LLW Intellectual Property Group Secures Patent Protection for “Seagrass Plugger”
Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. takes pride in being problem solvers and often teams with like-minded consultants in handling matters for its clients. An improved method for transplanting seagrasses was an issue that a group from WilsonMilller, Inc., including Ray Dennis, Mike Burton, Gary Montin, and Gary Andersen, were working on when they approached LLW with an apparatus they had developed which addressed this concern. The invention was a novel piece of field equipment that vastly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of current transplanting methods for seagrasses, which can be a critical element of a permit-required mitigation plan for a coastal project.
To enable WilsonMiller to openly use their apparatus and methodology, LLW completed a provisional patent application that would allow the invention to be marked as “Patent Pending.” The provisional application allowed WilsonMiller to preserve its rights to its intellectual property while marketing the invention and its utility.
Subsequently, LLW converted the provisional application to a utility (non-provisional) patent application. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) then began the patent examination process and initially rejected the application citing to two instances of prior art. LLW analyzed the rejection and responded with its rationale as to why the cited patents and applications should not be road blocks to WilsonMiller’s application. The USPTO agreed with LLW’s analysis and issued a Notice of Allowance for the patent covering WilsonMiller’s Submerged Substrate Plug Cutter and Related Method on March 7, 2011.
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