims of varying scope and understand how prior art can influence your claim drafting. You’ll also learn how to write a claim that covers more than one embodiment, which can broaden and strengthen your patent’s coverage.
Claim Drafting for Beginners
Now that you understand the basics of the patent process, learn how to properly define your invention in a claim. In this session, you’ll learn the basics of claim drafting in a structured, easy-to-understand manner. Key terms and their functions will be presented to help you understand how to build a well-written claim. You’ll also find out how to review and revise a claim so that they provide a broadly claimed invention. Lastly, you’ll find out the difference between independent and dependent claims and why that difference matters.
How to Be a Success in Life (at the USPTO)
Filing for a patent application can be a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, and even more-so if you are doing it alone. There are a few common mistakes that many pro se (without an attorney) filers make that can cause the process of getting a patent to become needlessly difficult or even impossible. This breakout session will give you an insider’s look at the examination process and how to avoid costly mistakes when filing and prosecuting your patent application.
Micro Entity and Other Incentives of the AIA
The America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 brought many changes to the U.S. patent system, two of which independent inventors will find particularly relevant. First, the “micro entity” status established by the AIA can potentially save independent inventors significant costs on their patent application fees. We’ll help you determine if you qualify for the new status and what benefits it provides. Second, the change in the U.S. patent system from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-inventor-to-file” system has generated much discussion, but rarely are the details looked at. This breakout session will provide you with the facts so that you can understand how the new law affects patent examination practice and your application.
In this session you will learn how to conduct a patent search using the powerful research tools available on the USPTO website. Supervisory patent examiners from the USPTO will provide tips and guidance that can help you search out patents and prior art related to your application.
Patents – Utilities and Designs
This session is the place to learn about which patents protect specific kinds of IP, how to obtain those patents, and what to do when someone misuses your protected IP assets. We’ll take an in-depth look at the differences between utility and design patents and the different patent applications that are used to file for protection, as well as the various components that make up each type of application (including claims). Additional topics covered include the difference between a provisional application and a nonprovisional, applications used to gain international protection, and how to file applications online.
A USPTO trademark attorney will explore the groundwork necessary when applying for trademarks that establish an identity for your invention in the public eye. The session will cover the definition of a mark that can be registered and the federal law that is the basis of the registration system. The session will also give you an accessible thumbnail sketch of the trademark registration process, from new application workflow through post-registration maintenance.
Similar to the session on patent searching, in this session you will learn how to conduct a trademark search. A USPTO trademark attorney will provide tips and guidance and help you identify and correct problems that could put you at odds with other registered mark-holders and potentially endanger your business.