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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TelePatent Telephonic Comprehensive Guide To Patents

A Comprehensive Guide to Patents takes you through the entire patent process using a fictitious invention, the “kickback” putter invented by Arnold Plummer and Crash TeeBall and assigned to PuttRite, Inc. Much of the newly enacted America Invents Act will be discussed here including First To File.

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. 



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

America Invents 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)

About the Instructors

Stephen C. Shear
A Former United States Patent Examiner, Steve has been practicing patent, trademark, copyright and other forms of intellectual property law for 40 years.

Prior to establishing the Law Offices of Stephen C. Shear, he was a partner at the Palo Alto law firm of Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper) and a senior partner at the San Francisco patent law firm of Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton and Herbert.

He is the executive director and founder of Silicon Valley Seminars and has been conducting patent workshops since 1984.

Steve holds a B.S. degree (electrical engineering) from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. He has been an Adjunct Professor and Member of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Colorado, School of Engineering, a co-founder of a number of start-up companies including Phiar Corporation and XenoPur Systems, Inc. and has served as an expert witness in patent lawsuits.

Steve is also a published Novelist, Portrait and Figure artist, and Sculptor. Most of his work can be seen at

Richard H. Shear
Rick, a former United States Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, recently retired as Chief Patent Counsel for Monsanto Company. During his 25 year career with the company, Rick had responsibility for Monsanto's most important product, Roundup ® herbicide. 

Rick has extensive experience in patent prosecution, especially in the chemical and biotechnology arts, as well as in litigation, including foreign litigation. He now has his own patent law practice providing legal services for all aspects of intellectual property. 

Note: If you are just starting out in a patent career or starting a new office, please also see the SVS Workshop for Secretaries/Paralegals and New Attorneys/Agents and the books available from Silicon Valley Seminars. 

For Information About an In-House Workshop
Contact Steve Shear ([email protected])

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