Entrepreneurial Institute

5 Steps to Protect Your Intellectual Property with Mindey Bickel of the USPTO

On February 12th, 2015, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute hosted Mindey Bickel, an NYC Engagement Manager from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for an in-depth discussion about what all inventors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups should know about intellectual property, as well as how to leverage the resources internally provided on campus and from additional networks.

Bickel, with colleagues, gave an overview that thoroughly defined the major components of intellectual property: trademarks, design patents, utility patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Each division was given a description that explained exactly what is protected, what the protection offers, how long it lasts, as well as who it can be obtained by and the processes used to do so.

Bickel also shared the Five Important Steps for Protecting Your Invention:

  1. Pre-Filing: perform a basic patent search to determine if your idea
    already exists
  2. File a Provisional Application: guarantees a USPTO filing date and
    the term, "patent pending," as a warning to possible infringers
  3. Micro Entity Status: if qualified, provides seventy-five percent
    reduction in most patent-filing fees
  4. Pro Bono and Pro Se Programs: provide legal assistance for
    qualifying inventors through a network of patent legal firms and organizations across the nation
  5. Patent Maintenance Fees: due three times during the life of a patent (reduced for those with small or micro entity status)

Attendees were informed about the resources and features available at
the USPTO site, including the online patent application and database, the
Patent Classification Manual, the IP Awareness Tool, information about
various legal assistance programs, and additional help resources for
inventors and entrepreneurs.

With an engaged audience, Bickel lead comprehensive dialogues on how to
ensure the protection of success for today's exponentially innovative minds and ideas.