Overview | Principal Bio | Policies | Security | Technology | Confidentiality | Selected Patents | Companies | Careers
Our File Maintenance Policy
The patent application process generates a plethora of documents that must be properly handled and organized. However, not all documents must be, or even should be, maintained. Such documents include application drafts, assignments, amendments, declarations, information disclosures, filing receipts, and much, much more. For individual inventors and some small businesses it may be a formidable challenge to know what should be kept, and how to properly maintain those documents. The proper handling of all patent application related documents is a critical legal issue that both our firm takes very seriously. We strongly encourage our clients to follow our file maintenance policy as well. Otherwise, their legal protection could be significantly compromised should their awarded patent be litigated.
Should your patent become the subject of a patent infringement proceeding, it would be common for our firm, or our client, to receive a subpoena from a litigation attorney who hopes to review our patent files for incriminating evidence. Fortunately, there is recent Federal Circuit case law upholding the confidentiality of most patent application related, attorney(agent)-client privileged information and work products. In most cases, this protection makes it significantly more difficult for litigation opponents to gain access to the firm’s files. However, there are exceptions where some documents may otherwise be admitted as evidence. Importantly, your files may not receive the benefit of privileged information. This is why there is an even greater imperative for our clients to keep their patent files optimally maintained. Otherwise, if your patent ever is litigated, your case could be significantly compromised, or even lost.
Hence, it is our policy to maintain our patent files such that they do not include the following material:
We ask our clients to maintain their own files according to a similar policy as further detailed in our Intellectual Property (IP) information section of this website, under non-provisional patents- Document Maintenance.
All files must be properly maintained prior to any notice of patent litigation. Subject to civil and criminal penalties, patent files may not be purged of superfluous documentation after receiving a litigation notice.
Our Document Submission Policy
take note: do not submit confidential information to Bay Area Intellectual
Property Group (Bay Area IP) until you
have become a client of the firm, or otherwise instructed
to do so by a member of the firm.
Bay Area Intellectual Property Group (Bay Area IP) is committed to protecting the confidentiality of your invention and related information. Documents may be submitted to us by Postal or Courier delivery, or by email. However, please note that all invention disclosures used in Cost Oriented PPA preparation service must be submitted in electronic form. All drawings should be submitted in electronic form when ever possible, but may be physically delivered or FAXed (use top quality mode) to us such that the received copy has sufficient quality to clearly disclose all key features.
It should be noted that as courier deliveries are not completely safe from 3rd party interception, unencrypted email is likewise vulnerable to interception. Hence, never email us anything confidential through unencrypted email. Bay Area IP has adapted its practice to keep up with the increasing shift towards electronic document delivery and employs various security measures including PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) email protection. Follow this link for more details on what PGP is, and how to use it.