The patent section includes registered patent practitioners with a range of technical backgrounds and legal administrative specialists. The patent practitioners prepare and prosecute provisional and non-provisional utility patent applications, plant patent applications, and plant variety protection applications. The patent practitioners work with ARS inventors and outside co-inventors when preparing patent applications to make sure they accurately capture the invention. The patent practitioners continue to work with the inventors during prosecution so that they can achieve the broadest and strongest patents the U.S. Government is entitled to. The legal administrative specialists ensure that all papers are timely executed and filed, and are the primary points of contact for co-owned inventions filed by the non-ARS co-owner.
The Patent Section:
- Provides guidance to scientists regarding patent protection for their research results through one-on-one consultations and virtual & on-site trainings
- Implements USDA’s patent policies through processing of invention disclosures, convening of national patent committees and rendering decisions on how to best transfer the technology
- Protects USDA’s intellectual property rights through preparation and prosecution of utility patents, plant patents, and plant variety protection applications
- Works with the Licensing Section and research collaborators to develop strategies to best protect research outcomes and transfer them to the market
Utility Patent Time Line