Patent Services for Product Design

Our Industrial Design and Product Development team at Spark Innovation has a long and highly successful track record for obtaining optimal patent protection for its clients. Working with experienced patent agents and attorneys, Spark formulates IP strategies and searches for conflicting technology. Based on its exceptional knowledge of the design impact of key product features, Spark prepares formal patent briefs, recommending ways to direct the efforts and ease the load of your patent agents. Spark frequently assists in finding strategies for arguing and defending the response to patent office actions. Our industrial design and product development team develops products based on research of existing intellectual property, to avoid entanglement with conflicting patents. We have over 250 issued patents in the US.

Today’s successful products are all about patents. The Design Patent of the Coca Cola bottle, the Fleecy Trademark Patent, and the many Utility Patented consumer products such as razor blades, toothbrushes, tools, kitchen products, automobiles, glues and PCs.

If a product does not have meaningful patents that allow protection for a much lower cost or much better features, then you have a commodity product that is sold mostly based on price and or relationships. Whether it’s the Kraft that sells the peanut butter or the Pentium II that sold the PC, patents carve out a section of the market until that patent expires or the competition finds a way around that advancement. Whether one intends to sell the product or simply license it, intellectual property is at the core of that value.

Patents allow a startup to startup. With a small investment in Intellectual property a startup business can have protection and slowly build it’s business with profits and minor investment. If not for patents large companies will simply take the idea and offer it at lower cost due to their volumes or even at higher costs due to their distribution or brand names. If Licensing is the goal, there is no licensing without meaningful intellectual property.

The Dual Focus of Patents

Right to Use:

This is simply do not infringe on an existing patent or there will likely be legal action. Once the innovation is refined, the careful research of the existing world wide patent files and web based product searches are known as a Prior Art Search. A prior art search is only as good as the skill, experience and imagination of the searcher. Prior art searches are usually performed by registered Patent Agents who are often legally trained and may have some dated and related technical training or not. Searches to be meaningful must be carried out or directed by the engineers and designers that design today’s products as they are at the top of product development cycle game and are most likely to have greater product extension and search intuition.

Exclusive Use:

Exclusive use is what most people understand about patents in that Patents allow a product advancement to be used exclusively by the owner of that patent until that patent expires. A patent protecting a certain product advancement is only of value if there are no work arounds. When patenting a new idea it is key that note only the Preferred Embodiment [the way you actually intend to design the product] but also all the other designs to accomplish the same advancement must be included in the application for it to provide true exclusive protection. In Spark’s experience with over 180 issued patents in 18 years of designing, 98% of issued patents fall short in this important step and can be easily designed around.

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