There are many attorneys in the Huntington Beach area who can help you with your patent application. You can also use a pro se (pro per, propria persona, or pro sem) patent filing assistance program if you need help completing your application properly. There are also many educational materials available for you to use to respond to examiners.
USPTO’s Silicon Valley Regional Office
In the Wing Building, San Jose City Hall is home to the USPTO Silicon Valley Regional Office. The landmark building was built in 2005 and reflects the status of the city in the valley. It also represents the cultural roots and technological sophistication of the region. The West Coast Regional Office serves California, Nevada Oregon Washington, Arizona Alaska, and Hawaii. They stimulate innovation and the economy by connecting entrepreneurs with government resources, supporting teachers and students via our STEM education programs, and gathering feedback from regional stakeholders.
Pro Se Assistance Program
As the patent process involves a number of laws and regulations, policies, and procedures, it is always recommended that you use a patent agent or attorney for assistance in preparing your patent application. USPTO recognizes the fact that legal services are prohibitive to many applicants. This is especially true for independent inventors and smaller businesses. The Pro Se Assistance Program was created to assist independent inventors, small businesses, and other applicants in protecting their valuable intellectual property.
The Pro Se Assistance Program offers outreach and education for applicants (also referred to as “pro se” or self-represented applicants) who submit patent applications without assistance from a registered agent or patent attorney. USPTO employees are not allowed to give legal advice. The program is designed to improve the quality of self-prepared applications by providing increased resources and assistance for small businesses and independent inventors.
Why is it important to educate yourself on intellectual property protection?
Protecting intellectual property is essential to protect products and services against imitation, attract outside funding and ensure the success of an enterprise. The value of a trademark is also heavily dependent on skillful preparation and prosecution. It is important to educate yourself before developing an intellectual property strategy. This can have a significant economic impact on your business and endeavors.
One-on-one assistance (by appointment)
One-on-one assistance is available via video conference or telephone. Pro se personnel is available to assist applicants with their patent questions and to file their applications. The Pro Se Assistance Center can provide one-on-one help to inventors. To schedule an appointment, contact the center and make an appointment.
Patent process training
To assist applicants at all stages of the patent examination process the Office of Patents Stakeholder Experience (OPSE) also provides ongoing education:
- Intellectual Property introduction, specifically understanding the various types of Patents and an overview of the patent prosecution process
- Basics of prior art searching provides an overview for the need to conduct a prior art search, Identify pertinent prior art and examples of publically available prior art databases
- Provisional application overview and the requirements for filing a provisional application
- Nonprovisional application overview and the requirements for filing a nonprovisional application
- Overview to filing applications electronically to the USPTO (EFS-Web) and further view documents in your application file (PAIR).
Pro Bono Assistance
Leahy Smith America Invents Act encouraged the USPTO “to work with and support intellectual properties law associations across America in the establishment pro bono program designed to assist financially under-resourced independent innovators and small business.” The USPTO’s pro bono program is one of the seven executive actions that the Obama Administration has taken to help innovators.
Requirements for Pro Bono Assistance
Each program has different eligibility requirements. There are generally three main requirements.
- Maximum household income
- Knowledge of the Patent System
- You must have an original idea, not just a concept!
Maximum Household Income
You must not earn more than the income limit of your regional program.
- Depending on the region, usually 300% Federal poverty levels. Check the website of your regional program to find out your income limit. Example (how to calculate a 300% level of poverty for a family’s income)
- Example 1: A single person can earn up to 37,470 dollars (3 times the poverty level for singles of 12,490 dollars).
Patent System Knowledge
You can demonstrate your patent knowledge in two different ways:
- Do you have a provisional or nonprovisional application on file at the USPTO?
Note: Certain regional programs require a provisional application to be filed before assistance can be requested.
- Successfully complete the on-line certificate training course. Most regional pro bono programs will only accept applicants who have completed a certificate program.
Not just an Idea, but an Invention!
You will need to present a real invention and not just an idea before you can get a free attorney. You should be able describe your invention in a way that anyone could make it and use it.
Do not publicly disclose your creation before filing a application for a new patent or at the very least, a provisional patent application. This could result in the invention becoming prior art, which would make it impossible to obtain a patent.
How to apply for pro bono assistance
Contact the Patent Pro Bono Program of California to apply for free assistance with filing a patent for your invention.
