Meet Steven Malone
Post-Search Patent Specialist
(Former USPTO Patent Examiner)
Call him: Steven
Steven is one of our Post-Search Specialists and is a former USPTO patent examiner.
At The Patent Professor®, Steven guides inventors through the process of obtaining a patent search. In addition to interviewing the inventor to determine the novelty of their invention, he also reviews, analyzes, and presents the patent search results to the client in a way that makes sense. He also assists in the preparation of patent applications and reviewing and analyzing Office Actions.
Former Patent Examiners are Helping our Clients Win Patents
Like much of U.S. law, patent law is an “adversarial” system in which the inventor and the examiners (i.e. – at the Patent Office, these are essentially like “judges” in a regular court) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are working at cross purposes.
The innovator wants their invention to have the widest reach and broadest protection possible. The patent examiners are the judges who determine what does and doesn’t get patented, and they look for any legal reason they can find to reject the patent application.
Failing that, they seek to limit and restrict the innovator’s rights as narrowly as they can. The patent lawyer is, at least nominally, the bridge between the inventor and the USPTO, translating the inventor’s idea into language the USPTO recognizes and the USPTO’s decrees into plain English.
Because of the adversarial nature of patent law, any error in a patent application or the supporting documents or any weakness on the attorney’s part in pushing for claim coverage where it is justified can derail a patent, with potentially disastrous results. Something as simple as a single letter in a patent application has resulted in a denial of rights. There is no room for error in the high stakes game of securing intellectual property.
One of the key points which sets The Patent Professor® apart from most law firms is that we are fortunate to have not one, but four former patent examiners are on our staff. These are highly qualified patent judges who have switched teams from working as a governmental employee to joining the inventor’s side of the scales.
These people know what the Patent Office looks for in an application and the supporting documents, and both common and arcane reasons why these documents either succeed or fail before the examiners.
Having access to their intimate knowledge and understanding of the Patent Office’s inner workings is a huge advantage for our clients, and one which few other law firms can legitimately claim.
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