As a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with over two decades of experience, Sarah Walkington assists clients nationwide with a full scope of patent services ranging from securing patent protection to enforcing and leveraging patent rights. Sarah’s personalized approach and dedication to delivering cost-effective, high-quality patent services ensure her clients receive exceptional value. Her comprehensive range of patent-related legal services includes:
For inventors and designers seeking patent protection, Sarah offers patent counseling, search, and analysis to assess the eligibility of your invention for patent protection. She analyzes your invention, explains the patentability criteria, and discusses the process, timeline, and costs of pursuing a patent application.
A patentability search is recommended before filing a patent application to assess whether your invention meets the patentability requirements of being new (“novel”) and not an obvious modification of what is known in the prior art (“non-obvious”). Additionally, a completed patentability search is often attractive to potential investors. Sarah conducts patentability searches, analyzes relevant patents and prior art, and provides guidance on the best course of action based on the results.
For businesses considering bringing a new product, process, or service to market, obtaining a freedom-to-operate (FTO) search and opinion is recommended to preemptively protect against infringement claims. By reducing litigation risks, an FTO opinion may also address potential investor concerns about marketability.
Sarah draws on her years of experience as a patent litigator in conducting FTO searches and analyses. During this process, she meticulously examines relevant patents and published patent applications, evaluating potential infringement risks, analyzing patent validity, and assessing the likelihood of litigation.
Fortunately, many patents can be cleared as posing minimal litigation threat based on non-infringement or patent invalidity. However, in some cases, a search may uncover a patent that limits your freedom to operate. In such instances, Sarah provides guidance on necessary modifications or avoidance measures to ensure non-infringement. Collaborating with you, she helps identify alternative paths to navigate around third-party patents and minimize risk.
Sarah helps maximize the value of her clients’ intellectual property through her patent prosecution and counseling services. She understands that effective legal advocacy requires in-depth knowledge of the law and a thorough understanding of her clients’ technology, business concerns, and objectives. When preparing patent applications, Sarah works closely with you to secure broad and comprehensive protection for your intellectual property, leveraging her technological and legal expertise. She personally prepares a detailed written description of your invention, works with a skilled patent draftsperson to produce high-quality patent drawings, and handles all the necessary application paperwork, including entity certification, that can save you significant USPTO fees. Throughout the patent prosecution process, Sarah represents you in discussions with the USPTO patent examiner, addresses any Office Actions, and keeps you advised of any issues that arise, enabling you to make informed decisions at every stage.
For patent owners, Sarah provides assistance with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating patent assignments, licenses, and other agreements relating to their technology. Sarah strives to protect your legal rights and ensure that contract provisions are in your best interests. She explains contract terms, making certain you have a complete understanding of all provisions of the contract.
Sarah assists patent owners in evaluating potential infringement and developing enforcement strategies. She also helps with pre-litigation enforcement efforts, including issuing cease-and-desist letters and negotiating licenses and settlement agreements. If litigation is necessary, Sarah provides a referral to a highly qualified IP litigation lawyer and offers litigation support services as part of her freelance IP practice.