The California Inventors Assistance Program
The California Inventors Assistance Program, which will launch on October 23, 2012, offers pro bono legal assistance for people who are unable to pay for legal services. The program has been organized in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and California Lawyers for the Arts.
The program works by matching volunteer patent professionals with low-income inventors or small businesses who need assistance. Qualifying applicants must have a gross household income that is below three times the federal poverty guidelines. In some cases, eligibility may be based on geography or other factors, so make sure to contact a program in your state to check eligibility requirements.
The program offers a number of services to help you get started with the patent application process. Its website provides information about the filing process, U.S. Patent Databases, Classification Definitions, and the US Official Gazette. There’s also a call center that can help you answer questions about the process and refer you to appropriate USPTO staff.
Law school clinics
Over 60 law school clinics participate in the Law School Clinic Certification Program, which provides free legal services to members of the public including inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. The participating law school clinics offer patent and/or trademark legal services to members of the general public who have been accepted as clients of a clinic. Each participating law school has its own requirements and will accept new clients at its discretion.
California inventors and entrepreneurs can obtain free legal help for both patent and trademark matters by contacting:
- California Western School of Law: TrademarkClinic@tjsl.edu (trademarks)
- Lincoln Law School of San Jose: firstname.lastname@example.org (patents and trademarks)
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law clinic: PatentClinic@tjsl.edu (patents) TrademarkClinic@tjsl.edu (trademarks)
- University of California Los Angeles clinic: email@example.com (patents)
- University of California Irvine clinic: IPATintake@law.uci.edu (trademarks)
- University of San Diego clinic: firstname.lastname@example.org
- University of San Francisco School of Law: email@example.com (trademarks)
Patent and Trademark Resource Centers
It can be difficult to patent an invention or trademark a product. The PTRC library staff is trained in how to use search engines to find patent and trademark data. The staff at the PTRC library provide a human touch, which no website or legal book could provide. They help inventors and small business owners find the information needed to protect their intellectual properties. PTRC representatives, however, are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.
PTRC Library representatives can:
- Access to resources like Patent Public Search Trademark Electronic Search system
- Explain the application process, fees and other information.
- Show how to use the search tools for a trademark or patent search
- We can provide you with a list of local attorneys licensed to practice at the USPTO.
- Locations vary. Offer classes on intellectual Property
- Help with historical research on trademarks and patents
- How to track research for a company or nonprofit
- Find out more about assignees.
Attend workshops, trainings and other events for inventors and entrepreneurs in your area. The USPTO holds events all over the country for inventors and entrepreneurs. These range from workshops on trademark search to trademark basics. Find an event near you by checking out our USPTO calendar.
The Surf City Huntington Beach trademark
In 2004, the Surf City Huntington Beach trademark was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. In 2004, the town filed an application to register the trademark, and the USPTO granted exclusive trademark rights to the city. However, since then, it has been involved in a legal battle with Santa Cruz, which wants to use the name OFFICIAL SURF CITY USA. In response, Huntington Beach has said that it does not need the USA part and that other towns can use the term SURF CITY without the USA.
The Surf City Huntington Beach trademark is a unique combination of the names of the city and the beach. It is not just used in the city; it is also used in the nearby towns of Surf City, N.J., and North Carolina. This trademark helps a business stand out in the local community.
A popular 1960s hit song, “Surf City,” was inspired by the beach town of Huntington Beach. The city’s Conference and Visitors Bureau, which is nonprofit, hopes to establish a 501(c)3 philanthropic foundation in the name of the city. The Surf City USA Foundation could use the revenues from the brand to support other endeavors.
Huntington Beach is a coastal city, located in Orange County. It has three times rebuilt its pier to withstand severe storms and earthquakes. In addition to its beach and pier, the city also has a small industrial district. A large percentage of the city’s settlement delta is in liquefaction zones. Most of the local faults are named after city streets.
Huntington Beach is a popular destination for kite surfing. Visitors can watch the sport on the beach northwest of the pier. Another popular attraction is the Huntington Beach Public Library, which is located in Central Park. It was designed by Richard Neutra and Dion Neutra, and has almost half a million books. It also has fountains and a gift shop.
Local Small Business Development Centers
Local Small Business Development Centers are a valuable resource that provides assistance and support for entrepreneurs and small-business owners in their local community. These centers are usually affiliated with colleges, universities or state economic development agencies. They offer a variety of services that can help small businesses grow and succeed.
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