Find Lawyers in Raleigh, North Carolina for Patent Law
Practice Area Overview
A patent is a contract between an inventor and the government. The inventor provides a complete description of the invention to the public in an application for patent. This benefits the public by providing knowledge of the invention for use as a foundation for additional innovation. In return, if the invention is new (as compared to everything known to the public prior to the invention), a patent is issued. This patent gives the inventor a right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the patented invention throughout the United States, and from importing the invention into the United States, for the life of the patent, usually 20 years from filing.
Grant of a patent does NOT itself give an inventor a right to exploit the patented invention – it only gives the inventor a right to exclude others from practicing the invention. For example, if an inventor makes an improvement to a previously patented machine, and gets a patent, the inventor can prevent the owner of the original patent from using the improvement. However, the inventor may not be able to exploit the improvement itself, at least until the original patent expires, because such exploitation might infringe that original patent.
Title 35 of the United States Code (the “Patent Statutes”) set forth the standards and procedures for obtaining patents. Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an agency of the Department of Commerce.
The following items are patentable under these statutes:
- Processes: new methods of doing something
- Machines: engines, machinery, instruments, gadgets, etc.
- Articles of manufacture: circuits, tools, structures made of metal, plastics, ceramics, etc.
- Compositions of matter: new pharmaceuticals, chemical compounds, naturally occurring substances when substantially purified, DNA sequences, biological materials, e.g. bacteria, viruses, proteins and protein fragments, monoclonal antibodies, epitopes, and vectors.
- Improvements in any of the above
- Living organisms: genetically altered plants and animals.
- Computer programs: alone and in conjunction with other equipment.
- Business methods: methods for doing business, but not those solely directed to patenting abstract ideas.
- Designs: ornamental aspects of articles of manufacture.
- Non-patentable items include: nebulous concepts or ideas, laws of nature (e.g., gravity), mathematical algorithms alone (but computer-implemented mathematical algorithms producing a concrete, useful, and tangible result are patentable subject matter), and purely mental processes.
A key element to effective patent protection is writing patent claims that define the invention as broadly as possible, but without overlapping prior art that could make the patent invalid. This is generally best done by someone with skill and experience in patent practice, so consulting with a patent attorney is a wise choice.
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Over the course of more than 25 years as a patent attorney matched with in-house experience as a pharmaceutical chemist at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals and Smithkline Beecham, Allen Baum, partner-in-charge of the Raleigh office, has the ability to take complex scientific and legal issues and distill them into timely, relevant and useful counsel. Allen represents life sciences companies in patent and licensing matters. Clients hire Allen to identify and execute strategies to protect key commer...
Art DeBaugh focuses his practice on trademarks , marketing/advertising/promotions issues, copyrights, trade dress, trade secrets, and business and corporate matters. As a North Carolina State Bar certified specialist in trademark law, Art has more than 25 years of experience protecting clients' intellectual property . Prior to joining Bell, Davis & Pitt in 2013, Art served as a partner in two law firms in the Research Triangle area. Prior to that, Art was chief counsel – intellectua...
With a career that has included in-house patent counsel positions at GlaxoSmithKline and Targacept, Inc. (now Catalyst Biosciences), Amy Fix understands the core business issues her clients face. She has spent many years helping clients protect pharmaceutical, agricultural and polymer technologies, and is notably skilled in the growing sector of small-molecule drug development. Amy’s clients range from large international pharmaceutical corporations to smaller companies producing innova...
R. Andrew "Drew" Patty II is a partner with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in the firm's Intellectual Property and Cybersecurity Groups. He has extensive experience in a broad range of transactional intellectual property matters and related litigation. He also has a growing cybersecurity and data privacy practice. His chemical patent experience includes patent preparation and prosecution in the fields of oilfield proppants and other downhole chemicals, refinery catalysts, organometallic chemistry, microb...
Coe Ramsey is a media and entertainment lawyer with an emphasis in broadcast, music, and intellectual property law. A former disc jockey, Coe represents radio and television stations, programming networks, music-related businesses, musicians, producers, artists, new media companies, and others in nearly every area of media and entertainment law. Coe has a diverse entertainment practice that includes matters related to music, radio, film, television, and publishing. His passion for broadcastin...
Bryan Skelton’s clients rely on his years of experience in intellectual property counseling and his focus on developing, executing, and enforcing worldwide market exclusivity strategies for their core assets. Pharmaceutical, chemical, and biotechnology companies of all sizes call on Bryan for portfolio growth, management and acquisition, due diligences, and strategic partnering. Bryan focuses his practice on advising pharmaceutical companies and research institutions on complex legal is...
Erica is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Trademark Law. She assists individuals, small businesses, and large corporations with a wide array of intellectual property matters. Her practice focuses on trademark selection and clearance, trademark prosecution and registration, and trademark portfolio management. She also routinely engages in resolving trademark disputes, including drafting cease and desist letters, negotiating coexistence agreements, providing subject matt...
Steve Schilling builds strong relationships with clients by being responsive to their needs and developing strategies tailored to those needs. Steve uses his Ph.D. in pharmacology and his experience in molecular biology, cancer biology, immunology, and agricultural biotechnology to provide his clients with the knowledge and guidance they seek throughout the life of their patent portfolios. A member of Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property – Patents Group, Steve focuses his pra...
Katie Wong focuses her practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation, representing clients in all state and federal courts. She works with individuals and companies facing white-collar criminal charges and government investigations. She represents businesses of all sizes, as well as individuals, in litigation in state and federal court. She counsels clients through a wide variety of complex commercial matters, and has experience with both civil and criminal procedure. Katie also...
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