The Law Office of Intellectual Property Attorney

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Jonathan Rigdon Smith J.D. P.C.






Photo of JRS JONATHAN RIGDON SMITH Jr. is the owner and sole practitioner in the firm.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia and a law degree (Juris Doctor) from Florida Coastal School of Law. After having practiced engineering in industry for 24 years, Mr. Smith formed Rigdon Engineering in Atlanta in 1993 to help inventors design and prototype their inventions. Mr. Smith became interested in patent law as a result of working with patent agents on his own inventions from 1991 to 2000, and obtained registration to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a patent agent himself in August of 2000.

Did you know?
    Patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and certain kinds of contracts make up what is called "intellectual property," which may be traded like other kinds of property.
    In the United States, you only have one year from the time you first use your invention publicly, offer it for sale, or publish a description of it anywhere in the world, to file an application for a patent. After that you may be barred from a U.S. patent.
    You can apply for patent protection in foreign countries, and our firm can assist you. In foreign countries, you may be barred from obtaining a patent unless you file the patent application in those countries before you first use your invention publicly, offer it for sale, or publish a description of it anywhere in the world. You may reserve the right to file for patent protection in most countries by filing a patent application in the U.S. under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) before you publicly use, sell or describe your invention.
    Patents give you the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing your invention into the U.S. for a period of 20 years from the date of filing (14 years from issue in design cases).
    Patents cover "things", processes, or methods, not ideas or concepts.
    The term "patent pending" means a patent application is on file. A pending patent application may or may not be approved as a patent. Even though a pending patent does not prevent others from making, using, selling or importing your invention, it has value in that it puts competitors on notice that a patent may soon follow. Under the American Inventors Protection Act, you are permitted to publish your patent application before it ever issues as a patent. A competitor who is given such notice may be liable for damages for making, using, selling or importing your invention between the time it is published and the date it is issued to you as a patent.
    Patents generally take from a year to three years to issue. Applicants for patents may request "prioritized examination" or "accelerated examination" by the government to limit examination time to one year or less, at additional cost.
    Most companies require that you at least have a patent pending before they will discuss licensing your invention.
    Both patent agents and patent attorneys are authorized to represent clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They are required to have at least a baccalaureate degree in science or mathematics and pass the federal patent bar examination. A patent attorney must also have a graduate degree in law and pass the state bar examination is his or her state. Patent attorneys can practice law in other fields of law including copyrights and trademarks, and can represent clients in litigation.
    Trademarks and service marks protect the identity of your business and the source of your products. You may register your trademark nationally "" or on an individual state level.
    Copyrights protect original writings and other forms of expression.
    Federal trademarks only apply to marks used in interstate commerce. They can be renewed every ten years they continue to be used. Patents cannot be renewed, and copyrights with very few exceptions, also cannot.
    States may issue trademarks enforceable within that state, but not copyrights or patents.
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