It might seem to a Texas inventor that coming up with a "million dollar idea" is the easy part. Patenting that idea or invention can be a long and arduous process. If the relevant aspects of patent law are not followed, a valid patent might not be issued, which means that anyone can take the idea without any compensation to the inventor or permission to use it.
Part of this process involves the filing of information disclosure statements (IDS). These documents contain pertinent information regarding the patent and illustrates why it is enforceable and valid. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) accepts IDS filings both during and after the patent application process. The necessity of these documents is not a one-time event either. An individual or company seeking a patent is required to keep this information updated as the process progresses.
The failure to file an IDS when necessary could result in the patent being rendered unenforceable and invalid. The challenge is to ensure that all of the required information is disclosed. This is yet another area where a Texas patent attorney is needed. He or she will know where to look to determine what information must be included in an IDS in order for it to help keep a patent valid and enforceable.
Obtaining a patent is not necessarily an easy task, but it is worthwhile. Unfortunately, missing even one step could derail the whole process, and you would have to start again. It is your attorney's job to keep on top of the process, make sure that you are filing all of the documents required under existing patent law and to handle any questions or concerns you or USPTO might have regarding your application.