In-House Workshops

Patent Seminars offers a variety of in-house workshops all of which can be customized to fit your firms needs. We are constantly offer new workshops so be sure to click below to learn more.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Patents

A Comprehensive Guide to Patents takes you through the entire patent process INCLUDING MANY ASPECTS OF THE NEW AMERICA INVENTS ACT using a fictitious invention, the "kickback" putter invented by Arnold Plummer and Crash TeeBall and assigned to PuttRite, Inc.

About the Workshop

This process starts with pre-patent activities which include (1) keeping proper records (for example, a lab notebook), (2) knowing when seeking patent protection is appropriate and when it is not, (3) seeking out the right patent attorney, and (4) preparing properly before meeting with the patent attorney. In order to better appreciate whether a patent is even appropriate, given your situation, we will explain (1) what a patent is legally, that is, what it means to you to have a patent on your invention, (2) the structure making up a patent and (3) the legal requirements necessary to obtain a patent. We will also discuss (1) how to best set up a patent program within your company, (2) how to choose between patenting and not patenting your technology and (3) how to best assure that important inventions do not get lost without even being considered. These discussions will include the role of an IP manager as well as the technical and business people. The entire group will participate in an exercise involving a set of patent claims directed to the kickback putter. We will first examine these claims as it relates to the "prior art" in order to see if a patent can be obtained and then we will conduct an infringement analysis on a third party putter to see if the patent claims obtained are infringed. During this exercise, you will learn how to read claims, you will understand what is meant by "prior art" (not as simple a term as you might think) and you will better appreciate the "novelty" and "obviousness" requirements of the patent process. This will be followed by a discussion of the ever ominous "statutory bar" which could prevent you from obtaining a patent before the process even gets underway. Once you understand what a patent is and how it is used, we will take you through the patent application process in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We will also discuss ownership issues, different types of patent licenses and patent interferences.

We will also be discussing the upcoming First TO File system forming an integral part of the America Invents Act as well as other key components of the Act.


Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor and Zafman (in-house) • Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis • Kodak (in-house) • Electrical Power Research Institute • Carr & Ferrell • Fish & Richardson (in-house) • Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert • Nokia Corporation • Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich • Beyer & Weaver • Hewlett-Packard • IBM • Ericsson Communications • Limbach & Limbach (in-house) • Rogers & Wells (in-house) • Pennie & Edmonds (in-house) • Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati • Caterpillar • McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enerson • Townsend & Townsend & Crew (in-house) • Graham & James • Cooley Godward • Fish & Neave (in-house) • Foley & Lardner (in-house) • Sony Corporation • Hickman, Stephens & Coleman • Dorsey & Whitney • Howrey & Simon • Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garett & Dunner • U.S. West • Storage Technology • Johnson & Johnson (in-house) • Kenyon & Kenyon (in-house) • Marshall, O'Toole, Gerstein, Murray & Borun

"We retain Steve Shear to teach a course on patent application drafting and claim drafting for new associates and law clerks. Steve does a wonderful job and we have found the course greatly helps in moving our younger people along." --Ed Taylor, Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor & Zafman

"It looks like a lot of planning and organization went into the course. I really appreciated it and wished it was offered years ago when I started out." --Prior Participant

"I really liked the non-threatening approach and the way such complex material was handled. I especially enjoyed the real life examples and humor and the way you [Steve Shear] involved the audience." --Prior Participant

"The books were great. They were mega helpful and the instructor [Steve Shear] made the class upbeat, fun and very informative." --Prior Participant

"The workshop helped put together everything that we have been grinding out and wondering why ... The books are great resources." --Prior Participant

"The only way the books could have been better is if they were written exclusively for Blakely, Sokoloff." --Prior Participant

"Information was given in a way that made it easy to comprehend." --Prior Participant

"We have sent all our young people to Steve Shear's workshop and will continue to do so. It has become an integral part of our training program." --Steve Beyer, Hickman, Beyer & Weaver

* From our other workshops

Sample Syllabus

What is a patent legally?
Territory and Duration
Types of Patents and their Structure
Legal (statutory) Requirements for a Patent
Claim Exercise directed to Prior Art and Infringement
Aspects of the America Invent Act including First To File
Setting up in-house Patent Programs
Pre-Patent Activities
Ownership Issues
Patent Licenses
Patent Infringement
The Patent Process in detail
Foreign Patents in General
Trademarks in General (if time permits)
Copyrights in General (if time permits)

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