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Patent FAQ

What is a patent?

A patent is a legal document that gives you the power to prevent other people from using an invention—in other words, it can be described as a legal monopoly given to you by the government. From a business perspective, it is easy to see that having a monopoly on an invention helps you drive more demand for your product and keep prices high. If your customers cannot buy your product from a competitor, then they must buy it from you.

Why should I patent?

Patenting your invention can increase the asset value of your company and increase your chances of securing investment.

Additionally, patenting can block potential copycats and competitors.

When your entire enterprise is built upon ideas which give you a valuable market position, you won’t want those ideas to be compromised.

Why choose Cognition IP?

Cognition IP launched in 2018 as a graduate of noteworthy accelerator Y Combinator. Our founders saw an opportunity to disrupt legal services with tech that could improve efficiencies in the patenting process. It’s one of the reasons we’re fundamentally different from other firms.

Other great reasons to choose Cognition IP are:


Our attorneys have decades of experience in IP. They’ve worked with a spectrum of clients from startups to industry leaders such as Apple, AstraZeneca, and Texas Instruments, in fields such as Software, Hardware, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, BioTech, Life Sciences, Medical Device, Fintech, Blockchain and Aerospace to name a few.

Because of our deep experience, we are able to lead the entire strategy and filing process, which preserves your bandwidth for doing what you do best, growing your company.

Although we cannot guarantee future results, we do have a noteworthy historical approval rate.

Personalized Service

Our attorneys use a proprietary software to improve efficiencies in our search and filing processes. This provides an opportunity for us to spend more time with our clients, providing personalized strategy and service.

Whether you are a startup or an in-house legal team that needs quality support, we treat our clients with appreciation, respect and attention to detail. Our clients and our relationships are more important than just an invoice.

Fixed Fees

Unlike many IP firms, we charge fixed-fee pricing rather than hourly attorney fees. This allows you to work within budget without any surprises. We believe trust and transparency are the foundations of any great relationship.

What topics do you have experience with?

Our attorneys have deep experience patenting Software, Hardware, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, 3D, AR, VR, XR, Computer Vision, BioTech, Life Sciences, Medical Device, Fintech, Blockchain, Consumer Electronics and Aerospace to name a few. Because there are many crossover fields, it would be difficult to list them all.

If you’d like to know if we have experience with your IP topic, simply ‘Request Services’ at the top of the page and we can let you know more specifically.

What are your results?

Although we cannot guarantee results, we average a noteworthy high success rate on our applications. Combined with the deep experience of our attorneys, we also work with private consultants with career experience at the USPTO for their subject matter insights.

At any time, you can search our published results with the USPTO here. Although Cognition IP is only 3 years old, our attorneys have many more approvals from their previous decades of work with other top-tier firms.

What is the process and timeline?

The process begins with an introductory chat to discuss pricing and procedures, as well, to decide if we’re a good match for your invention. There is no fee for this call.

If you decide to move forward, you’ll then connect with a team attorney who has the most experience with your invention topic. During this exchange, we’ll learn more about your invention, answer any questions and begin the preliminary analysis for your strategy. There is no fee for this call either.

Upon Engagement, we’ll dive into the specific details of your invention and the Cognition team gets to work. We will reach out as needed for additional info, but our objective is to make the process easy for you.

We can typically file within 3-5 weeks of Engagement depending on response time and capacity.

There are no fees for additional calls because they are built into our fixed-fee services.

Of course, from the moment you reach out, all calls are confidential.

You can get the process started with the ‘Request Services’ option at the top of the page.

Should I patent my invention?

This is a common question and it’s impossible for someone else to answer for you. Filing IP comes with inherent expenses, inherent risks and is never guaranteed. Provided your invention meets the USPTO criteria for general patentability, you may want to protect your IP for the common reasons of: blocking competitors, securing your invention as an asset, increasing the value of your company, and/or securing investment. We can help you evaluate your invention and build a strategy, however, the ultimate decision is yours whether or not you should move forward.

Worth noting, a patent is only as valuable as the invention. If the invention is not desired by customers or there are many alternatives offered by competitors, a patent may not be as valuable.

When is it too early to think about patenting?

The US is a first-to-file system, so in general, the earlier the better. If your invention meets the USPTO criteria for general patentability, you may want to begin thinking about protecting. Provided you have a budget to move forward, the US has a unique option with the Provisional Application. The Provisional Application has fewer requirements, which allow MVP filings to capture an earlier filing date than waiting until the concept is fully developed. It’s not necessary to have a working prototype, but you will need to be able to adequately explain and detail the invention. Note: the Provisional Application needs to be updated into a Nonprovisional (Utility) filing within 12 months.

When is it too late to think about patenting?

