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Patent Workshop Series

Patent Workshop Series

Through Gateway Technical College’s Patent Workshop Series you will:

  • Develop an understanding of the patenting process and strategies for safeguarding your ideas.
  • Protect your ideas by making sure you know how to file and how to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Gain the knowledge to duplicate the process with ideas you have in the future.

Participants are encouraged to take the workshops in order.

Session I: Have an Idea, Now What?

Do you have a great idea and thought about patenting it? The patent process can be expensive and more than a little complicated. This seminar, conducted by a registered patent agent, will give you a solid start and then tell you where to go, and even prepare to take some initial steps on your own to potentially save you money and aggravation. Real world examples will be discussed.  There will be a question and answer period.  In addition, this seminar is designed to prepare the participant for two further patent workshops on patent searching and writing a provisional patent application.

During this interactive, 4 hour seminar, you will learn:

  • Basics about patents – what are the types of patents and their parts.
  • Basics about patent law – how do you get a patent, what it does for you, and potential mistakes to avoid.
  • Costs of filing patent applications.
  • Strategic benefits of filing or not filing a patent application.
  • How to work with a patent attorney and ways to make this process more cost effective.
  • What happens after you file an application – a typical patent examination.
  • About foreign filing considerations including risks from international copiers.
  • How to access local inventor resources.

Session II: Patent Search...Was it your idea, first?

Before applying for a patent, you need to know if someone has gotten there first, which will potentially save your money for you next great idea. So, you need a patent search.

During this full-day, results-driven workshop, you will:

  • Conduct a search with the guidance of a patent searching expert.
  • Find similar patents to help write a higher quality patent application for your invention.
  • Be instructed how to use the results of your patent search.

Session III: Writing and Filing your Patent!

The search is over; you have completed a patent search for your great idea and have decided to file a patent application. Now you want to save money by correctly filing your patent and get your official filing date quickly.

During this full-day workshop, you will:

  • Write your own provisional patent application with the help of a patent agent.
  • File, electronically, your provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Learn next steps after the provisional patent application is filed.
    • Prepare to file your non-provisional application.
    • Consult with a patent attorney.
    • Bridge to marketing your invention.
    • Business planning assistance through programs such as Growth Wheel at Gateway Technical College.


Mike Bergnach

Mike Bergnach is a patent agent at Promontory Research, LLC, a patent search and inventor consulting firm in the Kenosha/Racine area.

Mike loves discussing new ideas and innovations and has helped inventors in the early stages of their inventions. From his 20 plus years of engineering experience, including 12 years as a practicing patent agent at patent law firms and also at Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, he assists inventors in achieving the most from their innovations.

He is a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Detroit and a graduate degree from Northwestern University.

The Patent Workshop Series was made possible under award 06-79-05547 from the Economic Development Administration EDA, U.S. Department of Commerce.