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unique design). Although both parts of Angie’s design exist separately, they do not exist together on the same product. She contacted her lawyers and filed a basic form explaining her patent. Her filing included a simple drawing. Her lawyers created the patent and it was filed (See Exhibit H - YOYO Patent). Although Angie received her filing receipt in short order, the process was far from over. She still needed to file a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patent and receive approval.

The PCT does not provide an international patent. Rather, the purpose of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, she learned, is to “[simplify] the process of filing patent applications, [delay] the expenses associated with applying for patent protection in foreign countries, and [allow] the inventor more time to assess the commercial viability of his/her invention.”1 Angie describes it as “a patent that provides a worldwide blanket.” “Under the PCT, an inventor can file a single international patent application in one language with one patent office in order to simultaneously seek protection for an invention in the PCT member countries.”2 The initial PCT and U.S. patent costs were approximately $10,000.

Even though her patents have been filed, the USPTO still needs to approve them. This process can be lengthy and requires good communication. When a patent is filed initially, lawyers include as many claims as possible and broadly define terms. Angie’s initial claims did not explicitly state that the retractable device was directly attached to the applicator system. The patent examiner requested that she define her claims explicitly and describe that the applicator was, in fact, attached to the device. Angie, initially, left this claim broad to allow it to apply to alternate designs; perhaps the lip gloss could rest in a case and the case could be attached to the reel. Through the patent examination process, some or all of the claims are eliminated. This becomes somewhat of a negotiation process. Angie became dissatisfied with her initial legal representation because she felt they were not communicating adequately with her. As a result, she hired new representation. To highlight the value of networking to an entrepreneur, Angie’s new lawyer is her mother’s doctor’s brother. Angie feels her new lawyer communicates well. They have gone back-and-forth with the examiner concerning a set of exceptions, and

1 2

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/patents.htm#PCTApplication http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/patents.htm#PCTApplication


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