In general, most international territories reject patent applications for inventions which have already been disclosed. The US has a 12 month grace period from the time of disclosure. This does not mean you are guaranteed any protection, it simply allows you to file within 12 months of the disclosure. If your invention meets the USPTO criteria for general patentability, you’ll want to explore protecting as soon as possible. The US is a first-to-file system so you also don’t want to be ‘too late’ and let your competitors capture the concept before you do.

How soon can I be patent-pending? What does that mean for my invention?

You can claim to be ‘patent-pending’ upon filing of your Provisional or Nonprovisional application. In most cases, we can achieve this within 3-5 weeks of engaging. Although using ‘patent-pending’ in your marketing can put potential competitors on notice, and in this way serve as a potential barrier to entry, there is no official legal status or protection from simply filing your application.

How soon will my patent be approved?

Keeping in mind patents are never guaranteed approval, the timeline of USPTO approval is typically 2.5 - 4 years for general filings. In some cases, the timeline could be longer. In some cases, expedited options may be available. Worth noting, even while your application is being processed, the pending patent can still add value to your company, be used as leverage in negotiations, provide investor confidence for funding, and potentially block competitors who see your patent-pending status.

Do you patent internationally?

In many cases, we can support the strategy and applications needed for international filings. In cases where we may need international partners, we have these in place, depending on territory.

What happens if my invention can't be patented?

As part of your strategy, we will look for additional or supplementary areas to include in your patent claims. This way, if your core invention can’t be protected, there may still be a chance of capturing value and protection for your company. This cannot be guaranteed, and are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Can I patent software and open-source tech?

Provided your invention meets the USPTO criteria for general patentability, it might be possible to patent open-source tech in the US. This would have to be evaluated by one of our attorneys.

What’s the difference between a provisional and non-provisional patent application?

A provisional patent application differs from a regular patent application, which is called a non-provisional patent application, in that it gives you a filing date at the patent office but is not examined and never becomes a patent. The way you use a provisional patent application is to hold your place in line, so that no one else files a patent application on your invention first. You would then file a regular, non-provisional patent application later based on the provisional patent application. Your non-provisional patent application can claim priority to the provisional patent application so it would be as if it had been filed on the date that you filed the provisional patent application.

How long does a provisional patent application last?

The provisional patent application is good for one year. After one year, it automatically becomes abandoned. To use it, you must file a non-provisional patent application that claims priority to it within the one-year time limit.

How long does a non-provisional patent application last?

Patents have a limited lifetime. Currently, they expire 20 years from when they were first filed (or earliest priority date). After a patent expires, anyone is free to use the technology in a patent.

How long does it take to prepare a patent application?

It takes 2-3 weeks to prepare a patent application

Trademark FAQ

What is a trademark, and how do I know if I need one?

A trademark is a word, symbol, design or sound which identifies a product or service associated with a particular source or company. A trademark protects a company’s marketing investment in creating brand recognition for the product or service. Over time, a brand becomes more popular and recognizable. This brand recognition is often referred to as goodwill and is the intellectual property that is protected by the trademark.

In some countries, such as the United States, just by using a trademark in the promotion or sale of a company’s product or service, the company immediately creates common law trademark rights. However, the scope of protection is somewhat limited based on the laws of the states where the trademark is used. One should consider filing for a federally registered trademark especially when the product or service will be sold interstate. A federal trademark registration provides additional legal protections and helps prevent others from obtaining a similar trademark registration on like products or services. By not obtaining a federal trademark registration, another company may begin using a similar mark and establish their own rights in the trademark. This may lead to a situation where both companies may be able to use the same trademark.

What is the process of working with Cognition IP for a trademark?

  • We send you a questionnaire about your product and desired trademark. 
  • We perform a trademark search to ensure that there are no conflicting marks. 
  • If there are no conflicting marks, we file the trademark application.

How long does it take to prepare a trademark application?

Trademark searches and application filings take 1 week.

Cognition IP FAQ

How does Cognition IP use technology?

Cognition IP has a dedicated technology team that works closely with our legal experts to develop best-in-class technology. Cognition IP’s online portal is used for case management, which reduces the administrative load for the legal team. Cognition IP also develops AI-enabled resources to help with patent search and template creation for more efficient patent drafting. All legal work is handled by Cognition IP’s team of experienced patent lawyers, who leverage our technology to work more effectively.

How many clients have you worked with?

Cognition IP supports over 180 clients worldwide.

Have you worked with any clients that I would know

Our lawyers have experience working with large clients, including Apple, AstraZeneca, HP, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and Texas Instruments. Check out our Case Studies page to learn more about our industry presence.

What is your pricing?

We offer predictable, flat-rate pricing. Our IP packages provide the comprehensive protection you need for your company stage and IP filing volume. To learn more about our plans, check out our Pricing page.